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A Calculator To Estimate Your Refund From The Proposed Economic Stimulus Plan

By Erik Folgate

Updated February 16th: I have updated the economic stimulus calculator to reflect a more accurate amount that you will receive based on the actual signed bill that was passed into law this week by President Bush. Email me with any questions about it by clicking on the “submissions” button above.

There has been quite a bit of buzz surrounding the proposed 2008 Economic Stimulus Plan propose by Congress last week. It has not been signed into law, but Bush is scheduled to sign it once it has been finalized. Any bill that puts more money into your pockets is going to generate a lot of interest. Read more about my thoughts on the package, and the only real ways to stimulate the economy with the money you get back.

But, I know that what you really want to know about is how much money you’re going to get back. Here is a nice little calculator that will estimate how much the IRS will send you, courtesy of PBS News Hour.

Again, make sure you use the money wisely. Here’s ten things that you can do with the money to improve your financial health.

  1. Pay off consumer debt such as credit cards, store credit, student loans, or auto loans.
  2. Put the money in a high-yielding money market account to begin or increase your emergency fund.
  3. Put the money in an IRA or individual mutual fund. (buying low is a great time to buy, don’t you think?)
  4. Give it to charity. You’ll help someone else and decrease your 2008 tax bill.
  5. Start or increase your child’s college fund. I recommend an Educational Savings Account.
  6. Put the money towards starting up a side business to earn extra income in 2008 and beyond.
  7. Go on a vacation. So many people put their vacations on a credit card. Use this to help fund your vacation in CASH. Plus, spending time with your family is so much more rewarding than buying a big-screen TV or a couch.
  8. You probably won’t get the check until the summer, so stash it away in a money market account to serve as your 2008 Christmas fund.
  9. Use it to pay for a course in something that you’ve always wanted to learn about. Community colleges have tons of continuing education courses for adults.
  10. Put it towards catching up on mortgage payments if you are currently behind on your mortgage.

Erik Folgate
Erik and his wife, Lindzee, live in Orlando, Florida with a baby boy on the way. Erik works as an account manager for a marketing company, and considers counseling friends, family and the readers of Money Crashers his personal ministry to others. Erik became passionate about personal finance and helping others make wise financial decisions after racking up over $20k in credit card and student loan debt within the first two years of college.

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