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Saving money is something that is important to my husband and myself. With three little ones in daycare right now we have to cut corners wherever we can. This time of year, especially, I am reevaluating our budget to see where I can make changes. Why this time of year you ask? It’s tax time! We get a bit of extra money that’s not accounted for in the budget and I always want to spend it in the smartest ways possible, while also having a bit of fun. What’s your tax return status? Have you made plans to spend smart?
My degree is in accounting but I have to admit my spending habits haven’t always been good. It’s a work in progress and although I am educated on smart spending and have no issues spending other people’s money wisely I struggle with my own at times. Who doesn’t love shopping and getting new things? This is something I really had to get under control though to meet my goals in life. After many years of spending tax refunds foolishly I’ve gotten to the point in recent years that I feel confident on how to spend our tax refund wisely. Remember when you are checking your tax return status that it’s important to plan for what you need, not only what you want. It’s fine to have some fun but do it wisely and in line with what will benefit your family.
Home improvements can go a long way. Investing in your home will pay off when you need to sell. Making small improvements over the years will add up in the long run by adding value to the market price of your home. My husband and I like to plan for 2-4 small home improvement projects each year. A few years ago we did some work in our kitchen as shown in the above picture. The wall behind our sink/stove used to be just painted white. We added tile to it to give it some color and it looks so much nicer. Tax time is the perfect time to put a new coat of paint in a room or two, upgrade an appliance, add something on or get a floor redone. Small things add up.
Credit card debt is another thing I recommend working on with your tax refund. As soon as you get your tax return status – plan it out before the money is in your hands! Paying a bill isn’t a fun way to do it, but if it’s in the plan and you are dedicated to improving your finances it’s something that must be done. Pay off a small credit card and no longer have that monthly payment or put a chunk of money towards a card with a larger balance. Either way it will FEEL good, even if it’s not fun.
In line with paying off some debt, it’s equally important to plan to save when you check your tax return status! You may see the words “Accepted by the IRS” and want to go out and buy everything you’ve wanted for the past year but plan smart and know exactly what you will do when you get the refund. Savings are important to families, rainy days happen. Make sure you have some money set aside for emergencies. I recommend saving at least 25% of your return.
Investing part of your return in cost savings gadgets is also something that is not only smart, but can be fun! Yes, it’s okay to have some fun with your return! Many of us love the newest gadgets and they can even help us to save money. You can cancel magazine subscriptions or stop buying paperback books and use a reading app on your new phone! You can also use budgeting apps to help you stay on track each month with your budget!
You all know that I love Walmart Family Mobile and their amazing prices. I’ve talked about it before and how great it is for teens and adults on a budget! This tax refund tip allows you to think for the whole year. It’s important to think about how you can stretch your money to benefit your family the most. With Walmart Family Mobile you can do just that while splurging a bit, too. Your tax return status says approved? Go ahead and add a Walmart Family Mobile phone to your plan for your tax return. We recently went to Walmart to check out their latest offerings.
This is something that you can use all year, enjoy and save money each month with their affordable $29.88/month(for the first line) Unlimited Talk, Text & Data service plan which includes up to 500MB of 4G LTE data! That’s right….Walmart Family Mobile is now featuring 4G LTE data speeds!!! They seriously do just keep getting better and better! Tax time is the perfect time to make the switch since you have a bit of extra money to get the phone and get started on your journey of budgeting smaller for phone service each month!
We picked up the ZTE Zmax and LOVE it! It’s a phablet and is available for the reasonable price of $179.00 – it WAS $199.88! Have a teen in your life who needs a phone? You can also get a ZTE Zinger at the very low price of just $19.84 (was $39.88) and tax time is the perfect time to gift something! Helping out others helps keep our hearts happy! <3
And finally, I recommend donating a small portion of your return to your favorite charity. This will also help keep our hearts happy and helping others is a wonderful way to spend some of your money! Don’t have a favorite charity? You can do a search for local charities and pick one that touches your heart, pick one that benefits something you love and have a passion for and maybe even volunteer your time! It’ll be heart healthy for sure! 😉
There is no exact right way to spend your tax refund. We can try to spend it wisely to the best of our abilities but in the end it’s only wise if we benefit from it and making it last longer is always a plus! When you get your tax return status plan your spending path and make it matter!