It’s not exciting or ‘fun’, but our economic stimulus check will go towards knocking down the car loan. This is the best plan for us as it will eventually lead us to having an extra $235 each month to spend as we please (after the loan is paid for).

I’m so tired of seeing the stupid plans retailers have come up with on the stimulus checks. Some seem ok, while others seem just plain stupid:

  • Sears: They are adding another $10% to your stimulus amount if you convert it to a gift card.
  • Car Dealers: I’ve seen on TV where they are matching part or all of your refund when you buy a new car.
  • Ace Hardware: Their stores will have 20 % off sales on selected merchandise.
  • Kroger: They will convert a tax rebate check for a Kroger gift card, with a 10% bonus.

My opinion: Don’t give Sears your money! Taking your stimulus money and converting it to a gift card here limits your options severely. (Note: I have personal bias against Sears as I’ve seen them charge family members practically 30% a year in interest.) Something like an extra 10% for groceries would actually be useful for many people as we have to eat.

  • If you have high interest debt, use the stimulus to pay down or eliminate it.
  • If you have no savings, put it in a high interest savings account to start your emergency fund.
  • If you have no debt and have savings, looking into depositing the money into an IRA.
  • If all of the above is in place, have fun with the money. Actually you could send it to me. 😛

Please, just have a rational plan for your economic stimulus check. Don’t waste this opportunity.

Photo Credit: dbking