I just heard a cringe-inducing Sears ad on the radio for new refrigerators. At the end of the ad the voice-over guy interjected, ‘Sounds like a great way to spend those stimulus checks!’

Are you kidding me with these? I’m pretty sure spending your money on anything is ‘a great way to spend’ your stimulus check. Home Depot has also launched a campaign in the coming weeks to capitalize on all those much-anticiapted $600 checks. The thinking behind the Home Depot market grab is to take advantage of all those housing fears. Maybe if you add a new little ‘breakfast nook’ on your kitchen, you won’t have to worry about all those foreclosures and homeowners unable to sell.

As we ‘reported on’ last week, Wal-Mart is very excited to cash in on some of that precious stimulation.I’m just hoping every local TV ad and mom and pop store doesn’t come at me begging I ‘use that stimulus check here!’

It’s kind of like when you walk past a homeless guy begging for money, and you fake checking your pockets to tell him you don’t have any money, but all that fake checking makes some change jangle around and then he’s on to you. That’s how I feel with all these stimulus ads. They know we’re getting $600 in our pocket soon and we’re supposed to increase consumer spending with it, for the good of the economy.

Of course it’s a smart business plan to plant the association of those checks with a certain purchase through advertising. Even local community colleges classes are being pitched as the best investment you can make with those extra funds. An investment in your education. The underlying fear driving that effort is the one people have of losing their jobs and being unqualified for anything else.

I say spend your money where you usually do, and definitely pay off your debts first. Other than that, might I suggest purchasing two $300 pens? In case you lose one.

CNN Money: Smart Moves For Your Stimulus Check, April 28, 2008