Four Ways to Not Waste Your Tax Return

by CashTime Loan Centers

A tax return is a tantalizing thing. If you do end up getting a refund, be it for $20 or $2,000, it’s easy to see it as a bonus, money for nothing that you can spend however you so choose. Yeah, you’ve built a budget and stuck to it, but this is extra! Right? Actually, yes! Feel free to spend that money on something that will improve your life. In Lieu of a well-deserved night out or big ticket item, we recommend spending that cash on something that will really help you out, not just improve your day.

Get something you need, not want. Snow tires may not be as sexy as a new 4K TV, but it’s a heck of a lot more useful. Expensive items that may have broken your budget before can be more in reach with a return, and should be your number one priority. Is there an item, service, or anything of the sort that will make life better (not more luxurious) for having within the next few months? If so, spend there first.

Eat the elephant, interest wise. No judgement here; we all have our debts. Student loans, hospital bills, car payments… seems that we are always writing a check for something. So, rather than taking small bites at your debt, what about taking a big chomp? Look at your loans, determine which have the highest interest rates, and make a large payment there, getting ahead of the interest and paying back much less in the long run.

Get that safety net. It’s commonly stated that you should have an emergency fund of some sort, anything from 3-9 months’ wages in case life rears its ugly head. We like a six months savings, but we get it… it’s hard to put that much away for tomorrow when there’s plenty of other things to pay for today. However, you’ll wish you saved more if unexpected costs creep up. It may not be fun, but throw that return into a savings account for a rainy day. Think of it this way: the sooner you get the account to a six months’ wages, the sooner you can spend that money how you’d like.

Invest in human capital. That’s just a fancy way of saying invest in yourself. Now, investing in yourself is a bit different than spending on yourself. A new pair of shoes or vacation isn’t really what we have in mind. Instead, think of how you can leverage that money to make yourself a better person… get that gym membership, learn a marketable skill at a local community college, or pay for a sports league for your child that didn’t seem possible before. Improve yourself can help you get a job, learn more, and even be a better person.