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February 12th, 2009
06:00 PM ET

Would you spend extra money or save it?

ALT TEXT

Are you a spender or a saver? (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

From CNN's Jack Cafferty:

With the economy in a tailspin, Americans are saving more. And while that's a good thing for Americans, believe it or not that's a bad thing for the economy.

We have gone from a negative savings rate a year ago to saving 3-point-6 percent of our income in December. That translates to 36 dollars saved for every one-thousand dollars of after tax income.

Although our current savings rate isn't a record high and is still lower than other countries, it's a lot higher than it's been. And therein lies the problem. Our economy relies on consumer spending for its mojo. Consumers drive two-thirds of our economy. If Americans aren't opening their wallets, the economy isn't going anywhere.

But as more people are laid off and family budgets are tightened, many understandably want to save more. Also, more Americans are saving more as they're seeing their access to credit cut off.

This is all a lot different from what we saw before the bottom fell out of the economy: the savings rate was at historic lows from 2005 through early in 2008, occasionally even falling below zero. Those were the days when a strong stock market and skyrocketing real estate prices led many to believe they had an endless supply of money- or certainly an endless supply of credit.

But those days are over, and we suddenly find ourselves in a rather strange position. Although it's better for your bottom line to save as much as you can, doing that might just prolong our economic woes.

Here’s my question to you: If you come into extra money, will you spend it or save it?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Tripp from Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania writes:
Take a closer look and you'll see that those putting away extra savings are those who can afford to. We who cannot make ends meet at the end of the month will spend every penny so our gas won't be turned off and our homes foreclosed.

Eric from Fort Collins, Colorado writes:
Jack, With all the money the government is printing to pay for the stimulus, we'll all need the extra money to counterbalance the high inflation that's about to hit us. What extra money?

Matt from Stafford, Virginia writes:
I would love to go out and spend all of my (theoretical) extra money, thinking that the action would spawn magical economy fairies, who would go around making everything better. Nobody knows where this economy is going. The stimulus is a defibrillator: it could shock the economy back to life, or do absolutely nothing. My money is going right into the bank.

Daniel in Japan writes:
Jack, The first thing I would do with any extra money is to change it to something other than U.S. currency. It would be better to save in the form of Japanese yen or canned spam than to keep a stack of soon to be worthless U.S. dollars. It's over, Jack. The zombies are coming.

M. writes:
Of course I would save it. I was brought up by parents who were children of the Great Depression. They believed the quickest way to double your money was to fold it in half and put it in your pocket.

Joan writes:
Spend. There are great deals right now so anyone who can afford it should take advantage of the bargains and help themselves and the country as a whole.

Jesse from New Jersey writes:
It would go right into my savings, which is under my mattress since I can't trust the banks.

Roland from St. George, Utah writes:
I'd send you as much as it would take to get you to read one of my comments on the air. Do you even know where St. George, Utah is?


Filed under: US Economy
soundoff (101 Responses)
  1. Al

    In this economy, I put any extra money in the emergency fund. If it is a big chunk, such that it is, I'd pay off my credit card balances

    Al

    February 12, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  2. Scott in Canada

    Save it. Mind you, I'm a saver to begin with.

    Right now, we have too much money in credit and it this needs a correction – that correction can come from the Federal government (who'll have to raise taxes once things turn around but we knew that anyways), or it can come from a lengthy recession. Take your pick.

    February 12, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  3. Greg in Cabot Arkansas

    If I come into extra money, I'll save it....but not with any of the bankers that were on Capitol Hill this week. Cash in a coffee can, hidden under the dog house will earn about as much interest as a bank would pay and would be a whole lot more secure.

    February 12, 2009 at 1:33 pm |
  4. Sue -Idaho

    Jack, after paying off my bills then I would save it, because it doesn't appear that things are going to be getting better for a very long time.

    February 12, 2009 at 1:33 pm |
  5. David of Alexandria VA

    Sort of both - I'd invest it. We focus on the hardships of a relatively small number of Amerricans who have been evicted or laid off. Tragic though that may be (and it is), we also lost a trillion dollars in investments from our savings, retirement plans and the like. Some of this can be restored simply through showing more confidence that, in the long run, things will get better. One way to do that, it to invest the money in the market and strart to restore the wealth that so many big and sall investors have lost.

