Last week we talked about three great ways to use your tax refund. While your retirement and your kids’ educational future are important, they’re not things that are making a difference in your life at the present time. So, it got me thinking about the here and now. Let’s take a look at 3 more ways you can spend a refund that will make a bigger difference in your financial life right now…
Get out of debt: If you’re only able to throw a handful of cash at your substantial amount of credit card debt each month, it can feel like you’re not making much of a dent. So, if you’re getting a big refund this year, it can be a great opportunity to pay down a good chunk of it. Once you’ve gotten that debt paid off, you can start putting that money you’ve been directing towards your debt directly into savings. That’s going to make you very happy.
Save it for an emergency: Hopefully you’ve got job security, but you never know what’s going to happen in life, so it’s always a good idea to have at least 6 months’ salary available in case something happens that would keep you from being able to work. It stinks that you have to have it, but you’re going to be glad you do if the time comes.
Invest it: The cool thing about a tax return is that you don’t usually have it included in your budget. So, if you’re debt free, with a good emergency fund, you can choose to make some different choices with it. If you’ve never invested, it’s probably a great idea to consult a professional to help you build your portfolio. A financial advisor can help you figure out some ways you can make some quick money with your investment, and NerdWallet also has some resources to help you find ways to make money in the next couple of years. Investopedia is another good resource that has some great information to help beginners get started.