Financial Planning | Taxation

Six ways to help yourself AND the economy

FireSpend it or save it? That's the question of the day when it comes to the economic stimulus payment.

The smart thing to do, of course, is to improve your financial standing by paying down some high-interest debt. The government, though, would prefer that you give the economy a shot in the arm by spending the money. What's a conscientious American consumer to do?

But columnist Humberto Cruz says you can have your cake and eat it, too.

"I would argue that paying down debt would stimulate the economy," Cruz writes. "Once you get rid of your credit card balances, for example, you can afford to spend all that money you were wasting in interest."

But Cruz doesn't stop there. He offers five more ways in which you can use the stimulus payment to help yourself and the economy:

  1. Donate the money to a favorite charity.
  2. Take care of some of the repair-and-maintenance work around the home that you've been putting off.
  3. If you need to see the doctor or dentist, go ahead and make that appointment.
  4. Buy new, energy-efficient appliances.
  5. Use the money to increase your financial IQ, either by enrolling in personal finance courses or by buying and reading books that dispense financial advice.

Here are some other helpful and informative financial literacy resources:

Read more of Cruz's advice here, then tell us: What are you planning to do with your stimulus payment?


Bill Sheridan