It is hard to believe that tax filings were due six weeks ago. So, it is about time that those getting refunds are receiving checks or electronic deposits. It is often difficult to find fruitful ways to use the money. Keeping in mind this was your money to begin with, it is always a good idea to use the proceeds to invest in more ways to save money.
Here are a few ideas –
- Start, or add to, an emergency fund. If we have learned anything in the last five years of economic uncertainty, it is to be ready with back-up funds for whatever unexpected thing comes your way.
- Invest in yourself – consider taking a course in something that sparks a new career interest. Or, buy some workout equipment to get in shape.
- Invest in Assets – thinking about buying some land or a new vehicle? This money could be used to lower future payments.
- Retirement – put money away now, and watch it grow tax free – win, win.
- Pay down debt – the sooner that debt goes away, the less interest you are paying. Less interest means more available for other needs later.
- Selling your home? – use a refund to spruce up areas of your home and maximize the re-sale potential.
- Energy Savings – ever consider new appliances or energy saving alternatives? This money could be used to upgrade and then save over the long term.
- Get prepared – use funds to stockpile canned foods, water, batteries or other items needed during storms or other catastrophes.
- Health – if you have been putting off getting a health issue checked, now is the time.
- Travel – put a down payment toward a trip you have been considering. The bite will be less later.
- Charity – nothing feels better than helping those that need it. Donate to a local cause or a large charity with strong discipline to meet their intended goals.
It is always better to look forward and plan good uses than to look back and wonder where it all ended up.