- Days left

Supercharge your stimulus rebate at select retailers

In the next few weeks, economic stimulus checks will begin hitting mailboxes and bank accounts across America. Like all good Americans, you should be ready to spend your check as soon as it arrives in order to stimulate the economy. Several retailers have already announced programs to lure shoppers through their doors with stimulus incentives.

Both Kroger and Sears are offering 10% bonuses, in the form of gift cards to anyone who signs over their stimulus check. If you want to get in on the spending but received your economic stimulus check via direct deposit, you can still take part in the "deal" via check or debit card.

I'm going to go out on a limb and predict the future, in May and June, we will see loads of check fraud as retailers have untrained clerks accepting checks for over $1,000, just wait and see.

The real question which you need to ask yourself is, whether this additional 10% bonus is worth spending your government windfall, rather than tackling debt. While these gift cards have no fees or expiration dates, cards are easy to lose and misplace, costing you a nice chunk of change. Also even though gift cards tell the holder to, "treat the same as cash," in my case, a gift card gives me a feeling that I can buy whatever I want since it isn't really money, often leading to frivolous purchases. If you find that you had similar feelings with the last gift card grandma sent you on your birthday, this deal may not be for you.Personally I am going to forgo stimulating the economy. That's right, much to my wife's disappointment, we won't be spending the rebate on scrap-booking supplies and a flat screen TV. Our stimulus check will be heading straight to our credit card debt, which last time I checked, we were paying more than 10% interest on. Even though the debt is on its way to a 0% card in the next month, knocking over a grand off of our debt is way more satisfying than any shiny, beautiful, sexy new HDTV is. Right? Right?

Unless you have a killer interest rate, your stimulus check may be best spent on what you purchased last year, rather than what you want to purchase this summer.

Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

How Financial Planners go Grocery Shopping

Learn to shop smart and save.

View Course »

Goal Setting

Want to succeed? Then you need goals!

View Course »

TurboTax Articles

Cities with the Lowest Tax Rates

The total amount of tax you pay reaches far beyond what you owe the federal government. Depending on where you live, most likely you're required to pay additional taxes, including property and sales tax. The disparity between the amount of tax you pay in a low-tax city and that in a high-tax city can be dramatic. Living in any of these 10 cities could save you a bundle, although the exact amount may fluctuate based on your income and lifestyle choices.

Cities with the Highest Tax Rates

Much ado is made in the press about federal tax brackets, but cities can carry a tax bite of their own. Even if you live in a state that has no income tax, your city may levy a variety of taxes that could eat away the entire benefit of living in an income tax-free state, including property taxes, sales taxes and auto taxes. Consider all the costs before you move to one of these cities, and understand that rates may change based on your family's income level.

Great Ways to Get Charitable Tax Deductions

Generally, when you give money to a charity, you can use the amount of that donation as a deduction on your tax return. However, not all charities qualify as tax-deductible organizations. While there are many types of charities, they must all meet certain criteria to be classified by the IRS as tax-deductible organizations. There are legitimate tax-deductible organizations in many popular categories, such as those listed below.

A Freelancer's Guide to Taxes

Freelancing certainly has its benefits, but it can result in a few complications come tax time. The Internal Revenue Service considers freelancers to be self-employed, so if you earn income as a freelancer you must file your taxes as a business owner. While you can take additional deductions if you are self-employed, you'll also face additional taxes in the form of the self-employment tax. Here are things to consider as a freelancer when filing your taxes.

Tax Deductions for Voluntary Interest Payments on Student Loans

Most taxpayers who pay interest on student loans can take a tax deduction for the expense ? and you can do this regardless of whether you itemize tax deductions on your return. The rules for claiming the deduction are the same whether the interest payments were required or voluntary.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum