About 25 million taxpayers are now receiving checks of up to $400 per kid, thanks to the expanded child credit in President Bush's tax-cut law. The Financial Planning Association, a trade group, says it's smarter to save the cash than to spend it. Some suggestions:
--Pay down debt. High-interest debts, like credit-card balances, eat into your disposable income.
--Save for schooling. Stash money in a tax-advantaged education account.
--Create a rainy-day fund. Advisers recommend having enough money for three to six months stored in an easy-to-access place, such as a money-market fund or savings account. --By Barbara Kiviat...