Money Smart –5 Wise ways to spend your tax refund intelligently

It’s tax season again which means that many people will be getting some of their hard earned cash back from the government. I can’t tell you how many times my husband and I have watched that chunk of change fly out of our wallets.
Tax returns can range from nothing to a few thousand dollars, depending on how much you over paid, how well you itemized your taxes, and how many credits you were eligible for. One habit of wealthy people is using windfall type money, like a tax return, to help themselves get ahead. It would be easy to go out and spend that cash on a new TV or a couple nights eating out, but there are some better things you can do with it. Here are some ideas that I had running around my head smart ways to spend your tax refund
Invest
For starters, you can put your money straight into investments. There are lots of different types of investments, such as stocks, houses, CDs, etc. If you make good choices and get lucky enough, you can end up turning your tax return into even more money later down the road. This takes patience, good timing, and a little knowledge about what you are investing in.
Buy something youve been needed for a while This category is huge. It can include something like a dryer to replace the one that has to run for four or five hours before the clothes dry or a new car so you don’t have to stay home while your husband is at work all day (I may or may not need both of those things.) I’m not saying to go out and buy a 85 inch TV that you think would be cool, but to look at your life and the things you have and think about something that you have been wanting to buy that would truly change your lifestyle in a positive way. I’m not saying that an 85 inch TV doesnt have it’s place, there is just a good chance that there is something else more important you could be buying.
Pay off credit cards
This one probably should go first. I know that a lot of people make enough money with their tax return to pay off most or all of their credit card debt. If you are one of those people, DO IT! That kind of debt can be debilitating when it gets out of hand. Use your tax return to get out of debt and resolve not to rack up that debt again. I put my credit cards in the freezer to keep myself from using them.
Buy food storage
This might seem a little weird to some people, but hear me out. What would happen if you or your spouse lost your job tomorrow? What if the stores stopped selling food? Don’t think it could happen? Have you ever worked at a grocery store before? They stock about enough food to keep the shelves full for three days. A week at the most.
After that, they rely on delivery trucks to bring in more food. What if those trucks can’t get in? What if there is a mad rush on the store because of the threat of a snow storm or something? Are you going to be okay? Are your kids going to eat if you can’t get to the store for a week, a month? I remember once when I was a little girl, the news station report that “the storm of the century” was coming to my home town. My dad and I went to the local store for some milk, and there was NONE. In fact, there was no milk, no eggs, no bread, nothing essential. The store wasn’t ready for that kind of a rush. Thankfully, we had a supply of powdered milk in our food storage. Imagine if you took just $500 from your tax refund and used it to stock up on food.
It would not only help you be prepared for awhile, but it would also allow you to go to the store less while you use that food storage. It is such a nice feeling when you use the last package of oatmeal in the pantry and you know that there is a whole other box in the back room. My favorite resource for food storage is providentliving.org. If you are looking to buy long term food storage, a good place is eFoodsdirect.com. They even have a free sample pack so you can try their food. It include six FREE meals, all you pay is shipping.
Start an emergency fund
Going along with the food storage, another smart thing to do is to have a three month supply of cash. Once again, if you lose your job today, are you going to be okay? It can take MONTHS to find another job. Are you going to lose your house if you can’t earn a paycheck for a month? Will your lights be turned off if you’re out of work? This option takes no work, just don’t spend your tax refund. Put it into a savings account and then DON’T TOUCH IT. I promise you will be extremely grateful if you ever need it. And judging from my own life experience, you will probably need it at some point.
Those are my ideas for using your tax return wisely. For a little recap, those ideas were:
– Invest
– Buy something you need
– Pay off credit cards
– Buy food storage
– Start an emergency fund
As for us, we are hoping to be able to save ours for a new car (yeah for being able to leave the house during the day!) What are you going to do with yours?
About The Author
I am a 24 year old, married, stay-at-home mom of two little kids, who are my pride and joy. I enjoy cooking and I love to learn new things and teach those things to other people. I am happiest when I am creating beautiful things, whether its food, crafts, or memories. Read more about me including additional parenting posts, recipes, and a whole lot more on my blog, mouseinmykitchen.com

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