August 5, 2020
Cash on hand from your tax refund? Where should you spend it?

Your tax refund can hold more value, depending on how you use it.

Tax-filing season  — that’s a wrap!


You may very well have a tax-refund check in hand (or are awaiting its arrival with happy anticipation). Here are some ways to put that money to good use, from different perspectives:


Free yourself up. High-interest debt is like a large duffel bag full of rocks that you just keep carrying around with you. Pay off your credit cards or other interest-compounding bills to end (or get you closer to ending) this cycle of debt. Getting even one credit card paid off can offer a great feeling of freedom.


You can also free yourself up by outsourcing a task within your home or business that you are currently doing yourself. This can reduce strain on your time so that you are not spending a Saturday cleaning your house, for example, or racing home in time to walk your dog, when there are many small businesses that provide these services and more.


Time, after all, is money.


Buy yourself some peace of mind. All of a sudden, your car needs a new transmission. Your company experiences the loss of a big client and your workload is decreased. A massive leak appears in the roof of your home. Or your dentist says you need a root canal … need we go on? Life has a fun way of throwing stuff at us when we least expect it.


Setting aside cash for emergencies may not seem as fun as a vacation or shopping spree, but it also gives you the added benefit of putting your mind at ease should a random life development cause monetary stress.


Maybe peace of mind to you means purchasing an electric generator for your home, in case the area loses power due to a hurricane. Or maybe you haven’t yet drafted a will or revamped your insurance policies in a while.


For a quicker fix to ensure stress won’t take advantage of the calm you feel with your taxes being filed, buy a spa package for a series of massages. It is likely something you wouldn’t normally do for yourself, but carries great mental and physical benefits.


Invest in you. Investments can come in the form of Roth IRAs, sure. Those kinds of investment vehicles can be great ways to grow your money long-term, the theory being that if you invest that kind of “bonus” money you were living without anyway, you won’t even miss it.


But what about investing in yourself in a different way? The piano lessons you always promised yourself you’d take, for example, which will allow you to use different parts of your brain in different ways. You could also put that money toward earning a new professional certification that can help get you to the next level in your career. Or take a culinary tour overseas to explore new ideas for your restaurant or food business.


Along with tax-refund money comes that great feeling of found cash. Putting it toward freeing yourself up, preparing for emergencies or growing in new ways are all positive alternatives, offering value on many levels.



Susan Shalhoub

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