    February 12, 2009 at 1:38 pm |
  6. Michael

    It does not matter rather we save or spend. One would hope we could do both, but I have noticed the more talk about a stimulus the more gas prices just keep creeping up. I wounder where our money will go? To the people of the USA or to Opec?

    Michael
    Arizona

    February 12, 2009 at 1:41 pm |
  7. AndyZag Lynn, MA

    I'd invest it in as many Powerball tickets as I could buy!

    February 12, 2009 at 1:43 pm |
  8. Bessie, lutherville md

    Mr. .Jack , only the rich can save,most people I know live from day to day ! hoping they can pull some money together from somewhere to eat each night!

    February 12, 2009 at 1:54 pm |
  9. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: That depends where the extra money comes from--if the government reduces the tax base for all Americans significiantly--they are going to spend it-–if it is a one time surge (rebate check)--they are going to save it-we need to look at the long term effect of reducing the tax base--one time fixes-–doesn't work-–it didn't work in the past--and it want even scratch the surface in the future. Give Americans the tax break that they need that has "meat and potatoes" with it--–crumbs don't satisfied the appetite.

    February 12, 2009 at 1:54 pm |
  10. Meg from Troy, Ohio

    Jack–
    I would probably go 50-50: Save half and spend half. I worry about putting too much money in my local bank with the way that financial institutions have handled the bail out and other consumer credit policies in the past few months. So they can have half of it in my money market account and I'll stimulate some part of the economy with the other half.

    February 12, 2009 at 2:16 pm |
  11. ajks

    Most people are so far behind that they will have to spend it to keep their necks above water.

    February 12, 2009 at 2:24 pm |
  12. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Save it Jack. Although my job is secure, my 401K has taken a big hit. I figure I'll need to save all I can if I want to retire on time. Then again, if I hit the lottery, I just might splurge on that new toaster oven I've had my eye on.

    February 12, 2009 at 2:26 pm |
  13. Ed in Savannah, GA

    Jack: I'm going to spend it! Yep, I'm going to blow the $13 a week I'm getting from the Stimulus Package on a nice, big new TV so I can watch you in HD!

    February 12, 2009 at 2:32 pm |
  14. Kevin, Chester Springs PA

    Reduce debt first. Spend next. And then save. Got a lot of catching up to do.

    February 12, 2009 at 2:43 pm |
  15. gerry

    The increase in savings is short term until people feel comfortable they'll keep their jobs. Then it will be back to splurging and overspending as usual.

    February 12, 2009 at 2:43 pm |
  16. Doug - Dallas, TX

    Unfortunately Jack any "extra" money would be used to play catch up.

    February 12, 2009 at 2:45 pm |
  17. Ralph Nelson

    I've been spending more because I know it helps the economy. I hoped to spend my $300 tax rebate but the IRS sent me done. I do not expect them to send me this new rebate either because I'm a disabled veteran. Fill out the right forms and get nothing. Daniel Inoye said it best yesterday. We just may be on the edge of destruction. Thank God I'm old. Ralph, Yakima, Wa.

    February 12, 2009 at 2:45 pm |
  18. Sid...Texas

    Depending on the amount of extra money you are talking about, my wife, and I would definitely put it into our savings account. If it was a large sum of money, we might buy a few items we want but don't need. However, It is necessary to have an emergency fund on hand at our age, so most likely, it would all go into savings.

    February 12, 2009 at 2:46 pm |
  19. Griff

    My experience? Spend it! But on reserves you really need..

    February 12, 2009 at 2:47 pm |
  20. Nyk Cowham

    It would depend how I received it. For example, if it was an extra $13 per week in my paycheck I'm more likely to just treat it as some extra discretionary income and spend it. However, a lump sum of $2700 I would be more likely to squirrel away in my emergency fund.

    February 12, 2009 at 3:02 pm |
  21. don in naples, florida

    Save it and ultimately spend it.

    February 12, 2009 at 3:06 pm |
  22. Vinnie Vino

    Jack,

    I will spend every penny of it, to due my duty and help stimulate our economy...

