12 Smart Things To Do With Your Tax Refund
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You've submitted your return, paid your taxes, and even managed to get a refund from the IRS. While it may be tempting to embark on a shopping spree, using your cash more wisely can give you a financial boost. Here are 12 smart things to do with your tax refund.
1. Pay off debt.
It's no secret that the quicker you pay off debt, the less interest you pay in the long run. Why not use your tax refund to overpay your credit card bill, student loan, or mortgage? Determine which debt carries the highest interest rate, and opt to tackle that one.
2. Start an emergency fund.
Everyone has expensive problems thrown their way at some point, whether it's a broken water heater or a major car repair. Having cash on hand to deal with those expenses can be a lifesaver when the time comes. If you already have an emergency fund, consider using your tax refund to make it larger.
3. Boost your savings account.
Putting your tax refund into a savings account is a great option. This allows you to save your money for a rainy day while earning interest on your cash. Be sure to shop around for accounts that offer the best interest rates – you always want to make sure your money is working as hard as it can for you.
4. Purchase stocks.
Although stocks are a more risky investment, they also have the potential to provide great returns. If you choose this option, be sure to do your due diligence ahead of time. It can also be helpful to talk to a financial professional before taking the plunge.
5. Fund your retirement.
Putting money away for your retirement is a gift to your future self. Consider putting your tax refund towards a Roth or traditional IRA, so the cash can grow and expand through the years. You'll thank yourself when you're older.
6. Grow your child's college fund.
College is expensive, and the cost is only growing. Investing in your child's education can help lessen the burden when they turn 18. This is seen as a wise move, considering the majority of US students graduate with massive amounts of debt.
7. Make home improvements.
If you've been dreaming of updating your kitchen or renovating your bathroom, you may want to use your tax refund to pay for it – at least partially. Certain home improvements can also increase the value of your home, which is always a good thing.
8. Invest in your career.
Learning new skills related to your career can help better your chances of professional advancement. Classes at a local college or community center can be great investments if they provide you with useful credentials.
9. Get healthy.
Your health is your most important asset, so investing in it only makes sense. Joining a gym or enrolling in a fitness boot camp are both great ways to keep fit and lose weight. If you struggle with motivation, you may want to consider hiring a personal trainer to keep you on the right track.
10. Give your car some TLC.
If you've been putting off an oil change or a new set of tires, now is the time to give your car the love it needs. Routine maintenance is necessary to keep your vehicle running to the best of its ability, ensuring you'll have a reliable ride for years to come.
11. Put it towards a down payment.
Saving for a house? Down payments and closing costs can be expensive, but your tax refund can get you closer to your goal of becoming a homeowner. If you have any money left over after the closing, you can always spend it on furnishing your house.
12. Buy something you need.
If your winter coat is falling apart at the seams or your refrigerator doesn't seem to chill like it used to, don't feel guilty about spending money to replace them. Just remember there's a difference between investing in items you need and items you want.
These suggestions are great ways to ensure your tax refund gets put to good use. If temptation strikes, just remember that long-term investments are more rewarding than short-term splurges.