Americans are worried. They’re worried about housing prices, heating costs, grocery bills and gas prices. And that's not exactly putting them in the mood to go on a shopping spree once they receive their tax rebate checks.
We asked msnbc.com readers to tell us how they plan to use the money, and here’s a sampling of what they said. Some comments have been edited for length or clarity.
Bills, Bills and more bills.
Melody Brann, Gorham, Maine
I should just sign the check over to Exxon Mobil. It’s all going to cover higher gas prices anyway.
Jim Smith, Sebastian, Fla.
Spend? You must be kidding! No way! It is going in my savings account.
Alex deCastro, Klawock, Alaska
If I get a rebate, I will add it to my grandkids’ college funds. They will have to have a good education to exist, much less thrive.
Sue North, Howell, Mich.
I am putting it aside to use on my family's summer vacation.
Martha Davidson, Mechanicsville, Va.
I am paying down my credit cards. It is useless to do what the president says in regards to spending the money. He obviously does not know how money-strapped the working class is.
Chez Escudero, Virginia Beach, Va.
We are not going to spend our rebate if we even get one. … This being a very small sum we need to save every penny as we seem to incur new medical costs all the time. On top of heating prices and food costs, we cannot afford to spend money on any other items.
Ivan & Ann Nill, Lubec, Maine
When I get my rebate check, I will try to save most of (it) in my online savings account, but (I) will also pay down a Best Buy credit card balance for a purchase I recently made.
John Lanzillotti, Chicago, Ill.
Like many Americans, I will be spending my tax rebate money on at least paying one past due mortgage payment.
Jose Perez, Laredo, Texas
Not knowing exactly how much we were going to get, our family decided to assign percentages. Forty percent will go towards our rainy day account. Thirty-five percent will be invested in either bonds or dividend-yielding stocks. Twenty percent will be spent on one small home improvement project and the remaining 5 percent will be for my wife and I to go out on a date.
K de la Cruz, Yuma, Ariz.
If I receive one, I plan to use it to pay down debt and shore up my emergency savings fund.
J. Rechelle Broun, Carrboro, N.C.
We plan to buy a crib for our baby and then save the rest.
Bryan Franklin, Asheville, N.C.
(I will) bank it against the continuing hard times as the price of everything rises sharply while the value of my investments continue to fall.
Bob Balthrop, Roseville, Calif.
I plan on investing my rebate for my 3-year-old grandson because he is the one who will be paying for it.
Paul Johnson, Larsen, Wis.
My rebate is already spent! I will be applying it towards my student loans and credit card debt.
Leslie Ebbing, Fairfield, Ohio
(I will be) contributing it to Hillary Clinton's campaign.
Kathy Corey, Boston, Mass.