Wednesday, February 13, 2008

What Are You Going to do with Your Tax Rebate?

Well, since Congress has approved the tax rebate, the question, "What are you going to do with your tax rebate?" becomes stronger and more appropriate.

I know what I'm going to do and it's probably not what they want me to do with it... it's going into savings. Nothing is more nagging this time of year than all the signs screaming "Spend your tax rebate here with me!!" I'm saving it out of spite; I don't want to succumb to their in-your-face marketing like the rest of America. Allow me my one small crusade.

But this raises another, bigger reason to save your refund: credit card debt. America is drowning in it. Just do a Google search and see how profitable a business it is. See all those ads on the top and sides? People pay big money to be there. That's because we are horrible with money. And the rebate (with these advertisements) is only furthering that spend-spend mentality.

Obviously we can't help ourselves, which is why credit card debt has been on the tongues of law makers recently. But there are other ways of helping yourself, like opting NOT to buy that big screen tv over paying down that debt. It is all about choices. I understand the mother who needs to buy groceries with the money. The rebate will do well there. But I hate the emphasis on spending. Maybe if our government wasn't in such a hole and turned upside down, the rest of the nation would be healthier. Maybe if they'd cut spending on stupid and frivolous things, our economy would be healthier. Maybe if they'd set a better example, the rest of the nation would be in less debt. But instead the focus is on spending, something we all (the government included) needs to do a whole lot less of. Instead of putting Americans more in the whole by giving them money and then encouraging spending, the government should work on other ways of stimulating the economy.

So, when I ask "What Are You Going to do with Your Tax Rebate?" don't feel compelled to answer. Just think. Spending it will help the economy, but will it help you? Please, spend smart.

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