What do you plan on doing with your stimulus tax refund?

United States
March 3, 2008 5:20pm CST
We had an interesting discussion within our household last week regarding the tax rebate that will come around May. My dad asked me what we planned on doing with our "rebate". I immediately said "PAY BILLS!", to which he questioned how that was going to stimulate the economy. His fear was that most people are going to use this to pay down debt, rather than spending the refund to stimulate the economy, thus the reason for the rebate. That got me thinking about this and wondered how you were planning on spending the money? I ultimately decided that we really need a new bed, so we would like to use the extra money towards getting a nice bed. Did you plan on paying down bills or were you going to splurge on something you would normally just dream about buying? Do you agree that paying bills is the wrong way to use the extra money or do you believe that paying bills would be most beneficial to you?
4 people like this
17 responses
@sedel1027 (17854)
• United States
3 Mar 08
Honestly, we are no going to spend that much on the economy. We are going to use some of it to pay bill sand set some aside for the vacation we are suppose to be taking. I don't forsee make any big purchases though.
3 people like this
• United States
3 Mar 08
Thats a good idea to split it up. If I have any left I will most likely pay extra towards a bill anyways.
1 person likes this
@carolscash (9500)
• United States
3 Mar 08
I plan to use it to take a small vacation with the kids. My youngest has never been to the ocean and we want to go so that is what I will do with mine. I can hardly wait for it!!
3 people like this
• United States
3 Mar 08
That is a really great idea. I'm sure your little one will never forget this trip. I hope you have a wonderful time.
1 person likes this
@Savvynlady (3686)
• United States
4 Mar 08
They said that that rebate was to be going toward spending because at this point, NO ONE is doing MUCH spending. But the question of the day ought to be WHY isn't America spending? well, let's get to the heart of that matter right there. First of all, gas is just too darn high, and if you own a car, whatever money you have, it's going there. I don't mind no income tax check, or no rebate check. I welcome them gladly, but to me, if your going to do something for the benefit of all, do something about the prices of gas because no rebate check is going change that for nothing in the world. I apologize for not answering the question Enchantedleppard, to be honest with you, when I got my income taxes, i should have did what I plan to do with my rebate check, but didn't so I plan to get an Ipod Touch with the new software added. then put towards bills and savings.
2 people like this
@coolseeds (3921)
• United States
4 Mar 08
So true. If they did something about gas then there would be more spending. That would be better than the refund.
2 people like this
• United States
4 Mar 08
I agree with you both. Gas prices are outrageous and disgusting. I would rather gas prices go down than to get a rebate. Or even federal and state taxes disappear!!!!
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Mar 08
Now they are saying grocery prices are going to sky rocket too, so we may as well just say goodbye to any spending except putting money in one tank or the other. I just don't know what they expect us to do.
1 person likes this
@coolseeds (3921)
• United States
4 Mar 08
I don't like payments and pay cash for almost everything. Debt is not good and should be eliminated as soon as possible. Wasn't the debt acquired by stimulating the economy? Therefore using the rebate to buy things could logically be used to pay debt. I bought a new truck about a month ago. I wasn't able to pay for all of it in cash. The salesperson actually said a bank isn't going to give you a load that small. I said I guess I'll go somewhere else. He got me the loan and now I have a $129 truck payment. If I get anything it will go to that. I already stimulated the economy. LOL
2 people like this
• United States
4 Mar 08
Coolseeds, You remind me of this couple at church. They said once that if you can't pay for something in three months flat(with the exception of a house and car I would add), you don't need it. I tend to agree with what they said. You bought this car practically except for the amount that you didn't have, and still have a small truck payment, which to me is suitable if that's what you have. You sound financially sound and frugal there. Thanks for your comments on the tax rebate because to me if you going to do anything, slow the high prices on gas. Peace.
2 people like this
@coolseeds (3921)
• United States
6 Mar 08
Are you callin me old? LOL
1 person likes this
@coolseeds (3921)
• United States
31 Mar 08
I'm 38 but I've never liked to be tied to a payment. It dampens spontaneity.
• United States
4 Mar 08
My wife and I had the same reaction, the first thing we said was pay down the principal on the Dodge. Now we're thinking about buying a new bed because the one we have now is just way too small. I think that paying off bills is the responsible thing to do for the individual, but as far as the greater good goes it isn't the best thing for the economy. If you think about it, the last real push in consumer debt came after the last economic stimulus went through. I think the big question is after the stimulus plan checks are spent, what next? What is going to sustain spending? I guess the point I'm trying to make is that just because it worked last time, doesn't mean it will work this time. It'll help for a little bit, but in the end we're going to be back in the hot seat.
2 people like this
• United States
4 Mar 08
I couldn't agree with you more. My biggest fear about the stimulus checks though is that if people are going to use this to pay debt, and this does not boost our weak economy-- whats to say there will ever be a package like this come through? Oh maybe it will, but years and years from now and I hope and pray to god that we do get through this rough time in the economy and dont have to do this ever again. People just need to wisen up, stop buying what they can't afford, and put extra money into their future, whether it be savings or 401K!
@anniepa (27238)
• United States
7 Mar 08
"People just need to wisen up, stop buying what they can't afford, and put extra money into their future, whether it be savings or 401K!" Are you blaming the people for the mess our economy is in? I know there are some who spend money when they can't really afford to and get into debt but we're at the point now where people can't afford the necessities no matter how hard they work. Annie
@star2316 (41)
• United States
4 Mar 08
I dont think that you have to spend the money on just buying stuff for yourself i mean it is free money but i do think that people will use the extra money to pay their bills I know i will lol the gov. should have known that 75% of people are in debt and they will use the money to pay bills but the younger people like myself do want to spend the money on cloths and shoes and things like that so i dont think we will have that big of a prob with it!
