Making The MOST Of Your Tax Return

October 5, 2018 | By Ed Leyba

 Every year we have to pay taxes. It's one of those things in life that we have to do. However there is a small bright side (hopefully), and that is your TAX REFUND. But what should you do once you have that refund, that's the question to ask. Now I know it's tempting to just go on a spree and buy a new TV and Xbox, or go crazy at the mall. However, take a second and review a few of these ideas and see if any of them sound like a better use of the returned money from Uncle Sam.


1) Set It Aside As an Emergency Fund


How much you should set aside is entirely up to you (and this Bankrate calculator can help you figure it out), but there's nothing like a good windfall of unassigned cash to help bolster your emergency fund against unexpected costs or problems that may come up. If you don't have an emergency fund, consider using your tax refund to start one. Here's a step by step guide to building a healthy one.


2) Take an "All Expenses Paid" Vacation


Getting your tax refund doesn't have to be all work and no play. You need time to recharge, relax, and get away from the day-to-day, right? Consider using your refund as a set budget for a little private getaway. Whether it's a trip to a place you've always wanted to visit, a cruise to a tropical getaway, or just a picnic in the park, if the money is spent on you and your well-being, it's not misspent. Just make sure to stick to your budget, and pick a destination or event that you'll really love. If you plan it right, you can essentially walk away with a free vacation without even touching your regular budget.


3) Treat Yourself to a Modest Upgrade


Slice off around $500 of that refund and treat yourself to something affordable that will also make a big impact in your day to day life, whether it's a new 1080p Apple TV, your own home-built HTPC, or a bicycle to get you out of your seat and into the fresh open air.


4) Stash It Away in a New Car Fund


The folks at Jalopnik asked their readers what car they would buy with their tax refund, and there are some great selections in the comments there. If you're not in the market for a new or used car right now, consider stashing your tax refund away as a down payment on a car you want, or even as the foundation for a fund you can use to buy your next car all-cash.



5) Invest In Your Well-Being


If you've been putting off going to the doctor or the dentist because you were worried about how much it might cost, now's the time to make that appointment. Been meaning to get to the gym but didn't want to buy a membership until you had the money? Grab one now, or head to your local sports equipment store and look at some exercise gear for your home and get in shape. Been struggling with the death of a loved one, or a relationship on the rocks? It might be time to start looking for a good therapist, regardless of whether your insurance covers mental health services.


6) Pay Yourself First


Of course, we can't let you go without suggesting you take your windfall and do something fiscally responsible with it, like putting that money to work for you. It's worth reiterating that your windfall can do a lot for you if you, especially if you use it towards your own financial security.


7) Save For a Down Payment 


I have to also add to this that using your refund towards a down payment on a new house is one of the smartest ways to invest in your safety and well being. The Springs Summit Group team is here to make sure that when you buy a home it's not just the right fit, but the perfect fit for you. So remember that for all your Real Estate needs our team is here for you!

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