    Central Islip, N.Y.

    February 12, 2009 at 3:09 pm |
  23. arlene in iowa

    I would have to spend it . I live on a fixed income. I would love to be able to save it , but come on, can't get by now. yep, would spend it.

    February 12, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  24. Casey | Sebastopol, CA

    Like many people, I'd spend it because I NEED to pay bills, buy food, pay rent, and put gas in the car. For many, it's not a choice.

    February 12, 2009 at 3:43 pm |
  25. Brittany Palm Beach, Fla

    Sad to say I am not a saver. Spend Spend Spend.

    February 12, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  26. Simpliticus

    It is batten down the hatches time and not time to spend like a drunken sailor. We have had that with the Bush administration. In fact, Bush spent so much money, he made the Democrats look bad. What Republican would be considered conservative, spend off the books with respect to the Iraq war, and allow the banks to fail. NOT A TRUE REPUBLICAN! Unless the plan was to drive the US into receivership, get rid of all entitlements, and operate entirely privately. Spend money ONLY when inflation eats most of the value, otherwise, save,save, save! The worst is yet to come!

    February 12, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  27. Chad Jarman--Los Angeles

    Yes, I will spend it! To pay off my credit cards, since this is the first time in my life I have not been able to...

    February 12, 2009 at 3:57 pm |
  28. Sal Florida

    I would spend it in this country!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And not in other countries or even wire it to other countries.............

    February 12, 2009 at 3:57 pm |
  29. Paul H from Los Angeles, CA

    Simple question, simple answer: I'd rather save my spending than spend my savings.

    February 12, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  30. Sherry, N.Calif.

    Depends on how much the extra amount would be. $13 only gives me 5.9 gals. of fuel.

    February 12, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  31. Lucas in Pawling, NY

    Jack I'd be likely to spend it. Over the last 6 months I have curtailed my spending as best as possible.
    I noticed that there are a lot of things I really don't need.

    But there's also a lot of things I really want.

    February 12, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  32. Matt J., San Jose, CA

    The answer is, "it depends". What does it depend on? It depends on the mood of the economy as a whole. If it is still as it is today, so dark and depressed, then I will save it. Otherwise, if I think I can somehow increase my income, because the economy is in good shape, then I have LOTS of things I can spend it on.

    I am sure lots of people feel the same way.

    February 12, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  33. Doug from Bloomington IN

    I would try like heck to save it. I don't like these stimulus packages very much....and I'm a Democrat. I tried to save the one that Bush gave us last year, but our washer and dryer went kaput and we had to spend the dough to keep our clothes clean. But we're still luckier than a lot of others.

    Either that, or, as you point out, our beer budget is more than covered by the $13 per week. We can get a 12-pack of good beer for that money....but it won't have been brewed in the US. Remember, I said "GOOD beer".

    February 12, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  34. David Gerstenfeld, Las Vegas

    I'd probably save it, but since I only have 49.99% of the vote, my wife would spend it.
    David

    February 12, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  35. Betty, San Diego, Ca.

    If I come into extra money, I will spend a little and save a little.

    February 12, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  36. Jake, Oregon

    I'd help with the bailout. Pay down a little of the credit card debt I have. That new increased APR from Cxxxe, one of the bailout beneficiaries, is killing me. They needed the money they got to buy-out another bank.

    February 12, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  37. Beverley, Fredricksburg Va

    I plan to do both. I will save money in winter and then spend some of it in the summer.

    February 12, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  38. Jim El Paso Tx.

    Save it for what Jack? Hell the price of everyday living goes up weekly and if you lucky enough to even have a job you probably just getting by...spend it on milk an bread:)

    February 12, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  39. Jackie in Dallas

    I have no choice, Jack. I have to save a little for emergencies like vet bills or car problems, but most I have to spend just to keep a roof over my head, food on my table, the power and water turned on, and phone service active.

    I do spend a little discretionary income on books or DVDs. A new car is out of the question because I can’t save a down payment and my credit isn’t good enough to qualify. A new TV? Ha. I just bought a cheapie at a pawn store. I rarely go out to eat, or to a movie (I wait and buy the DVD used). I haven’t lived on credit since I had to file bankruptcy in 2002.

