WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- As citizens of North Carolina prepare for a hotly contested primary between Democratic presidential rivals Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, members of Truliant FCU here have already voted how they will spend their refund and surplus checks from the government.
With consumers facing skyrocketing gas prices, rising medical insurance premiums and soaring food prices, Truliant Federal Credit Union conducted a survey to find out what its member-owners planned to do with their 2007 tax refund and the tax rebate that the government recently began distributing.
Somehow, the message to stimulate the economy by spending it hasn't found an audience yet, as 59.3% will use the money to pay down debt, 35% said they'd save the money, and 25% said they'd pay living expenses. Only 9.4% said they would use the stimulus cash for travel, and 9.3% promised to go shopping, while another 8.4% would invest the cash. Truliant said more than 700 members participated in the survey, of which 69% expected to receive a refund, 14% did not receive a refund and 16% weren't sure.
As for how members will use their rebate checks, the votes were: pay down debt--47.7%, add to savings--41.9%, pay living expenses--20.2%, go on a trip--13.5%, add to investments--7.7%, go shopping--7.4%.
"It's always interesting to find out what our member-owners plan to do with their money," said Ginger Salt, senior vice president of markets for Truliant FCU. "In past years, people might have said they were going to use their refund to take a vacation or to go on a shopping spree, but it is clear that the tide has changed. For paying down debt and paying living expenses to get such high percentages in our survey, it is clear that the economy has taken a toll on our member-owners' financial needs."