Tired of hearing about what not to do with your tax refund? Here’s a look at 5 smart and actually powerful things you can do with this year’s tax refund. They’ll not only help you get the financial house in order today, but they’ll help you keep on track for the long term!
1. Create an Opportunity Fund – An opportunity fund is nothing more than the typical emergency or rainy day fund you normally hear about, but with a spin. I believe that what you verbalize, you visualize and therefore run a greater chance of magnifying or magnetizing in your life. So, if you’re running around asserting that you need an “emergency fund” then what will happen? You’ll probably have an emergency! Instead, think about the things you really want to accomplish and life and allow that to be your motivation. . . .Will emergencies still arise? Well, duh, of course they will. But, now you have the opportunity to make what would have once been a crisis a simple inconvenience. There is nothing pleasant about an emergency, but knowing that if one came up, you’ve psyched yourself into saving to handle it with ease is definitely a blessing.
2. Take Care of Preventative Maintenance -You know that tooth that was nagging you a month ago? Or, how about that weird sound you heard under the hood a few weeks back? Another wise move you can make with your “windfall” is making sure you prevent anything you think may be even a tad bad from becoming much worse. Don’t fall for the trap of getting things that you want with this money. Take care of some needs now before they become huge expenses later!
3. Start Saving for College – The average college graduate leaves with a degree and five digits worth of debt. Somewhere around an average of $27000 to be exact. It might be hard determining whether you should have for retirement or save for college, but you can use this opportunity to establish or contribute extra towards a 529 account. Available in all 50 states, 529 plans let your savings grow tax-free, and the earnings escape federal tax completely if the withdrawals are used for qualified college expenses, including tuition, fees, and room and board. Be careful though, you will definitely face penalties if you use it for anything non-college related.
4. Pay Up Insurance Policies – After putting a little something aside in that opportunity fund, think about the annual expenses you have that are a must, but tend to possibly aggravate you on a monthly balance. Look at making the full premium payment on car, life or disability insurance. You’ve got to have it, but who says you have to pay for it monthly? Speak to your provider and don’t be surprised if you can negotiate some savings out of the deal.
5. Get Out of Debt – Despite what you heard about mortgages and student loans being “good debt,” the reality is that no debt is good. Acting as if it is will only keep you in it longer. You’ll lose your disgust for it and tolerate it for much longer than you have to or really should. Create a plan that allows you to put at least 30% of your refund towards eliminating debt. If you’ve got high interest rate credit cards or loans, they would obviously come first, but don’t hesitate to take a chunk out of any “good debt” too.
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