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Tax Rebates May Find Uses Other Than Spending

Tax Rebates May Find Uses Other Than Spending

(NewsUSA)- The government's efforts to stimulate the U.S. economy by sending out checks to workers could backfire, suggests a survey asking consumers what they will do with their checks.
Nearly three-quarters of those asked said they will either pay down debt or save the money that's being sent to them as part of an economic stimulus package. The goal of the program is to have the people spend the money, which only about a quarter said they would do.
The survey, conducted by the International Council of Shopping Centers, found that 46 percent of respondents said they would pay off debt, 28 percent said they would save the money and 26 percent said they would spend the money. This means only about $37.5 billion out of the proposed $150 billion stimulus package will be used for its intended purpose.
In case you are one of those who want to save your rebate, what is a good road to take?
"Overspending is the problem, not the solution," says Eric Solis, a certified financial planner and chief executive officer of SAVE252. "A sound, long-term savings program like an IRA will help you reach your financial goals sooner."
Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) offer huge tax breaks. Even if you contribute to your company's 401(k), it is still possible to put additional earnings aside. If you are under 50, you can put up to $5,000 in your IRA account every year tax-free. For those over 50, there's a catch-up provision that allows you to put in an extra $1,000 tax-free.
For those who like the idea of an IRA, but would like to apply their money over time, there are programs, like SAVE252, designed to allow individuals to fund IRAs in increments throughout the year. Taking advantage of such programs can help provide some discipline into saving more money while allowing you to be in complete control of your savings.
For example, putting $19.92 away 252 times a year with the SAVE252 program will allow you to have your maximum IRA contribution in by the end of the year and save $1,600 on your taxes, depending on your tax bracket. If you are in a lower tax bracket, you can opt for a more flexible program that allows you to put as little as $1 a day into savings for your future.
For more information and more money-saving options, go to

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