After the state of Illinois raised the income tax back in July, a lot of residents have been feeling the pain of missing out on hard earned cash that they used for gas, groceries and other goods. That trip to the zoo you wanted to take this weekend? It's probably not going to happen because you need to pay for school lunches instead. It's amazing what a difference $40 a paycheck can make.

What if you could make that $40 back, and then some, over the next five years and you didn't even have to work for it? If Illinois is chosen for this unique experiment, you could.

According to, the Sillicon Valley technology startup incubator, Y Combinator, is conducting what they call a basic income study, giving participants in two states up to $1,000 a month for five years.

What is basic income, exactly? Inverse describes it as,

The idea that every person should receive a regular stipend from an organization — ideally a level of government so there’s a shared burden or possibly private organizations — as a method to supplement their income

For the study, a total of 3,000 people will be selected; 2,000 will get $50 a month and the other 1,000 will get $1,000. The purpose is to see how people spend their money, get an understanding of what kind of daily decisions they face; they'll see if basic income can help alleviate the stresses that come with those daily decisions and it will give participants an opportunity to "become more entrepreneurial or take innovative risks." It's much easier to start that podcast or stay-at-home business if you have a "safety net" like basic income.

This could be a life changer, would you agree? Could an extra $1,000, even $50, change your day-to-day life for the better?

Should Illinois be selected, would you sign up for the free money?

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Catch Mandy James on “The Steve Shannon Show with Mandy James” on 97 ZOK from 5:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. Follow her on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.

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