I know many people believe that this money is there money to begin with and can do anything they want with it. I just share these points because I believe they highlight areas where people can use the money and achieve some of the things that the money is meant to provide.
I call this Frankie's Pledge. It is basically just a pledge to spend your economic stimulus money in one or more of the following ways:
Education/Self-employment (investing in yourself)This is never a bad investment, no matter whose money it is.
Paying down debtAs Americans, we have learned to live well beyond our means. As I heard one blues singer put it, we are "Victims of Comfort". Paying down debt helps everyone.
Energy efficiency upgrades (home, car, office)We obviously can do more to help our economy (and our national security at the same time) by lessening our dependence on oil and non-renewable resources. Consider some of the many upgrades to your home to lower energy usage and utility bills.
Services or construction that utilizes local laborUtilizing local labor and resources, instead of buying a piece of electronics or a toy made in China, is obviously a much better way to invest in America and your community. Also, new additions such as new insulated windows, or more insulation in your attic, is a great way to use local resources, and lower energy use at the same time.
American charitiesObviously another great use of the resources, especially if it contributes in some way to allowing more people to work, or more small businesses to function.
Take the pledge. Don't go buy a new TV. Invest the money. Invest in your country.