2 people like this
• United States
4 Mar 08
I know most people will use this to pay debt, that was my first instinct too but what I feel people fail to see is the intent was to boost the economy by purchasing, not paying down debt. Good point! Thank you for your comment.
1 person likes this
@dtroas (481)
• United States
4 Mar 08
Buy me a New washer and dryer set for sure that is what the plans are now with it. But who's to say what will happen between now and then.
2 people like this
• United States
4 Mar 08
You've got that right! Well I hope you get a great deal and are able to splurge on yourself a little bit if you have any left over.
1 person likes this
@lala766 (240)
• United States
3 Mar 08
We are going to pay bills so we can try to get ahead! I know the government wants us to buy stuff to help the economy but i can help the economy a lot better in the long run in I pay off some of my debt. I also heard that some states may require people to claim the stimulus money on their 2008 tax returns???
2 people like this
• United States
3 Mar 08
I didnt hear that. That makes me kind of sick to know they're telling us to spend the money spend the money but we'll still get taxed on it in the end. I think thats ridiculous but it doesnt really suprise me, the way our government works.
1 person likes this
@Taskr36 (13925)
• United States
4 Mar 08
Paying bills. We spent our tax refund last year to go on a cruise at a time when we really shouldn't have. That of course was my wife's decision. I really didn't have much of a say in the matter.
2 people like this
@ebberts (786)
• United States
4 Mar 08
Spending the money to boost the economy is a great idea. I think there are alot of people that will spend it on paying bills. As for myself, it will probally be spent on what ever is needed at the time it arrives. more than likely a bill.
1 person likes this
• United States
4 Mar 08
Well the whole point of the stimulus package is to boost the economy, but paying off debt is most likely what it will be used for, which is why I dont forsee getting another package like this in the future if this doesn't work. I hope our economy can get stronger so taxes will go down and gas prices will drop-- but I'm just dreaming.
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Mar 08
Well depending on who gets voted in the White House you may not see another stimulus for 4 to 8 years, Democrats aren't too gung ho for stimulus packages from what I hear.
1 person likes this
@anniepa (27238)
• United States
7 Mar 08
"Well depending on who gets voted in the White House you may not see another stimulus for 4 to 8 years, Democrats aren't too gung ho for stimulus packages from what I hear." Remember who has the majority in Congress. There are many people who wouldn't be getting a rebate if it weren't for the Democrats in Congress. Annie
@di1159 (1580)
• United States
4 Mar 08
Interesting idea. I was planning on doing a bit of both. I was going to pay down one bill and splurge on a video camera that we've been wanting but never seem to be able to afford. Hopefully I'll be helping myself as well as the economy!
1 person likes this
• United States
4 Mar 08
I think thats a great idea, hope you get a good deal on your camera. If you're shopping for one online, don't forget to search for coupon codes!!
@missybal (4492)
• United States
22 Apr 08
We home to be purchasing a home and hope that check will come in at a good time for helping with down payment. So I guess I'm helping the economy some but I am not doing it because I feel I should. I can't go on a shopping spree at the mall on something I don't need. I don't trust that the economy is going to get much better and sorry I need to look to my own future. This has been such a hard couple of years that my husband is going to deploy overseas for the military just because it's the only place we can make money to pay the bills. We have cut every corner possible to cut cost. I would suggest that you still use the money for your bills because with how things are going it's only going to get worse. The best part of my husband deploying is he isn't driving his car and the gas prices. We live inside town so I walk to everything. We spend $250 a month on gas sometimes.
@cortjo73 (6500)
• United States
1 Apr 08
We are going to use it to pay down my car bill. And, I don't feel guilty about it at all because I didn't ask for it. It was the government's decision to send it to me. I consider it a gift to do whatever I want with it. So, I will be paying a little extra towards my car once it is in my hands. There is nothing I want or need bad enough to even consider using it towards.
@Chey1970 (1193)
• United States
31 Mar 08
If paying bills helps in lifting a burden off of you and your family, then I would have to say that is the smartest thing to do with it. We plan on doing exactly what we did with our income tax return, and that is to stick it in our savings account.
@anniepa (27238)
• United States
7 Mar 08
I think it's great for anyone who is able to use that little pittance to buy something for themselves or take a vacation but I'm afraid for many it will be needed to pay bills, not "pay down debt" as in making extra payments on credit card bills or mortgages but more like paying past due winter heating bills and things like that. Even if everyone who receives a rebate check were to go out and spend the money on something that would "stimulate the economy" in some way, it's a one time deal, something like giving CPR to someone but then just walking away and letting the victim lie on the ground. I was just behind a guy in a local convenience store today who was paying for the gas he'd just put in his van; his total was $75.01! As long as prices for necessities are this high people need a regular paycheck that increases at the same rate as TRUE inflation , which I say that since the price of gas isn't included in inflation figures. Annie
@rodney850 (2145)
• United States
5 Mar 08
Vegas baby! My wife and I are planning a trip to Las Vegas on my birthday in August this year since we believe the date might have a lucky significance! The date? 08/08/08! That is what our rebate/stimulis check will pay for.
• Canada
4 Mar 08
We use to always pay bills to make sure we kept ourselves in balance. The past few years no matter what the situation we always use some maybe even half for pur enjoyment. The bills will always be there it seems to me so why not have some fun? Does anyone else use all or some of their money to holiday or buy something new for the house? Mostly ours is a holiday no matter how short and sweet it may be.