Maximize Your Tax Refund

Posted by Christy Karr on Apr 14, 2020

tax refund

If you’re getting a tax refund, maximizing it can be really important for your financial future. But how should you do that? The best way is to have a plan, so you don’t spend your refund on something that doesn’t give you the biggest benefit. If you have a financial plan to adhere to, you probably already know where your taxes are going. But if you don’t have a plan worked out, it’s time to create one before you spend that refund check. Future you will be thankful.

Tax Season is Upon Us — And Many People Have Their Refunds Already

A lot of people have already gotten their refund checks. Some people have spent them, and others may be holding onto them until they decide how the funds should be spent. If you’re in that boat, or you haven’t gotten your check yet, it’s time to make sure you have a good plan for those funds. You don’t want to squander your refund and then have regrets later. Here are some of the best things to do with your tax refund.

Use Your Refund to Jump-Start Financial Goals

If you have financial goals that are based on investing, saving, or other activities. Use your refund as a jump-start to that. You could open an investment account or a CD, put your money into saving for a rainy-day, emergency fund, or otherwise stash it away in something that will grow over time.

Paying Down Debts Can Be a Good Use of Refund Money

Having debt isn’t fun, especially if it’s at a high interest rate or has big payments on it. But you can use your refund to knock down that debt so you can pay it off faster. Depending on the size of your refund (and your debt) you may even be able to pay part or all of it off.

Invest in a Retirement Account or a 401(k)

401K Investments are a good idea for the future. It’s money you put away now, and it will grow so you’ll have more to spend later. An IRA or a 401(k) is a good choice, but there are also other types of investment accounts. No matter which one you choose, do your research first so you can select the right one for you.

Improve Your Home to Increase Its Value

Home improvements are among the best ways to spend your tax refund dollars. If your home could use some updating, you can raise its value and your equity in it by making sure you maintain and improve it.

Make a Big Purchase (But Only if It’s Planned and Beneficial)

If you’ve been saving for a big purchase for a while now, like a down payment on a house or a replacement for your aging vehicle, your tax refund could be that extra little bit of money you need to make that purchase. That kind of planned expense isn’t the same as an impulse by, and can be a good use of the money you get back on your taxes.

The bottom line is that maximizing your tax refund will involve using the money in a way that’s right for your needs and situation. Carefully consider the things that matter most to you, and that need to get accomplished. Then pick the most important one of those things, and put your tax money toward it. That will help you maximize your refund and minimize your regrets.