they are spending the money. Their first inclination isnâ€™t to save.”
If your rebate check isnâ€™t already accounted for, hereâ€™s what you can do with your money.
Save, save, save. Consider a high-yield savings account. “I think consumers should be building the same foundation now as they would were we in a recession,” says Michael E. Goodman, president of New York City-based Wealthstream Advisors Inc. “The best time to establish common practices is when times are good.”
Pay down debt. If consumers are carrying high-rate debtâ€“defined as a rate higher than any rate theyâ€™re getting on their savings accountsâ€”reducing or eliminating the balance sooner rather than later can save consumers a bundle long term, Goodman says.
Contribute to a retirement account. Goodman recommends investing in retirement accounts and saving for a childâ€™s college tuition with a 529 account. Consumers may get a tax deduction for their efforts.
Educate yourself about wealth building. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants has launched 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy (www.360financialliteracy.org), a free Website offering key strategies, tools, research, and articles on managing personal finances. There is also a free weekly e-mail on savings tips at www.FeedthePig.org.