3 Things To Do With Your Tax Return This Year

by Danielle Pointdujour

taxes

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.

What do you usually do with your tax refund? Any special plans for it this year?

  • http://gravatar.com/hsm36 Whatever

    I’ll be putting the entire check into my savings account. I budget for vacations throughout the year and pay down my God forsaken student loans monthly. I’m looking forward to increasing my savings drastically this year.

  • Misshightower

    How I wish I could have an arrangement with just a fraction of the folks I know whereby they would turn over a portion of their earnings on payday all year long, then let me decide by my rules how much of it I would keep INTEREST-FREE and have them (and merchants large and small) celebrate getting back what I wanted them to have! This is pure genius, folks.

  • Jeanetter

    This is a no brainer for me. I do this every year around tax season…my tax refund is split 1/3 savings, 1/3 cc bills or oth. debt, and 1/3 vacation (my bday is Feb.) I’m a saver so it’s vital that I put a portion up in savings.

  • EST. 1986 (GO RAVENS)

    What tax refund? I owed money this year.

  • Lynette

    If your tax refund is big enough for you to fund a vacation, pay off credit card debt or put a big chunk of money into a savings account, then you need to see your HR rep. and adjust your withholdimgs.

    Like misshightower posted above, why are so many of us giving our money to the government interest free and then getting all happy when we finally get our money back?

  • dirtychai

    This was me last year. I was ready to pull a Tina Turner and renounce my citizenship. I work too damn hard!

  • Anthony

    Put it into savings or paying off a debt are the two best options in my opinion. A vacation is great if the savings and debt are already totally in order.

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