10 Emotions You Feel When You Get a Tax Refund Check

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It’s that time of year: tax return season! And when you get your tax refund check, there are 10 complicated emotions that run through your head. Like…

1. The desire to sing, “Hallelujah!”

You just got your tax refund check, but when you see it, you don’t just see a tax refund check. You see cash money. You see cash money that the government didn’t take from you. And that makes you feel like giving the bright blue sky a big “Hallelujah!” You want to praise the lord or Buddha or Yahweh or the universe or whoever! Because this year, you got #blessed and you didn’t owe the government more than you thought you did – you actually got some moolah back! What you’re feeling right now is that glorious holy-moly-me-oh-my hallelujah-style happiness.

2. Thankfulness.

You thought about doing your taxes yourself. You know, just winging it. But then you started looking at how hard it was to do that, you decided to consult with the experts. You got an accountant or you went in for help. And because you took that step, you are feeling a firm sense of thankfulness right now for the dude in the glasses and starched white shirt. Thank you to the tax experts, thank you for the money.

3. Pride.

Even if you’re a bleeding-heart liberal who loves to see her money going to a good cause, no one really likes the feeling of giving money to the big mean tax man. When it comes time to give your hard-earned money to the big guys in D.C., that whole “we’re all better off when we’re all better off” philosophy makes you feel a lot less better off. You worked hard for your money. Don’t you deserve all of it? At the same time, looking at your tax return, you feel a speck of pride. You’re an American, and you did your duty as an American: you reported your hours and worked within the system. And sometimes, that system rewards you – like right now.

4. Self-love.

Next up, you are feeling some self-love, and a whole lot of it. You think about how hard you worked this year, how many times you went into work when you didn’t feel like it, how many days you clocked in for the man. And now a little piece of that hard work is staring back at you at last, saying, love yourself! You earned this! Now go spoil yourself!

5. The burning desire to spend.


Fox/Simpsons/ via giphy

You know that your momma told you to save your money. The place where a tax return belongs is in your savings. Buuut then again… one of the best ways you can express that self-love you’re feeling is to go on a shopping spree. You never buy yourself what you really want. It’s always just what you need. So why not just blow it on something cool for once?

6. A creeping sense of responsibility.

You absolutely know what you should do with this tax refund check. You really should just leave it in the bank. Wasn’t there an option to just drop it in the bank, to not even see this piece of paper with an all-too-spendable amount of money on it? Now, though, you’ve got money in your hands. You’d like to be responsible with it. And then…

7. Shame.

Are you really thinking about spending this money? Now, you’re embarrassed of yourself. You know you should be putting this money away like the full-grown adult that you are. There should be no question here: you save the money. But then…

8. A grounded sense of acceptance.

Who are you kidding? You are totally going to spend this baby. It’s not enough money to bulk up your savings anyway, and you owe it to yourself to get a little something fun every once in a while.

9. Creativity.

But what will you spend it on? You can’t just blow a tax return on groceries or bills. That’s what your salary is for. This has got to be a special kind of something. Like a professional massage. Or a whole day at the spa. Or a tattoo…

10. Regret (but not really).

upset with money
So, you spent your tax return check. You kinda spent the whole thing in one day. And while you thought about putting it in your savings a handful of times, you knew all along that you were going to spend it. You feel a glimmer of regret, for just a second. Wait, no. That’s not regret! What you’re feeling is the final emotion you feel after you’ve received your long-awaited and well-deserved tax return check: joy.

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