It is that time of year again. Tax time.
You know what that means?
Time for those who are getting back tax returns to become rich for a week, and then whittle away their yearly refund.
But what if I told you that there are ways to spend your return to make you feel the affects all year long? What if I told you that there are things that you can buy, or ways that you can spend that will improve your family’s way of life, as opposed to buying TV’s and video game consoles until your refund is gone?
Yep, this is one of those posts. One of those posts that will leave you thinking if maybe, just maybe, you need to rethink some of your tax refund spending.
So, how do I suggest you spend your tax return that will make your next year so much easier? Let’s start at the top.
Pay Down your Debt
We all hate the word debt, and we hate talking about it even more. But if you sit down and think about it, wouldn’t paying off a nice chunk of it at tax time be way more helpful than hurtful?
January is one of the hardest months of the year for families financially (probably because a good number overspend during the holidays like me). This being said, as your tax refund rolls in during February/March, getting rid of some of those monthly bills by paying them off completely may help you avoid being in that same financial crunch in the months to come, and may have you in a different position come next January!
Plus, wouldn’t it be so much easier to be able to go out and do something fun once a month with the freed up funds? (Or, if you are on the snowball debt method, grow your debt snowball faster? Check out how to set up your own debt payoff plan here! )
Advance Pay Bills
This one goes somewhat hand in hand with paying off your debt, but it is another suggestion that is worth mentioning.
Once your tax refund comes in, consider advance paying a couple of your bills. Rent, electric, gas. Many of these bills can be paid in advance (with refunds given later if they are overpaid). This will not only free your finances in the next couple of months, but will also leave you with a lot less stress.
I know, it may not be so exciting right now, but your family will thank you later in the year when you are not pinching pennies to pay bills.
Invest in Annual Museum/Zoo Passes
It may not seem like it with this cold weather, but sunny days are coming sooner rather than later! With the nice weather, comes the kids wanting to go cool places more often, which also can be a financial constraint on the family throughout the year.
What if it wasn’t?
Consider taking a small chunk of your tax refund this year and investing it in an annual pass to a local museum, or a zoo your family loves. Maybe even throw a couple extra dollars back for a summer pool pass. These passes will grant your family entrance to some really need attractions/learning experiences for your kids, and if you use them, will save you money in the long run.
Pro-Tip– Splurge the extra $30 bucks on your annual pass and get the plus 2 option when it is available. Then you have the option to take a friend for the kids (Or a mom friend for your sanity!).
Purchase a “Big Toy” for the Household
After listening to me go on about paying off debt and advance paying bills, I am sure this suggestion may come as a shock to you.
Perhaps, however, the time you receive your tax money is one of the best times to consider buying a “big toy” for the household. Not a TV, or video game console, but something to get your kids outside once the weather turns nice.
A pool? A trampoline? Bikes for the family? All of which could provide hours of outdoor fun for your family once the weather became nice. Provide adventures for your children, your family, all for just a couple hundred dollars of your tax refund.
Set Aside a Summer Fund
It never seems to fail. Summer comes, the weather is nicer, and my family is broke.
This tax season, set aside some of that tax refund into a summertime fund!
Maybe you have been wanting to take the kids to an amusement park. Maybe you want to go on a state park adventure. Or maybe you just want to have the extra money to go to the ice cream stand once a week. Whatever you want the extra money for, putting it back now will ensure you are able to have the spending money when you want it later in the year.
What do you usually spend your tax refund on?
Do you set aside tax money in any of these ways to help your family throughout the year or provide more activities for them? Let me know below!
Looking to save a bit more than what you are getting back in taxes? Check out my post on 11 apps to start making/saving you money today!