While having extra cash on hand can’t hurt anything, it’s definitely possible to make some good and not so good uses of it. Here’s a short list of do’s and don’ts that’ll hopefully be your compass leading to a good use of your return.
Pay Off Debt
Whether it’s student loans, credit card payments, a car loan, or any other sort of payment, it’s always a good idea to use what you can to reduce the principal amount. Minimum payments may not seem like a lot in the short term but definitely will cost more in the long run.
Boost Your SavingsYou never know when you’re going to need to dip into your emergency fund, but you’d certainly feel better about it if you parked your tax return into that account. With the surprise expenses that life, cars, and owning a home can bring, it’ll be nicer to put that money into action without worrying as much.
InvestWe know money doesn’t grow on trees, but we also know of many other places money can grow. Whether it’s in the stock market, your retirement account, treasury bills, municipal bonds, or even shares of a local company, investing that extra handful of cash can bring more financial security down the road.
Another way to invest is in your own property. Using your tax return as a down payment on a house or mortgage is an investment in your future. If you’d like advice on purchasing a new home contact St. Cloud Federal Credit Union.
Buy Lots of Small ThingsIt’s tempting to resist the urge to splurge. Maybe coffee every morning for a few weeks or entering a retailer and leaving with 12 additional items sounds good in the moment, but those little purchases can create a huge dent in your return. There’s a reason small buys seem to add up quickly, and that’s because we consider the purchases too small to make a difference.
That extra boost of cash may seem like the perfect time to upgrade your existing vehicle, but when you look at the size or your return and the overall cost, it’s pennies in the bucket. Modern cars often make it well past 200,000 miles if properly maintained, so consider whether or not the purchase is a want or need before heading to your dealership.
Buy a New Car
Spend it on ImpulseA night on the town with great food and drink is something most of us can appreciate, but not something our bank accounts will. A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself how long this purchase will benefit you. Whether it’s a round of golf, movie tickets, a cappuccino, or anything in between, the thrill only lasts as long as it takes to finish it.
Your tax return can be a great help and with a little effort, you’ll be thanking yourself later. We hope these tips will help you put your tax return to good use, and lead you to a pat on the back from your future self. Be sure to follow us on Facebook for more helpful tips, and put your tax return to good use!