6 Smart Things to do with a Tax Refund

Getting cash back from Uncle Sam?  Here’s how to make the most of it!

  1. BUILD YOUR EMERGENCY FUND.  It’s critical to have a financial emergency fund.  Experts suggest a three month reserve of all fixed expenses- mortgage, utilities, food.  But any amount will help handle a financial surprise.
  2. FUND YOUR RETIREMENT.  If your employer doesn’t offer a retirement plan or you’re already meeting their match, you could use your refund to start an IRA.  It gives you tax benefits and more control over your investment options.  Always consult with a tax professional about tax matters.
  3. PAY DOWN CREDIT CARD DEBT.  If your credit card interest rate is 15% or more, finance charges on your balance can double or triple the cost of every item you buy.  Your tax refund can reduce or eliminate that balance and interest expense  Why pay for yesterday’s dinner out for the next 10 years?
  4. CATCH UP ON MAINTENANCE.  Use your refund to pay for home and office maintenance jobs you’ve been delaying.  Things can cost even more if you wait to fix them.
  5. GET AN ENERGY AUDIT.  Good ones run several hundred dollars, but the information they provide can save you lots more.  Learning where to seal up leaks and add insulation will reduce your energy expenses for years.
  6. INVEST IN YOURSELF.  Getting ahead today often means developing new skills.  Spending money on a weekend conference, continuing education classes or an online course can lead to a higher paying career.

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