i've got $$$

The Australian Government announced an economic stimulus plan in which you get:

- $900 if your 2007–08 taxable income is up to and including $80,000
- $600 if your 2007–08 taxable income is between $80,001 and $90,000
- $250 if your 2007–08 taxable income is between $90,001 and $100,000

As with all the benefits we 457 employment visa holders are not entitled to, I naturally assumed I am not eligible for the stimulus package and have not bothered to find out more about it. So imagine my surprise when I saw the extra $900 in my bank account when I logged in to TT some money back to SG. Woohoo! So I'm now $900 richer!

Thinking the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) made a mistake, I went and read up more on this stimulus package and its qualifying criteria.

"Temporary residents and Australians living overseas:
If you were an Australian resident for tax purposes for the 2007–08 financial year, and you meet all the other eligibility criteria, you will receive the tax bonus payment. This applies even if you were here on a temporary resident visa."

I think they are being fair to us who despite not having citizenship / permanent residency status, have been contributing equal amounts of tax to the Australian system as a citizen / permanent resident.

Just a few days ago, I was sorting out my finances (this is a fortnightly routine for me - I have like a power spreadsheet detailing every single incoming and outgoing cent complete with trend charts and all) and feeling extremely down. I was discouraged by the lack of savings that I have been trying very hard to build up. Every time I see the golden eggs start to fill up my nest, things like these will happen and I find myself back at ground zero. The last fortnight also saw some additional lifestyle expenses like the monthly gym membership fee and spikes in the household expenses in the form of advance rental and miscellaneous payments due to transferring the apartment lease from under the Company's name to mine (and the housemate's) and these upset me. All these on top of the bills I still have to pay for in SG. It can get quite demoralising.

It's not like I am in such bad financial shape that I can't even afford to feed myself or purchase the occasional luxury (like my fiery red baby) but having grown up with the Asian teaching "未雨绸缪 - You've always got to save up for a rainy day" ingrained into me, I feel like it's the end of the world and I am going to die a penniless miserable death when I don't get greeted by a huge multi-multi digit figure when I log in to my bank account.

It's hard for me to adopt the carefree-can't-be-bothered-live-hand-to-mouth-everyday mentality like so many Aussies here do. It's a totally different culture we are talking about just like how we have the Asian parents-take-care-of-you-til-you're-married/independent-so-you've-gotta-take-care-of-your-aging-parents-future versus the Western once-you-are-old-enough-earn-your-own-pocket-$-please-move-out-and-don't-come-bother-the-parents-anymore-cos-they-wanna-have-their-own-romantic-retirement-lives culture. (Of course I am making very general statements here, but you get the idea) Can't really say which is the right thing to do because both cultures have their own merits.

Enough of digressing. So. I was going to say, the unexpected $900 bonus put a smile back onto my face. At least I can go shopping for some new funky winter wear this weekend and not hole myself up at home wallowing in my misery. Oh, and I'd be doing a good deed to society too cos I'll be doing my part, no matter how small, to help lift the fallen economy.


SK said...

Still waiting for my KRudd money to come through. :) I copied your idea of photographing your monkey mascot. Well it's not a monkey but it's a mascot. :)

Link to photo :

Mark said...

Why not donate some or all of your stimulus bonus to charity?

You can immediately assist the disadvantaged without impacting on your regular income, and donations over $2.00 are tax deductable!