Soon it will be tax season again, oh what fun. For the 2015 tax year, the average tax return got $2,800 back. That is a chunk of change. Whether you are getting more or less, using it wisely is important. If we wanted, we could spend it all on yoga pants, videos game, tacos, and a fancy new TV. Before we know it, we spent it all in a month and have nothing to show for it, except for a slightly larger TV, gaining 10 pounds, and yoga pants that do not fit now. Instead, let’s get a plan. Here are 11 Great Ways to use Your 2017 Tax Refund.
- Invest It: There are many choices about investments. You can invest in bonds, stocks, CD’s, and many other choices. Our favorite is dividend paying stocks, but the choice is yours. Remember to make your own investments decisions. At 5%, $2,800 will produce $140 a year in passive income.
- Emergency Fund: Building or improving an emergency fund is a good way to improve.
- Payoff Credit Cards: With the $2,800 refund, we could pay down a credit card. If we are paying a 18% interest rate, that will save us $1.38 every day in interest, or $504 a year. I would much rather save the $1.38 a day than give it to a credit card company. This could also reduce your credit card minimum by $70 a month, depending on your terms.
- Pay Down Debt: After paying on loans for a while, the amount you owe goes down. What an amazing concept. Maybe you have some loans that are close to being paid off. Imagine not having a car payment anymore. Maybe the amount is not enough to pay it off, but it will still take a large chunk of it off. Paying off your $300 a month car loan would be awesome. Eliminating a $300 a month car payment is like having an extra $3,600 a year, which is more than the average tax refund.
- Education: If you been looking to take some classes to improve yourself or your career, this can be your opportunity. Depending on the classes, some can be expensive, especially if you want the certificate or degree saying you completed the courses.
- Start a business: Funding for a business can be hard to come by. With the refund, you could get a website, a small piece of equipment, some inventory, and an advertising budget. The refund could be more than enough money to start it, or be a stepping stone to starting your plans. But here is a once a year opportunity.
- Something Fun: This is your money. It took you over a year to save it. While it was the government holding the money for you, you did save it. It took 1 year to save this money. While, financially not the best place for money, having fun is healthy. Spending a portion on something you like can be good.
- Charity: There are a lot of good causes out there. Do you want to help one of them out? This can be a good time while you have a couple extra dollars to spare. How do you want to help out?
- Buy Something You Need: If you know your car needs fixed, this can be a good time to do it. You can make the repairs without going into more credit card debt or using your emergency fund.
- Give it Back: The government always wants more money. How about giving it all back? We can buy 2,800 $1 lottery tickets. Who knows, we might win, but chances are we will not. The lottery and government will be happy with you.
- I do not Know: You haven’t decided what you want to spend it on. You can always give it to me. Or you can hide it from yourself. Such as putting it in a savings account you do not touch or some other account. That way, when you do have a good plan, then you can use it. At least it is not in your checking account to be spent without you realizing you are doing it.
Should I get a 2017 Tax Refund
If is often discussed whether you should give the government an interest free loan. Giving the bank an interest free loan is not much better, even if you are getting 0.5% interest, that will equal about $7.59. The bank has the advantage to access the money any time you want it. The refund give you the advantage that you cannot spend it anytime you want. Amazing, the opposites can both be an advantage. A balance approach to a lot of things can be good. I have money put away for liquidity. Having a yearly check to improve my balance sheet is also great. I can invest it or buy something I need, like home repairs.
If you are getting to much money back, or too little, it can be a good time to review your tax withholdings. Or you can decide to not change it. Not doing something is still a choice.
Ways to use Your 2017 Tax Refund
I will be doing a mixture of the things above. I will save a lot and buy somethings I need. Knowing your options for your money is important for making a good decision. How do you want to use your 2017 tax refund? Please share in the comments below?