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Friday, May 16, 2008

Rebate dreamin'. . . . .

I received my $600 rebate check on May 9th. That same day, I transferred the money to my ING Emergency Fund account, where it joined its friends and is hopefully now making babies. I was curious about what others decided to do with their checks. I found a post on Wise Bread asking this same question, and here are some of the responses:

"I'm realizing I could use some new clothes for work"

"I'm using it to pay taxes. Haha. "

"I'll be putting it toward CC debt."

"I'm likely to spend it on an iphone."

"We put it aside in our home down payment savings."

"Any rebate I get is getting invested right along with the rest of my income."

If you still haven't figured out what to do with your money, I can help with that! Well, actually, the Debt Diva can help! She has a list of suggestions on her website that may trigger you to use your money in a myriad of different ways, like:

Pay Down Debt Paying down credit card debt is the first priority for many people. A significant payment can save you hundreds of dollars in interest fees. You should spend a large portion of a windfall on debt, especially credit cards. You can use your extra cash in a lump sum payment or double your regular monthly payment for several months. If you don't have credit cards, lowering any outstanding debt, such as a second mortgage, will help save you money in the long run.

Emergency Funds A windfall is the perfect opportunity to start your rainy day fund. Many financial experts suggest two to three months worth of living expenses put away for emergencies like medical expenses, major home repairs or a job loss. You can start a fund, feathering your nest with a portion of your rebate and continue to put a modest amount away each month. Something as simple as an unexpected car repair can be a huge financial hit for many Americans. This fund will help protect your finances.

Retirement Funds Open an individual retirement account with some of your money or add it to an existing account. This will allow for a solid nest egg when you retire.

Invest in Yourself Strengthen your physical health by taking preventative action. Schedule any overdue medical exams - annual physical, dental cleaning, eye exams or medical procedures you have put off. You'll save in the long run if you take care of your mind and body as you age.

Savings If you are already debt-free now is a great to invest in the stock market since prices are low. Stocks produce nice returns and even as little as a hundred dollars can get you off to a good start.

Splurge The stimulus is designed to encourage you to spend the money and help the economy thrive. You could plan to spend at least 10% of the windfall on something fun for your family. By limiting the amount you spend, you will still have money left over to pay down debt or invest in your future.

And if, after reading the Debt Diva's suggestions, you STILL can't figure out how to spend that $600 to $1200 'windfall', just let me know; I'd be happy to help you---for a small fee! I am curious, though, for those of you who have received your checks, what did (or will) you do with the money?


Scott said...

My wife and I have yet to receive our checks. Our plan is to replenish our emergency account as we had to purchase a new HVAC system for $10,000 this spring. Thank goodness for that account.

Finally Frugal said...

Wow! It's inspiring to hear from someone who was able to grow their emergency fund large enough to cover a $10,000 expenditure! I crave the security that a healthy EF will bring me! Thanks for your comment!

The Debt Diva said...

What a great blog! Being frugal is fabulous. Thanks for all your great thoughts on ways consumers can get the most for their money.
Happy Savings!
Clarky Davis, The Debt Diva

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