    I’ll tell the rest of the newly suffering: you can do it. You can learn what is important and what is not, and there are a lot of things you can do for very little money or for free.

    CNN, I'm getting really frustrated. I don't mind not being selected more often by Jack (although he might select me if my comments actually got printed), I don't even mind, much, if you don't include my comments. What makes me mad is to see my comments, day after day, still "Waiting for Moderation" FOUR hours or four DAYS after I submit them!

    February 12, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  40. Dee

    We planned to retire in 2 years. We can't. The money were were counting on is gone. We'll save it. I'd prefer much more spending for job creation to get the economy rolling again since we'll be looking for part-time jobs to survive when we retire.

    February 12, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  41. Tom Delgado

    I got a daughter getting married this April .... what do you think?!

    February 12, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  42. Horn Lake, MS

    I plan on sending mine to the Republican National Committee.

    February 12, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  43. Diane, Barneveld, NY

    I just bought a new pair of socks and a new mattress pad with a pocket in it. I'm just not sure it will hold it all.

    February 12, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  44. Tim from Hot Springs, AR

    People are actually saving money?? Its a nice option to have, I suppose. I wouldn't know. Mine would be spent before I got it.

    February 12, 2009 at 5:55 pm |
  45. David Bebeau

    save save save With both parties' in congress in LA LA land
    we'd better save to save our selves.
    David Bebeau

    February 12, 2009 at 6:07 pm |
  46. Rex

    Gonna save it. Sorry, but it's survival for the time being.

    February 12, 2009 at 6:09 pm |
  47. Raags

    I will save it very well for disaster!! we need to improve our savings in light of greedy wall st ceo's.

    Thanks..

    February 12, 2009 at 6:09 pm |
  48. Juliet Ann Love

    My husband wants to save it, I want to spend it. Ultimately it will come down to the stimulus tax credits.
    Juliet
    California

    February 12, 2009 at 6:10 pm |
  49. Barron Hall

    I would pay off my debt, then after doing that I would put it in some kind of savings or CDs.

    February 12, 2009 at 6:10 pm |
  50. Mark

    I would spend it, but like probably most people, I wouldn't buy anything with it, I'd pay bills with it. That's the fallacy of giving people a tax rebate, you hope they buy new things with it, but in fact many of us will just pay bills...

    February 12, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  51. D.J.- Indiana

    I would spend to save. Americans have to realize that consumerism drives our economy. In order to turn it around, we have to spend, but not on ordinary products. I'm talking about spending on items that will save money in the future. How about new insulation in the walls, or a new energy star refrigerator? These purchases and more are more like investments that will save money in the long run, but jump-start the economy right now.

    February 12, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  52. SHO in Chicago

    Jack, I would save the money!! Or at least try to SAVE IT. The economy needed to shift from consumer spending to something else a long time ago in my opinion. And it takes these kinds of times to change the mentality of a nation. Everyone is better off when they actually have disposable income, and not credit with a 25% interest rate!! I would try to save it, and I hope everyone else tries to save it as well. Let the economy change, because the mentality of businesses needs to change as well. Survival depends on adaptability for businesses. The same is true with individuals as well.

    Take care of yourself Jack...you're looking tired lately...get some sleep!!!

    February 12, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  53. Joan

    Spend. There are great deals right now so anyone who can afford it should take advantage of the bargains and help themselves and the country as a whole.

    February 12, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  54. paravee

    I'll be using it to pay the bills. So I guess that's spending. Then, I'll be saving what I have left in order to spend some more in the future.

    February 12, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  55. Bob from Florida

    Show me the money and I'll show you where to put it. Money in the bank is available for loans, if banks have the courage to lend it. We are trying to move too fast. It took a while to get where we are. It will take quite awahile to get back.

    February 12, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  56. Shari Decter Hirst

    I would use it to pay down debt. On the day before payday, I go to the bank and transfer all excess cash to pay of my credit card- I do this twice a month. I'm trying like crazy to get this paid down. How come the banks can charge these interest rates? and I won't start spending again until I get a handle on this debt.

