Tax season is well underway, and whether you filed everything months ago or you’re still biding your time until the April deadline, it might literally pay to consider what you could do with your return. There is no shortage of ways to use that money, but listed below are some recommendations for using it wisely. 5 WAYS TO USE YOUR TAX REFUND THIS YEAR TO SAVE, PAY OFF, OR SPEND?
START OR CONTRIBUTE TO YOUR EMERGENCY FUND
Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. A properly stocked emergency fund can shield you from all manner of expensive disasters. If you have been building this fund bit by bit with each paycheck, your tax refund can give you a nice boost toward financial security.
PUT IT TOWARD PAYING OFF DEBTS
Whether it’s credit card debt, a car payment, or student loans, your tax refund might best be used to reduce any outstanding debt you’re carrying. Shrinking your monthly payments can go a long way toward freeing up money for other expenses down the road.
INVEST IN YOUR HOME
Do you want some new stone countertops and a stylish tile backsplash in the kitchen? Or maybe you want to knock down a wall in your old home to create a more modern, open space. Your tax refund could go toward making one of your most valuable assets — your home — more valuable.
Inspired by Food & Wine magazine
CONTRIBUTE TO YOUR RETIREMENT FUND
• 3/4 cup popcorn kernels • 2 tablespoons flaky sea salt
If you really want to make sure you don’t spend your tax refund frivolously, storing it away in a retirement fund can be a smart move. There might be more immediate needs or desires that you want to take care of with your newly acquired money, but your future retired self will thank you for holding off and thinking ahead. This option comes with the caveat that you should be certain about what you need long before that extra money gets to you. Making home repairs, buying a new pair of winter boots, or replacing your old, broken computer might not be a bad use of your tax refund, but, to prevent overspending, you should make sure of what you want long before you get it. These are just a few options to ponder during tax season, but they are certainly not the only ones. If you want to know the best route forward, visit our website or give us a call. BUY SOMETHING YOU NEED
• 1 teaspoon black sesame seeds • 2 teaspoons white sesame seeds • 2 teaspoons granulated garlic • 2 teaspoons granulated onion • 1/3 cup canola oil • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1. In a small skillet over medium heat, toast sesame seeds. Shake skillet often and cook until white seeds are golden and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and add garlic, onion, and salt. 2. In a large saucepan, combine popcorn kernels and oil. Cook over medium-high heat, covered, until popcorn kernels start to pop. Once popping, continue cooking and shaking the pan intermittently until popping ceases, about 3–5 minutes. 3. Transfer popcorn to a large mixing bowl. Pour in butter and toss to coat. Finally, add seasoning, toss again, and serve.
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