6 Ways to Use Your Tax Refund

6 Ways to Use Your Tax RefundGosh, it feels great to get that tax refund. Dreams of a much-needed vacation or a splurge on something you’ve been craving might be running through your mind. However, as unexciting as this sounds, you might want to spend this chunk of change on things that really matter. Here’s a list of smart uses for your tax refund that you’ll be glad you acted upon.

Build an Emergency Fund

Let’s face it. We depend on our machines to make life easier. However, these metal contraptions can (and will) break down. When this happens and you have money socked away, you won’t have to shell out a big part of your household budget to get them fixed or replaced. You’ll be prepared. Plus, saving money for something like this could also be a way to avoid stress. According to the American Psychological Association, 77 percent of Americans aged 35-44 say that money (or the lack of) is their main source of stress. The best way to save for the unexpected is to have a part of every paycheck auto drafted into a savings account – tuck those dollars away while you relax.

Pay Off Debt

Yes, at first blush, this doesn’t seem like a lot of fun. That said, carrying around debt and paying high interest rates can be a heavy burden to bear. Imagine how relieved you’ll be when you either pay off all your debt or a good portion of it. No longer will you be a slave to those monthly payments. And here’s a plus: Paying off your debt will improve your credit score. You ready?

Make a Down Payment on a New Car

Or, if you want to buy a good used one, buy it! But back to the new vehicles. When you get a new car, you not only get a new warranty and reliability, but also new technology and safety features. And word on the street is it that dealerships are starting to offer lower interest rates and great pricing incentives. Put your pedal to the metal on this one.

Pay Down Student Loans

Whether you’re a parent or child, this is a great use for a tax refund. Alleviating debt, no matter the source, is always a good thing. Now, you might hesitate given that President Biden recently canceled debt for a lot of students. However, this doesn’t apply to everyone, as some students have private loans and others don’t qualify. Another part of the upside of whittling away student debt is that there’s no penalty for paying more often and/or making extra payments. The sooner you get rid of this obligation, the more freedom you’ll experience.

Make Home Repairs

If you’ve been putting off getting a new water heater or replacing doors, now’s the time. Why? You may be eligible for tax credits for upgrading your home with “green” improvements. While not all renovations qualify, the ones that do include energy-efficient HVAC systems, windows, additional insulation, and modifying doorways for wheelchairs and walkers. That’s planning ahead!

Invest Your Money

If you’re not risk averse, the stock market is a good short-term option. However, if you’re more conservative, IRAs, CDs, and Treasury Bills are your best bet. The yield on the two aforementioned, T-bills and CDs, are higher than they’ve been in years, with many at 5 percent. Making money on your money is always a good idea.

What you decide to do with your tax refund is personal, depending on where you are in your life. There’s nothing wrong with splurging. However, in these uncertain times, putting it to good use could come in handy in the long run.





Author: Service2Client

Rasmussen Tax & Accounting is a firm that provides a wide variety of accounting, tax and financial management services. Most of our clients are located in Marshall County, but we also serve clients all across Iowa.
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