Tax time comes with plenty of dreaded tasks, from keeping track of your returns until you’re ready to face the music, to searching out every last deduction you might qualify for. Once the work is done and your refund is on the way, you can finally enjoy the results of all that work. If you’re pondering over what to do with that extra little bonus, consider some of these options.
Pay Off Your Credit Cards
If you’re carrying a lot of credit card debt, the smartest thing you can do with your tax refund is to eliminate a big chunk of it. If you have enough to pay off your credit cards completely, go for it! While it may feel at first like your windfall is just disappearing, you’ll see a more continuous payoff when you have a little extra money every month because you’re not spending it on credit card minimums.
Make a Charitable Donation
Put your money to work for a worthy cause by making a donation to your favorite charity. If you don’t have a charity that you support, now’s a great time to find one. Think about the cause that you’re most passionate about. Do you have a soft spot for abandoned dogs? Do you want to support research for a rare disease? Donate your refund or use the cash to host a fundraiser and increase your donation.
Learn a New Skill
If you’ve been dying to learn French, ballroom dancing, piano, or gourmet cooking, stop making excuses and start expanding your skill set. Sign up for a class, purchase language learning software, or find a private tutor for your special interest. Your tax refund can become a new skill you enjoy all year-long.
Take Time to Travel
If you haven’t enjoyed a weekend away recently, take some time to do it now. You don’t have to go far to recharge and refresh. A short weekend road trip can do wonders. It’s also a great way to spend some special time with your partner, away from the fuss of everyday life. Try a new restaurant, spend the night at a luxurious hotel, and hit up the local hot spots.
Try Your Luck
While you have a little extra money, why not try your luck at a few games of chance to see if you can’t make your refund multiply. Set a limit on how much you’re willing to gamble with and don’t go beyond your means. That way you can hit the casinos, try online gaming, or invest in a few lottery tickets safely and enjoyably. You may just hit the jackpot.
Start Stocking Up and Give Your Home a Makeover
You can save a lot of money by buying groceries and toiletries in bulk when they’re on sale, but you need a sizeable amount of money to get started on this path. Hang on to your tax refund and start tracking your local sales. When there’s an unbeatable deal for a staple like canned vegetables, chicken breasts, ground beef, or paper towels, buy in bulk and maximize your savings. If you’re lacking storage space for all your great finds, consider spending some of your refund on a chest freezer or shelving for the garage as well.
Now that you’re focusing on your home, why not do some updates a fun facelift that will freshen up your living space? Get new carpet, build that deck, repaint the living room, or update your draperies. Make a list of the updates you want before you go shopping and take measurements and swatches with you so you don’t come home with furniture that’s too big or throw pillows in the wrong shade of blue.
Along with your long-awaited tax refund comes endless possibilities for new experiences and investments. Spend it on one of these ideas or spread it out between a few to make the most of that extra cash.