What’s the Smartest Way to Spend Your Rebate?

With more than $110 billion in tax rebates set to flow into taxpayer pockets starting today, everyone from big-box retailers to restaurants to debt-collection agencies is vying for a piece of the action. But what’s the smartest way to spend your rebate — for yourself and for the larger economy?

Now that we’ve considered that, how are you really going to spend it? And will it make you happier?

Daniel Plainview

I think I'll compete with Kirk Kerkorian and buy a stake in the Ford Motor Company.

I can't play the markets particularly well usually but I'm pretty good emotionally at playing bottoms. As long as I can continue to beat my credit card rates, I'll invest whatever capital I can get in building positions in financials and then waiting for the better forecasts.

I also want to see what Kerkorian is up to though.


That's a silly question. Money is fungible, there is no meaningful way to say what I'm spending that particular bit of money on.


grad student ----> means I won't have to donate blood this month. :-)


Mine is going straight to my savings account. I don't need the extra money for day to day items, and it doesn't go a long way to helping me come up with a downpayment for a house. So it'll just sit and collect some measly interest.

Make the Best of IT!

To the negative nancy's: Take your money and make the best of it, or send it back to Washington. I'm going to make the best of it by using this money to help the small businesses in my area. Then taking those american-made items and donating them to charity.

Clyde K

I have no outstanding debt, but that doesn't stop the monthly bills. The stimulus "refund" should cover this month's health insurance payment to Kaiser Permanente, the monthly car insurance payment to GEICO, and my son's preschool tuition. Hope that helps the economy, Mr. President.

Tom Best

The rebate is a good thing. I don't dog-ear funds like that, though. It will go in the bank, and it will get spent or it will get saved. Who knows. It looks just like all the other money I have, so I can't tell you what I will do with it. i.e. I'm not doing anything different than if I had no rebate.


A roomba and paying off my partner's macbook pro. Both will make us happy, both get the money back into the economy. Too bad we'll be paying for them for far longer thanks to our bone-headed government. Essentially, we're getting this check at CC cash advance rates...

Brian Schkerke

It's being used to help pay to repair my driveway, which is a Good Thing. Without the rebate it'd be a lot harder to foot the bill, and make the city happy again.


Don't qualify for that kinda stuff (am european/live there too),but if I had an unexpected windfall of that order of magnitude, I'd put it on a savings account, and would use it to pay of part of my student loan/mortgage at some point in the future.


I?m european, currently living in Spain, so I don?t get the 600$.

What I do get is 400 Euros (which is actually a bit more than what you get), which our government promised to give to every citizen, regardless of income, as a way to fight the government's budget surplus...

Being a good citizen, I will stimulate the economy by spending it all on a nice dinner and maybe a day in a Spa.

Daniel Reeves

I'm getting contacts (I'm only a teenager in a financially mismanaged family), and the rest is probably going to debt.


I'll invest it and support some local artists are craft fairs.


At the end of March, I was estimating that my annual fuel cost to get to/fro work is $2,547.68.

I was planning on setting this check aside and view it as a "Gas Card" for most of the year.

But that was when my avg. cost per gallon was $3.11

Since then, fuel is averaging $3.59 per gallon...

This looks to be more of a down payment on my annual fuel expense.

Annie Hanks

I'm spending a third on an Amazon Kindle which I already have and love. (My first book is Age of Turbulence by Alan Greenspan) The other 2/3's will go to pay down debt. The Kindle has made me very happy - and yes I do remember government cheese. I was poor but working and never qualified for it. My husband and I will enjoy our little windfall, but we won't be stimulating much of the economy.
I'm surprised that all the TV Ads telling us that our analog TV's won't work after February 2009 aren't also suggesting that people go out and buy a nice new digital TV with their stimulus payments.


Student loans. I refuse to spend mine on retail and help stimulate the economy through one of the most moronic solutions to ever pass through a bi-partisan Congress.


I'm traveling to NYC next month and buying Yankees tickets and domestic beer. Isn't that truely patriotic, especially since I hate the Yankees, but do want to see the stadium before its gone.

The whole rebate is a joke, we're 9 trillion in debt. On average, each citizen owes $30,000 to the government. Think about this: if you owed a bookie $30,000, would it make financial sense for him to loan you more? I don't think so.


I'm reducing my debt.

If I wasn't in debt, however, I like the idea of donating it to political campaigns. Unlike buying a new plasma TV, where most of the money goes to Asia (and the rest goes to Best Buy, Inc.), political campaigns spend their money in a variety of small businesses in the US. They buy food from diners, they buy transportation, they buy photocopies, and signs, and internet access. Money invested into the political campaigns goes pretty far, compared to most other spending you could do. Plus, you get to support your favorite candidates!

Paul Cutt

I don't get one, but if I did, I'd invest it, probably in some sort of index fund. From my perspective, the gov't benefits by getting the economy stimulated and I get my retirement stimulated.

gradys kitchen

The worst kind of expenditure of all ... the rebate will be spent while vacationing in France. I feel so unpatriotic.