IBy Jen Wead
By Jen Wead BE FEARLESS
Be smart with your refund
It’s May and everyone that is expecting a tax refund has
probably gotten it. What are the smartest moves you can make
with your refund? First, let’s just get in the right mindset. Like
all good things, you need to have a plan. Adding your refund to
to spend it all without ever doing anything meaningful with it.
As Moneycrashers.com says, “The government isn’t sending you
a bonus check, but rather money that should have been yours
all along.” Keeping that thought in mind, treating the refund
money exactly like the money that you worked so hard for, is the
answer. We have a plan for those funds, so why not these?
There are a lot of really smart things that you can do with
that refund, but here are just a few of the easier to execute moves
Most importantly, before you can even think of investing or
make sure your emergency fund is in place. Some experts say
that you should have a minimum of three, while others say six
to eight months of expenses saved. That number can be daunting
and for some, it could take months or even years to save.
For my family, just four times our monthly expenses comes to
$17,680! It would take us much longer to squirrel away money
here and there, than to just utilize our income tax return each
year until we have a comfortable emergency fund in place. Put
that money away in an easily accessible, high interest bearing
If your emergency fund is in place, take a look at your debt.
Do you have any debt that is zapping your account every month
with high interest? Let’s pay it down! You are in essence, buy-
! If your refund is enough, try
and pay off your highest interest bearing credit card. Believe me,
when you pay your credit card down to zero you will feel like
you have just invented chocolate! It is such a rewarding feeling
taking control in this way. Doing so delivers a guaranteed return
on your money equal to the interest rate you were paying your
lender. If your refund isn’t enough to cover the debt, consider
rolling it onto a lower interest credit card. You’ll save money and
you will be able to make this power move with your next refund.
My last smart idea is actually a little fun. Play the lottery.
Wha-wha-wha-what? That is right. Play the lottery. No, I am
not talking about gambling in the way that you are thinking.
America Saves and Commonwealth started an incentive initiative
called saveyourrefund.org. The basis is that you “split, save,
and win.” In order to play, you agree to split part of your refund;
Part to save and part to spend. You save by purchasing a min-
Prepaid Card, treasury direct account, or a savings bond. Each
$50 that you put into some sort of approved savings account
earns you one lotto ticket that you could win a prize worth $100.
A little over 100 prizes are given out. Each ticket also enters you
in the grand prize for bigger winnings! Check out their website
for details, but I love a lottery where every player is a winner.
There are many great ideas of how to be smart with your refund,
and I recommend reviewing sites like moneycrashers.com
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