I’m just a regular person. I’m not an economist, and although I like to think about my own money a lot, I don’t really understand the ins and outs of the economy as a whole. But even my quiet little part of the US has big splashy headlines like “700 Billion Dollars!” on the front page of its newspapers. So I can’t help but try to understand what the heck is going on with the US economy and what the best course of action is for the future. Is a $700 billion economic rescue / bailout plan the right course of action? I wish I knew.
I know that the economic rescue plan is supposed to keep some big financial companies from going bankrupt and throwing the US economy into a tailspin. I also know that the plan was looking like it was going to be approved and as of right now, is not looking so sure any more. So what happens if it isn’t approved? Do I need to start hoarding more toiletries in case my money ends up worthless?
Okay, so I am (mostly) kidding about that last line. But I can’t help but be nervous. And the worst part for me is, I can’t figure out how I feel about it all. I read opinion pieces that talk about how is it fair that the government is bailing out companies that took risks, when it isn’t bailing out the average person’s financial mistakes (yes government, I have some student loans you could have back…) but then on the other hand I read about how our financial system as we know it could be on the edge of collapse and ruin if the financial institutions aren’t bailed out, and I start to get all panicky and freak out.
I’ve spent a lot of time reading CNN’s Financial Crisis section, and my head literally hurts. Lucky for me I got free Excedrin Tension Headache from Walgreens this month.
Get out of debt. Hoard my money in an emergency fund. Prepare for the worst but hope for the best. My financial priorities haven’t changed from what they were last week or the week before, but suddenly they feel a lot more urgent.