ditch that dang debt
There are other options than Acapulco, so don’t just blow your whole refund on snorkels and sand castles. Put 10% of it toward paying off student loans, mortgage principal, or credit card debt. So when you’re checking your email on the beach you’ll feel at ease that you’re not a spendthrift. And won’t you be happy when it’s finally all paid off. Every bit helps.
crystal ball gazers - unite!
Another option – predict the future. Nail down any big-ticket items coming up on the horizon. Dad’s retirement party. Friend’s wedding. Family reunion. Books for school. Over due car repairs. Even a down payment on that new Audi could be only 2 or 3 years down the road. Sock away some cash in a mutual fund. Withdraw in three years and you’ll be seeing even more dollar signs. Sunny day or rainy day funds – stash part of your tax refund away. Down the road when you want it most, you’ll be glad you took a sec to plan it all out.
get stupid sweaty
Take your dough and do a 1-year health club membership. You’ll get a better monthly price for a longer commitment. There’s no better investment than your health, right? And for each droplet you wipe away, you’ll be reminded your good investment. Set it up so they pull the 50 or so bucks out once a month, instead of a lump sum up front. That way you can still earn interest on your money as it sits and grows in a money market account.
add equity to your home.
Ready for that new addition to your house? Or maybe you just need to pour that smooth new driveway. Consider spending your extra cash on something that won’t depreciate over time – your home. Fix the sink. Landscape the backyard. Put in a swingset. Take your tax refund, toss in a small home equity loan, and you might just be able to get what you need done now, not next year. Adding equity to your home through repairs is one of better investment choices.
hit the links
Call it your tax reward instead. You’ve earned it right? If you’re the golfer type, treat yourself to a new putter or a fresh 18 holes at a new course. There’s nothing like birdie golf to bring you closer to feeling that sense of accomplishment. That perfect tee shot bouncing down the fairway. The one 30-foot putt you’ll make all summer. Make it happen. Treat yourself. Consider it your reward. C’mon on – clean up your spikes and go chipping at least.
Whatever your hobby is – go all out and spoil yourself. Plant trees around your yard. Relax at a weekend resort. Put your feet up and play dominoes.
Whatever you’ve got a knack at, embellish. Enroll in a class you’ve been curious about. Invest in some tools to make your hobby more rewarding. Treat your spouse to a canoe trip by candlelight. Or even donate to a good cause and get the receipt so you can take the charitable donation deduction when you itemize your tax return.
Whatever your decision, think about it first, look at your options, and make the best financial decision you can. Otherwise, you’ll pay for it later.