It’s the most wonderful time of the year! No, not Christmas … tax time! The time of year when the government gives us back at least some of the money we’ve missed and needed all year long. For some tax return time is a time to pretend they’ve got guap ala Big Sean and blow it on things that they don’t really need.
For others it’s a time to set themselves up for the future or at the very least a splurge on something more meaningful than Jordans and blu-ray DVDs.
Before you get your hands on that highly anticipated refund check, consider these three things we think you should do with your money this year.
Take A Vacation
It’s a tragic reality, but the majority of Americans are vacation deprived. Compared to our European counterparts who get a month or more to relax, most of us are stuck with a two week vacation allowance. It’s not much, but considering that most Americans don’t use their vacation time and it is well documented that our workers are more stressed than other countries, you would think we would be running to the airport.
Instead of using that money on something trivial, use it to fund that solo vacay you’ve been dreaming about or plan a girl’s weekend to the Caribbean with your besties. Get away for a bit and disconnect from the world for a while, you’ll come back refreshed and refocused. Vacation time is something you deserve and more importantly…you’ve earned it!
Pay Off A Debt
The saying goes “Money makes the world go ‘round,” and although that’s true, credit is just as good as money and comes in a very close second. If you have a credit card or some other account with a low balance, use your refund to just zero out the balance. Doing this will help free up some extra cash for you throughout the year since you won’t have that bill(s) to pay. That is if you can keep from running it up again.
Save, Save, Save!
This should be a no brainer. Your refund is something like free money. Well not really because you earned it, but since you already made it through last year without it, chances are you can make it through this year without it as well. So instead of spending it all and ending up where it all went in a few months, save it. Open an individual IRA, a money market account or maybe even an online savings account with a company like ING.
Unless I have something pressing that needs to be paid or I’m treating myself to a vacay, this is what I usually do with my federal return. If I feel like I need to buy myself something, I use my smaller state check for the splurge, this way I’m not totally denying myself. You can’t ever go wrong with saving your money.