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How I Spent my Stimulus Check

I wish I were writing a different article for you today. I wish I could tell you I spent my stimulus check on the ultimate government-sponsored “treat yo’ self” extravaganza. I wish that earlier this year I had spent a week relaxing at a spa and online shopping with nary a care in the world. Alas, here I am, in the same financial state that I was in before March 2020 with the added bonus of having new shingles on my roof. I’m jumping for joy over here!

Roof Replacement


Getting your roof re-done may not sound fun, or maybe, just maybe, it could be your next quarantine hobby. I’m not talking about the actual act of replacing your roof, because you should probably leave that to a professional roofing contractor unless you like leaks — in which case, I guess it can be a DIY job. When it rains, you could hang plants underneath the cracks in your ceiling. It actually might be good for propagation; I digress.

There is so much that goes into the decision of how you want your home to look. It should represent you, it should resist all of the most extreme weather conditions in your area. Perhaps you have to adhere to the appearance standards of a neighborhood housing association, or you want to blend in with the rest of the homes on your block. Or perhaps blending in is the quickest way to a dystopian future for us all.

Regardless, if your roof is over 20 years old, it’s time. And if you live in northern Virginia near Springfield, look no further than this Springfield VA roofing company for lasting protection, improved energy efficiency, quality service, and the style your home deserves. Invest in a durable roof replacement if you’d like another decade to pass before even thinking about your roof again. It’s back-breaking work, requires a lot of skill, and is one of the most important features of your home — so it will be expensive. It may not have been glamorous to put some of my stimulus check toward a roof repair, but it needed to happen.

The reason this could be your next quarantine hobby is the sheer amount of thought that goes into large financial decisions like roof replacement. Even deciding which type of shingle is right for you can be a weeklong marathon project, full of late-night research sessions, PowerPoint presentations, and even a study group. So if you find yourself coming down with a case of the 2020 blues — symptoms include baking bread from scratch, scrolling deals of the day on Amazon, and twiddling your thumbs until they blister — consider taking on the huge home project that you’ve been putting off.

Backyard Design


Remember how I said I didn’t spend a week at the spa? Well, that’s kind of a lie. Because I installed one in my backyard. As I was looking around, I started to notice patches where the grass was thinner, places where the paint was chipping, and a ton of weeds in my garden. Instead of diving headfirst into nitpicky backyard chores, I decided to spend some time visualizing what I really wanted in my own private nature reserve.

I imagined having an outdoor kitchen with a grill, a fire pit, and a versatile breakfast-slash-cocktail nook. I imagined doing yoga next to a custom pool and cooling off under a waterfall. And when the weather started to get colder, I imagined hopping into a hot tub to relax with a glass of red wine under the stars.

In the era of COVID-19, it’s more important than ever to have an outdoor living space you love. Carrying out a quick Google search of “swimming pool companies Tampa FL” will give you a list of the best backyard designers and pool contractors in the Tampa Bay area. If you live somewhere else, then consider google searching for contractors in your location. Whatever your needs are at this time, a professional service can handle pool design, pool remodeling, and new outdoor construction alike.

You may be thinking that it’s way out of your price range to hire a contractor to design your outdoor kitchen, but I beg you to remember that Ikea bookshelf you ordered at the beginning of quarantine. Remember how there was one extra screw at the end, and you couldn’t figure out where it was supposed to go? Now every time you look at that bookshelf, its potential danger looms over you as much as the weight of the books it holds. The bonus of hiring a professional is the guarantee that everything will be built properly. No wobbly outdoor structures for me, thank you very much!

Whatever your backyard needs are, look for a company with years of experience to make your backyard dreams come true. I promise that you’ll be able to find affordable prices, and you won’t need to hodge-podge DIY your way through.

Animal Control


I’m not the only one who sits outside and admires my new roof and outdoor living space. So do all sorts of little critters. When unwanted pests or rodents make their way into your living space, there is a possibility of property damage, disturbance of peace, and even health risks. When this happens, you need a quick and effective Animal Removal Service to save the day.

No animals were harmed in the writing of this article — or before it. The goal of an animal removal service is to return the animals to safety as much as it is to protect you and your home, so rest assured that animal removal services are safe for all involved. And that the little raccoons who were nesting under my porch are very happy in their new home at the park down the road.

Indoor Landscaping


With so much money spent on the outside of my home, I decided I should invest in my indoor space as well. Have you seen those Instagrammers who are really into plants? They call themselves plant moms and plant daddies? I thought, is that the name of a rap artist? I didn’t understand how you could possibly compare growing a plant to having an actual human child.

I get it now. First of all, you gotta go all out to be worthy of the title “plant parent.” While it’s generally good to start small and learn as you go, it’s also fun to get in way over your head and see what happens.

Each plant type requires a different amount of sun (low, medium, high) and a different type of exposure (direct or indirect). They also require varying amounts of water on certain days of the week. You don’t want to over-water. You don’t want to under-water. Also, you may have two plants of the same kind that seem to prefer different amounts of light or water. This is why it’s best to name your plants to keep track of who’s who. You can tell that your plant is happy because it literally perks up, the leaves thicken, and it reaches toward the sky.

Once you learn your plant’s personal preferences and name each individual, it’s pretty easy to see how this makes you a parent. Plant parenting isn’t necessarily an easy hobby, but it’s worth seeing your baby grow big and strong.

We all just want to be healthy and happy, right? So I used my stimulus check to nurture these things into my life. We’re all gonna come out of quarantine stronger than ever.

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