Tax season is here, and if you haven’t filed there is still a little bit of time left (and to possibly get a tax refund!). Well, just slightly over two weeks, so I recommend starting as soon as you can!
The IRS reports the average tax refund is $3,120. That is a huge chunk of change, and some of you may be expecting even more money than that.
When I worked in retail I saw many people use their tax refunds on a crazy amount of clothing. I understand that people need to be clothed, but is there a better way to spend your tax refund in 2016?
After all, your tax refund isn’t just the extra money many people think of it as. Really it’s money you have already worked hard to earn.
Here are 8 smart ways to use your tax refund. You may decide to use all of your tax refund in one area or a combination of them all. Whatever you decide, it's your choice!
1. Put your tax refund towards retirement.
Putting all, or at least some, of your money towards retirement can be a great way to spend it. The plus side is you still get to keep your money, which is a decision I’m sure you won't regret decades from now.
2. Pay off your debt.
If you have debt, especially at a high interest rate, then you may want to focus your tax refund on paying some of it off.
You can stop spending all of your hard-earned money on interest fees and instead be a little closer to paying off your debt. Or, maybe you can even pay off your debt completely!
Just think about how less stressful life would be without all of that debt.
3. Beef up your emergency fund.
An emergency fund is something I believe everyone should have. However, according to a report by Bankrate.com, 26% of Americans have no emergency fund whatsoever, and only 40% of families have enough in savings to cover three months of expenses!
If you don't have a fully funded emergency fund, you should start one. They can help if you were to lose your job, have a medical expense, have a home or car repair, and more.
This will prevent stress brought on by unexpected bills or even prevent you from going into debt trying to pay them.
4. Learn something new with your tax refund.
Investing in yourself can be another great way to spend your tax refund. You might decide to go back to school, take a certification class, learn a new skill, or something else.
Investing in yourself can be a great way to get motivated about life.
5. Start a business.
Your tax refund may be just what you need to start the business you've been dreaming of, and many businesses can be started cheaply.
Just look at blogging. You can start a blog for just a few bucks a month! That's what I did, and now my blog is my business and full-time career.
Don't get me wrong, some businesses can be expensive to start. If you're truly dedicated, your tax refund may help you launch your business in the best way possible.
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6. Take care of yourself.
Is there an expense you've been putting off for a long time because you couldn't justify spending the money on yourself? Maybe this is a visit to the dentist, a trip to the doctor, a massage, some alone time, or something else?
If this describes you, then you may want to think about spending some of your tax refund on yourself.
7. Donate to a cause you believe in.
Is there a cause you've been wanting to donate to but just couldn't afford to earlier? If you have extra money left over from your tax refund, then now may be the time.
You might even be able to claim a tax deduction on it next year.
8. Splurge a little.
Splurging isn't always a bad thing. I believe if you can truly afford it, then splurging every now and then is just fine.
Maybe you'll decide to go on a vacation, redecorate your home, buy yourself something you've been putting off, go out to a nice dinner, or any number of things.
The key is moderation and making sure you can actually afford what you are spending your money on.
Are you getting a tax refund this year? How do you plan on using it?
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