HEALTHY LIVING
05/06/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Tax Rebate Checks 2008: How To Spend Them

There's plenty of excitement around the fact that tax rebate checks will start going out today. Time reports:

"Starting Monday, the effects of the stimulus will begin to reach millions of households across our country," Bush said Friday in remarks on the South Lawn of the White House. Those first rebates will be directly deposited into people's bank accounts. The Internal Revenue Service had been saying direct deposits wouldn't start until next Friday. Bush said paper checks would begin going out on May 9, a week earlier than previously announced.

In honor of all the surplus spending money, here are some suggestions of ways to spend it.

Retailers have already come up with ways to take advantage of the extra cash the tax rebate checks represent. According to ABC News:

Many retailers are offering a 10 percent bump if you trade your stimulus check for gift cards to be spent only in their stores. For example, if you receive a $300 rebate check, you can get $330 in gift cards from the retailers.

So, if you've been eyeing that particular retro Cuisinart mixer, or just feel like going on a shopping spree, keep an eye out for any tax-rebate related deals. And if the store you're in doesn't have one, use your buyer leverage! It's your money they're after, after all!

Like some Arizona residents, you can also use your rebate check to pay off some of those pesky bills. A CNN poll from last month found that just 21% of poll-ees plan on spending the money, while 41% plan on paying down bills and credit card debt.

And lastly, you can choose one of many different ways to save your tax rebate check. The Wall Street Journal suggests starting a Roth or non-deductible IRA, a health savings account, or a college savings account.

Here is NBC's nightly news coverage of the tax rebates and how people will spend them:

Lastly, but certainly not least-ly, HuffPost associate blog editor Katherine Goldstein suggests three ways you can spend your rebate that could do some social and economic good. Read her post on the tax rebate checks.

So, how are you planning on spending your tax rebate check from 2008? Going on vacation? Squirrelling it away under your mattress? Tell us in the comments below!