10 wise ways to spend your tax refund this year

Taxes and death: the two surest aspects of life. Not everyone enjoys giving the government money from their hard labor, especially considering all the waste that takes place in the nation’s capitol. But you know what? It’s that time again.

Whether we’d like to admit it or not, we have to complete our tax returns (soon). Some of us will get money back, while others will have to fork over extra dough to the Internal Revenue Service. Although the IRS has stated that 90 percent of Americans receive tax refunds each year, a recent study found that fewer Americans believe they will get a rebate due to tax increases and a small jump in income.

Since the demise of the United States economy, those who have been fortunate enough to receive refunds on their returns have used the money to pay down their exorbitant non-mortgage debt, such as credit cards, auto loans or student loans.

Despite whatever amount the taxpayers of this country receive, there are a great number of ways to spend it (wisely). Here are 10 methods to fully utilize your tax refund this year.

1. Credit card debt: one of the worst things to have in life is credit card debt. The debt plus interest, fees and other charges makes the whole process of purchasing goods and services seem pointless. When you get your tax refund, perhaps the very first action you should take is to pay down your credit card debt.

2. Other debt: being indebted to someone or an entity is an awful feeling. Although there are some in our society that likes to think of debt as a good element of life, it isn’t and as soon as you receive a check in the mail look at what you owe. If you have some outstanding bills from your telephone or cable provider, pay it down.

3. Saving: if you don’t have any non-mortgage debts then consider putting that money away for a rainy day. Since Americans aren’t known to be savers – the savings rate in this country is 2.6 percent – this would be a good opportunity to dump that sum into a high-interest savings account.

4. Investments: after receiving a chunk of change then you could do some research to see how you can invest the money. This can include purchasing mutual funds, entering the stock market or getting your hands on some bullion (see next one). Do your research and see if you want to take some risk with that rebate money.

5. Bullion: as the U.S. dollar crumbles and other foreign currencies continue to weaken, buying precious metals is one of the wisest things to do. Right now, gold and silver are experiencing a pullback in the prices. With gold and silver projected to hit new record highs over the next couple of years, this would be a great opportunity to protect your wealth and make a bit of extra money.

6. Entrepreneur: start a blog, establish a new local service in your community or create an online business. At first, starting a business may not prove lucrative, but with some hard work, a bit of luck and determination that initial $100 investment may pay dividends in the end and could even transform your life (fingers crossed).

7. Survival kit: it’s not uncommon that most of us put off creating a survival kit. In this tough economy and extreme weather patterns, it would be prudent to start bulking up on water supplies, first-aid kits, food and other elements of a survival kit.

8. Education: no, not going back to school and obtaining a degree that is becoming worthless over time. With the additional source of money available, you can purchase books on economics, politics and history and teach yourself important matters (click here for a good start).

9. Emergency fund: this is different from a savings account. By maintaining an emergency fund, you won’t have to dip into your short-, medium- and long-term savings accounts to cover an unforeseen circumstance.

10. Charitable contributions: if you don’t need the money then it may prove beneficial to give to a charity that does fantastic work. This is a superb utilization of capital and offers a tremendous societal benefit.

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