What Will You Do With Your Economic Stimulus Check?

The first of the economic stimulus rebate checks were planned to be distributed this week and it seems as if it’s created a bit of a feeding frenzy. Retailers such as Kroger and Sears are offering financial bonuses while Wal-mart is offering free check cashing and a few price breaks on food items. Of course you could take advantage of offers like these, but what should you do with your rebate? Well, luckily, there’s plenty of advice to give you food for thought. Newsweek suggests the following:

  • Kill the [credit] card debt
  • Add to it by getting a retailer bonus
  • Buy an item that’s good for the environment
  • Save it in a retirement account
  • Sock it away for college expenses
  • Have needed medical work
  • Take a vacation
  • Give it away

CNN Money has similar advice:

  • Spend it on environmentally-friendly items
  • Get a retailer bonus
  • Pay off debts
  • Invest it in career development

As does Smart Money:

  • Don’t get a refund-anticipation loan
  • Save it for your emergency fund
  • Contribute to an IRA
  • Pay off debt
  • Save it for college expenses
  • MSN Money takes a different course and suggests you invest your rebate.

    But with all this advice, what will people do? As of this writing, an MSN Money poll of almost 150,000 people listed the following as what respondents planned to do with their rebates:

    • Pay bills, mortgage, or rent — 24%
    • Save it — 22%
    • Pay down debt — 20%
    • Spend it on food, gas or other essentials — 13%
    • Spend it on non-essentials — 11%

    That said, responses to the issue are very widely varied.

    In the end, the prudent choice seems to be to pay down debt or save the money. The fun thing would be to blow it on a big screen TV or some other sort of purchase. There are certainly lots of choices — but what do you plan to do with your rebate?


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