    February 12, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  57. Jeff Underwood

    I always save it. For the past 30 years – my employment history – I've always saved my extra cash which is why I have $700,000 cash in savings and another $3,000,000 equity in my rental homes down form $4,000,000 last year :-(.

    Because of my family's fiscal prudence we are able to reap some great savings on purchase while our neighbors are living pay check to pay check.

    February 12, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  58. Gary Duncan

    If I came into some extra money, I would neither "spend" it or save it- I would utilize it to pay off some high interest credit cards which would in turn free up some money to help me more easily meet my normal monthly obligations and hopefully allow me to save some money for a rainy day.

    February 12, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  59. Nashville Dan

    Hi Jack,
    I've actually stashed away more $ in the past year than any other time in my life, because I fear the worst is yet to come. Extra money right now will be spent on something significant, like an unforgettable vacation, or something tangible that I will still appreciate years from now. Otherwise, I'm going to save it till I find a good reason to spend it.

    February 12, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  60. James Brown

    I am an American therefore I have debt. Incrementally speaking, the more money I receive the more likely I would be willing to spent it on products and services. If I receive a small amount I plan on paying down my credit card bills to help my debt to income ratio.

    February 12, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  61. Anita

    I am still spending and plan on spending because the economy does need the stimulation...

    February 12, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  62. Gary

    I happen to be one of the middle class whose been getting screwed these days. I won't qualify for a stimulus check because I make too much money, at least according to the formula that congress has devised. But I'm the guy who would buy that new car or big screen tv.
    Instead most people making under 100k are going to pout that money right in the bank.

    February 12, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  63. Victoria, Florida

    Jack,

    I wouldn't spend it if I recieved a $300.00 bonus check. I'd put it under the matress. Banks I wouldn't support either. Credit cards iIgot rid off.
    SAVE YOUR MONEY AMERICA and spend it only on real necessaties.

    February 12, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  64. Brock Landerz

    Depending on how much extra money I come into. For example, if I received something like the tax rebate from last year ($600), I would likely spend it since it was not anything sufficient enough to make a difference if I were to lose my job tomorrow.

    However, if it were something more substantial, say $1,500, I would definitely put it away for a rainy day since it is substantial enough to keep me afloat for a month, or two if I was laid off.

    If the government wanted us to spend more money back into the economy, maybe a vote of confidence into one idea, although far from perfect (really is any bill perfect) rather than all the stalling on Capitol Hill would help.

    February 12, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  65. Gerry

    Hi Jack,

    I would save it.. doesn't that give banks more reserves which in turn frees up credit?

    February 12, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  66. Steve

    I would save it, considering that I've lost about 36% of my 401 plan. Between Clinton, Bush and now Obama I will need to save every penny I can.

    February 12, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  67. David Baltimore Maryland

    What the hell. I'd spend it and die happy. If the economy collapses there will be nothing left to spend all those savings on anyway.

    February 12, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  68. Mustafa Mohamoud

    The economy is suffering right now and it is because people are not spending. It would be a good idea for us all to take ECO 101 so we can have an understanding of how economics works. We are suffering from a severe case of economic illiteracy and it can be cured. Saving will not get us out of this economic crisis; spending your money will.

    Mustafa Mohamoud
    Toronto, Canada

    February 12, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  69. Brett

    The question is not really about spending or saving. We should always be saving and spending. The basic rule is to not spend more than you make, duh! The REAL problem is that we have almost no goods made in the U.S.A. any more. If this country actually produced goods and sold them to other countries, then we wouldn't have to always worry spending to save our economy. Two-thirds of our GDP is based on consumer spending. Pathetic. We cannot sustain being a consumer nation. We need to bring the manufacturing back to the U.S.A. and punish China for their lobsided/manipulated trade, labor, and currency policies. Oh but wait we can't, they buy all of our debt!

    Brett
    Philadelphia, PA

    February 12, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  70. Deborah Morgan

    Although I may spend a little on bills, my first priority will be to apply the money to secured credit cards, in an effort to repair my credit which has been drastically lowered during the economic crisis. Foreclosure, unpaid medical bills, layoffs...
    Why has CNN not addressed this residual effect the economic freefall has had on the American FICO score? Should not the government address this as well?

