There’s nothing like a tax refund to perk up a dull week. An extra chunk of change is full of possibilities—and these are our five top tips for spending it.
Pay Off Debt
Debt payments don’t sound very exciting, but getting closer to a debt-free life will hopefully help take some weight off your shoulders. Take a look at your debts with the highest balances and interest rates so you can pay those off first. Credit card debt can be especially difficult in the long run, so that’s often a good place to start.
Build Up Your Savings Account
If you don’t already have three to six months of expenses set aside in case of emergencies, your refund gives you a great opportunity to pad your savings. Or, if you don’t have any savings at all, it’s a great place to start. Talk to your local credit union about setting up a savings account to help you prepare for the future.
Invest in Your Skills
If you’re interested in learning something new, consider using your refund to sign up for a community college course or continuing education class. Whether it’s a software class that will help advance your career, or a cooking class that will make you want to dine in more often, now’s the time to invest in your future.
Make a Donation
Whether you keep your dollars local or give to international organizations, a donation to a cause you care about is a big step in the world of adulting. If you want to make sure your money is used wisely, check out your charity of choice on CharityWatch or Charity Navigator. These third-party charity assessment organizations have already done the hard work and research for you. Wherever you decide to give, be sure to save your receipts so you can deduct the amount from your taxes next year.
Go Ahead and Splurge
…But be smart about it! If you’re already consistently paying off your debts and building up your savings, there’s no reason you can’t buy something fun for yourself. Some people believe that spending money on experiences is better than spending money on material items. Others think you should spend money where you spend the most time. But as long as you’re being responsible, you should spend your extra cash wherever you like.
If your tax refund is on the way, we hope you find a great use for it!