Tax Brackets

Economic growth plan requires reading between the lines

they are spending the money. Their first inclination isn’t to save.”

If your rebate check isn’t already accounted for, here’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 debt–defined as a rate higher than any rate they’re getting on their savings accounts—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 child’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.

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