    Kansas City, MO

    February 12, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  71. James C. Harwood, Norman Oklahoma

    It depends on how much. Under $100 I'd spend immediately if not sooner on food and basic supplies. $1000 I might put into savings. $5000 I'd go get my teeth fixed, get new eye glasses, buy a new computer, buy a big flat screen TV, etc – it would get spent.

    February 12, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  72. Andrew - Huntsville AL

    I am a 100% disabled vet and have been denied SSI. The brakes on my vehicle need to be fixed. If I got money, I definitely would fix the brakes before saving any of it.

    February 12, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  73. Group Realty (Det)

    Asking a Question? huummmmm.... More money in the hands of American Pepole Will in FACT Make Everyone spend money.

    February 12, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  74. Felicia Woods

    Jack,No I can't save for tomorrow, Being unemployed.I needed it yesterday, Just to eat.

    February 12, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  75. Sandra Newbanks from Florida

    If I received $200.00 for example, I would put $100.00 in my savings account and I would spend the other $100.00 on various purchases.

    This way everyone would be happy....Hopefully!

    February 12, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  76. Scott in New Jersey

    Jack: Spend or save? I guess neither really. With any "extra money" or income, I plan to buy down credit card debt. This won't necessary pump new revenue into the general economy, and it won't add my part into participation with boosting savings. But whether I want to really admit it or not, I have been maybe just one out of 300 million who spent more than I made with easy credit and helped to put this country in the position where it is today. My own "amends" of sort may not necessarily jump start the economy, but hopefully if followed by others may begin to get us all to a place where we all buy what we can actually afford – and ONLY what we can afford.

    February 12, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  77. Dena

    I would use the money to pay down debt. I don't see the economy getting any better any time soon. I need my bills paid.

    February 12, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  78. Eric

    Jack,

    I'm 24 years old, live in NYC, and last Friday my company filed for bankruptcy. Of course, I would save whatever extra money comes in. I have to if I want to sustain myself in this unpredictable market. It's scary being a young professional, out of a job, and not further developing upon my career experience. Until what's going on "out there" settles down, I have to save, because you never know what's going to happen tomorrow.

    February 12, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  79. Judy

    My husband and I just had this conversation this afternoon. We live on our Social Security checks. He has a slight opportunity to do a couple of consulting jobs. These will be short term if they materialize at all. We decided we would givre 10% to the church, 10% in his pocket to pay for any extra expenses (i.e. gas, haircuts, lunches, computer supplies) and 80% goes into savings to go toward our "fantasy" vacation we dream of, or Birthday and Christmas presents for the grandkids. Our son is in the Navy and we would like to be able to greet his ship when it returns.,

    February 12, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  80. Ern

    Save it silly. My 401 is in the toilet, the major leading institutions are giving themselves bonuses or sending it to Washington as "campaign contributions. Currently, the only safe place is my credit union. That is, until congress finds away to steal that also.

    February 12, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  81. Bruce, Rhode Island

    Jack,

    My wife and I just canceled plans for a trip to Europe this summer. We had almost twice the money needed put away in a special savings account, but the events of the past 6 months have been frightening. Who can say what the next 6 months or a year will bring.

    Saving seems to be the order of the day.

    February 12, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  82. Jo

    Save? Heck I am borrowing from my daughter to pay rent. No frills. Little for food, no eating out, no spending on anything else. Unemployment reigns.

    Yeah, I would spend it on keeping a roof over my head without having to beg every month.

    February 12, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  83. Rick

    I will contribute as much of it as possible to the opponents of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.

    February 12, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  84. Ralph Spyer

    Show me the money.

    February 12, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  85. Jerome, Choteau, Mt.

    I believe a new economic model is needed. One based on saving and avoiding debt. Most people are maxed out on debt. It is never mentioned in serious discussions on this mess. What is needed are large wage increases on the middle to lower end of the pay scale, so the average person can avoid the constant need to borrow for appliances and televisions etc. if wages were where they should be the paycheck would allow for these purchases avoiding the debt that seems to be the engine driving our economy. It is screwed up cause everybody is borrowed to the hilt. You can do that, or eliminate all debt, forgive i! And start over with everyone having a clean slate. Oh yeah, and a million dollars worth of credit secured by the Fed. government. Just to get things rolling again.

