10 Ways to Responsibly Use Your Tax Refund

tax refund check in envelope

Holidays are over…it’s a brand new year…and tax season is coming down the tracks!

Everyone views tax season a little bit differently.  Some view it as a time to pay off something, some view it as the time to splurge, while others are unsure of ways that they should use that tax refund.  Each and every person is entitled to spend that return how they see fit, right?  But…how does one decide?  Are you being pulled towards the mall…or Amazon?  Do you have a student loan that you could pay down?  or is there a part of your home that you would like to remodel?  To say there are choices is an understatement.  You have to make the choice, and it isn’t an easy one to make.  Looking for a few ideas?  Have no fear!  Here are 10 Ways to Responsibly Use your Tax Refund!

  1. Save, save, save!  Just because you have a refund coming, doesn’t mean you actually have to do anything with it.  Why not increase the bottom line of your savings account?  Don’t force yourself to spend it.  Save it and use it as you want, when the choice for you is clear.
  2. Pay off or pay down those loans.  Student loan debt?  Mortgage debt?  Owe a friend some money?  Whatever the loan you have, what better time to square away with it than with your tax refund?  Knock out your biggest loan expense that you pay each month, and free up some stress in your mind!
  3. Teach your children the importance of money.  Why not use your refund as a teachable moment?  You have a lump of money coming, teach them the options of what can be done with that money.  Have conversations with them, include them and update them as the money situation changes.  A family that saves together is such an amazing support group.
  4. Squash out the credit card debt.  Stuck in the middle of paying credit card minimum payments while accruing huge interest each and every month?  Well, you’re in luck as maybe your tax refund can wipe out those payments.  Pay those cards in full, if possible, and then cut ’em up.  Once you free up those monthly payments that you were paying to the credit cards, your cash flow will increase overnight!
  5. Prepay for Christmas the upcoming year.  Think outside the box here…Christmas happens every year, every December.  No surprise there.  Why not take that tax return and start holiday shopping early with it?  That way, when December rolls around again and Jingle Bells is starting to rear its head, your holiday shopping is done, paid for 100% and you can sit back and fully enjoy all the season has to offer rather than stress on ways to find money to pay for it all.
  6. Plan a family getaway.  Yes, a vacation can actually be a responsible choice.  Did your family have a rough year?  Were you working a ton of hours and you need that family time to get back on track?  Use that refund to plan and pay for a little trip to strengthen that family bond!
  7. Upgrade your home.  Thinking of selling in the near future?  Have a few projects in mind that could help get money in your pocket at closing time?  Invest in your home, but do proceed with caution in doing this.  Not all home improvement projects are created equal, so do your research first!
  8. Pay it forward.  Are you a huge advocate of giving to others?  Why not use some of that tax refund to pay it forward to one of your favorite charities or groups?  Giving them money to use at their discretion is a great, responsible and selfless act to start the new year.
  9. Start a scholarship savings fund for your child’s education. (of your own, if you plan on going back to school!)  Investing in their future, and yours, is a solid and responsible decision each and every time!
  10. Book it every 30.  Your return doesn’t have to be spent at once, right?  Think tank of something that you and your family want to do as a core every month. Write it down, talk it out and book it.  Invest that money in adventures for you and your family.  Spend some of it every month, and enjoy making memories for the entire year!

However you decide to use your tax refund is ultimately up to you.  Take some time to really process what is the best and most responsible choice for you and those around you.  Whatever you choose, make it work and enjoy yourself along the way!


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