I’m Getting an Extra $36 a Month Thanks to the Tax Break, How Should I Spend It?

Thanks, Paul Ryan! You’re tax cuts are giving me a take-home boost of $36 a month, or $18 per bi-weekly paycheck. Much better than $1.50 a week you were bragging about earlier.

andy-warhol-9-1982-on-black_u-L-F8C9AS0I live in New York and an extra $36 doesn’t really add up to much over the course of the month. It’s basically expected that you’ll spend $20 just for walking out the door. The high cost of living and my lowly publishing salary make the extra money laughable. Also, wouldn’t the taxes be better spent going toward upgrades to the subway system or into public schooling? There’s nothing I could effectively use this money for because I’m still living paycheck to paycheck (I guess you can tell that my financial overhaul hit a bit of snag). There’s always going to be something that comes up to ruin a budget.

Just for fun, here’s a list of potential things I could do if I used the $36 a month productively.

  • Go to the movies ($15 average movie ticket price) and buy popcorn and a drink!
  • Ride the NYC Subway 13 times ($2.75/ride);
  • Pay my monthly gym membership for two months! (it’s $15.68/month);
  • Splurge for a Seamless delivery order for me and my BF;
  • Eat out for lunch 3 times;
  • Pay half of the internet bill;
  • Pay half of my cell phone bill;
  • Buy 2 paperback books;
  • Go to an off-Broadway show; or
  • Save it.

Okay, well, $36 a month is $432 a year, that could be something right?

  • It’s less than half of my monthly rent payment ($675/mo);
  • It’s a credit card payment for 1.5 months;
  • It’s 2.3 months of my Income-Based student loan payment.

And yes, I understand that more money in the pocket is generally a good thing. And I’m sure many people with lower incomes will be able to use this money to improve their lives. I’m just having a hard time seeing how far my dollar will stretch in my current living situation. Suggestions?


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