    February 12, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  86. George in NYC

    Give me a break. The same people who undercut the American Worker, spent millions busting -the Unions, promoted free trade, promoted the Off-Shoring of jobs, and fought to prevent an increase in the minimum wage, are now crying because people are saving rather than spending. I hope the banks, their Republican allies and all of their corporate buddies crash and burn. It will be a long day before i spend a dime on frivolous products or invest on Wall Street -those days are over.

    February 12, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  87. Dan

    I have spent, am spending and Will Spend because I know it is helping and will help to improve economy of this country. I wont resign if Mr. President trust me in this economic crisis as a Commerce Secretary.

    February 12, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  88. Paul

    Recently I had the opportunity to earn a lump sum of money from contract work. I am a firm believer in the pay-as-you-go mentallity because of my middle-wage salary comprable to teachers. I've saved and haven't accrued much debt however in these current economic times I am more inclined to spend this money as the price of goods have fallen. Thus, any capital expenses I can get out of the way now will benefit me in the long run.

    February 12, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  89. Tim

    Spend Jack, why save when there is no place safe for it to be. If you don't spend it someone else will find a way to take it!

    February 12, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  90. cameron watson

    I would use that money to help pay my upcoming tax bill due in April.

    February 12, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  91. Larry Thacker Ky.

    Save it until I could buy American!

    Ain't gonna give my money to China

    February 12, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  92. Manny, New York, New York

    What we could do is save the money for a "rainy day???"

    February 12, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  93. JimBark

    I personally would save it but how about the government buying gift cards from struggling businuses and send them to us. That way everyone would benefit.

    February 12, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  94. Andy in NY

    I'd spend it on the health care my company is trying to eliminate now that I'm retired

    February 12, 2009 at 6:35 pm |
  95. Patrick from Bäle

    America voted for change. Most realize that change is necessary but do we 'really' want to or are willing to even when change is the right thing to do but difficult. If the question is to spend or save, what did we do before the crisis? Now perhaps we're being given a chance to do the right thing; save a appropriate percentage and spend wisely. We may not have the chance, for a long time, to set such a fundamental precedent. Do consumers really want to go back to spending, credit spending to stimulate the economy? Were will that put us-perhaps right back into the hole we are trying to dig ourselves out of. Is it worth the risk?

    February 12, 2009 at 6:35 pm |
  96. Eardley Ham

    Jack:
    A rhetorical answer here–

    I am living on a fixed income of less than $2000/month.
    My wife of 51 years is in long-term care under Medical Assistance.
    Medicare's Part D only covers about 1/2 of my annual prescription costs.

    Do you think I ought to save or spend?

    February 12, 2009 at 6:36 pm |
  97. tony

    What is to save, lets keep trying to catch up.Is anyone in the real world anymore?

    February 12, 2009 at 6:37 pm |
  98. Burt, Denver CO

    Probably spend it while it's got some value. Once the hyperinflation kicks in, I'd feel pretty silly buying a loaf of bread when I could have had some land for the same price and grown my own doggone wheat.

    February 12, 2009 at 6:37 pm |
  99. Rick Medina,OH

    Jack,

    I'd love to spend it. But now that I am '50 something,' I have medical bills up the 'ying-yang,' and that's where any extra cash will go.

    Rick, OH

    February 12, 2009 at 6:47 pm |
  100. lorraine tartaglio

    i would save just got laid off and need every penny i can get but i would like to get some of that spending they put in the stimulas for those mice and green golf carts
    thats really going to put money in our pockets. its what about 50 billion or more that ca feed alot of amercians

    February 12, 2009 at 6:49 pm |
  101. Jeani, Central UT

    Exactly how much extra money are you asking about? When I win the PowerBall, I'll take my whole family on an Alaskan cruise. While we're on the cruise, we'll seriously discuss how to spend the rest of it.

    February 12, 2009 at 6:51 pm |