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Economic stimulus checks are on the way

The $600 economic stimulus checks are hot off the printers and will soon be on their way to your home. Now the big question: How to spend it? Some people said they will pay bills or pay off student loans. Others said they plan to spend the money on regular expenses, like food and gas. NewsChannel3 has done a little research on how far $600 can take you. If you want to head to the beach, you can pay for the Wrightsville Beach parking meters for around 16 days straight. If you would rather be on the move, you can get almost 167 gallons of gas at $3.60 gallon. With 21 miles to the gallon, you can drive to Alaska or almost take a round trip to Santa Fe, NM, or perhaps Denver, CO. If traveling is not your thing and you want to spend your money on something a little more practical, you can get a cup of coffee for $1.70 almost every day for the next year. If you want to spend the extra jingle on some toys for your car there are plenty to choose from. You can buy a portable DVD player or stereo system for $600, keyless entry for $150 or satellite radio for $100. If you're like a lot of people, your money is already spent. “I had a couple come in that had paid a deposit down because they were going to get their new TV when the checks came in,” Mike Riley, the owner of Soundtronics in Wilmington, said. That is the purpose of the checks: spend the money and stimulate the economy. The stimulus check will be sent to you based on the last two digits of your social security number and whether you are receiving the payment by direct deposit or mail. The government started sending the payments Monday and will continue mailing the checks, about 800,000 at a time, through July 4.

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