With tax returns right around the corner, I wanted to share some ideas on how you might spend your tax return in a smart way instead of blowing it. Some of these ideas will be fun, and some will be practical. It always pays to have a plan though, especially when it comes to your finances. Self- control, peeps. Self-control.
#1 – Pay off a bill or two
I’m not saying you have to use your entire tax return to pay off debts, because that’s just no fun at all. But I do think the very first thing you should do is pay something off completely, or at least a good chunk of it. Then, the rest of your return can be used as a reward for being smart with your money 🙂
(Rewarding yourself may sound juvenile, but I think it’s SO important to do whenever you accomplish small goals, like paying off debts. It satisfies our human need for quick satisfaction & encourages you to keep on truckin!)
#2 – If you don’t have an emergency fund saved up already, DO IT NOW.
I hate to be morbid, but you just never know what financial setback is sitting around the corner. Maybe your car breaks down, or your air conditioner goes out in the middle of Summer, or your kid breaks their arm in soccer. Emergency funds are essential. It’s better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it. We follow Dave Ramsey (kinda) faithfully, and he suggests having at least $1,000 in your emergency fund at all times. Do yourself a favor, and prepare now before you get caught with your pants down.
#3 – Book a few weekend getaways for you and your spouse/significant other/friends/etc.
If you’re anything like me, every couple of months you get a strong urge to just get away for a couple of days. It doesn’t have to be overly extravagant by any means. This year, my hubby and I pre-booked 3 weekend getaways through airbnb.com. If you have never used airbnb, I highly suggest it! It’s almost always cheaper, gives you a more local feel (which I love), and can also be cost effective in the food department because you usually have access to a kitchen as well! By pre-booking your room months in advance, you’ve already financially committed to it and won’t have to scrounge up the money to be able to go somewhere whenever you get the urge… Because you WILL get the urge & you know it.
#4 – Set aside money for Christmas gifts
I’ll be honest with y’all, we are generally pretty good at managing our finances, but when it comes to saving money for Christmas gifts ahead of time we kinda suck. But, man! Wouldn’t it be SO nice to already have money set aside for Christmas whenever it rolls around?? Being able to take that burden off of the holiday season so that you can spend your energy on actually enjoying that time with friends and family is priceless if you ask me.
#5 – Pay a few utility bills in advance
Again, wouldn’t it be SO nice to not have the burden of paying your electric bill for 5, 6, 7 months??
#6 – Invest in your future
What is a purchase that would be a good investment for your future? Maybe you’re wanting to start your own business and have a few startup purchases to make. Maybe you have some schooling to finish. Maybe you want to attend some sort of spiritual/personal/financial growth seminar. Maybe you’ve been wanting to hire a personal health/fitness coach. I’m not talking about your typical, materialistic, purchases here… I’m talking purchases that will eventually (hopefully) pay off in a much bigger way. Whatever it may be for you, you have to be okay with spending a little to get a lot. Investing in your future is so important, folks.
#7 – GIVE
How many times do we find ourselves saying, “man, if only I had more to give I would totally help that person”??? News flash! The majority of us DO have enough to give, we just aren’t smart with our money, and so giving gets shoved to the bottom of the to do list. Not cool. Not cool. Be intentional with your tax return and have self-control.
#8 – SAVE
You can never go wrong with saving money. One tip I have for you though, is to decide what you’re saving for. Having an end goal like buying a house, going on vacation, sending your kids to college, etc. is the key motivator behind whether you are disciplined in your saving or chaotic. BUT don’t forget to reward yourself for small accomplishments along the way 😉
I hope you found these creative ways to spend your tax return helpful, and if some of them weren’t for you, I hope they sparked an idea that IS for you.
A big part of “living life abundantly” includes being smart with your money. Every single one of these ideas can be used to glorify God in some way. Yes, even the weekend getaway with your hubby 😉 I hope and pray that you make smart choices, and have an abundantly blessed year ♥