Tax Refunds are in! Here's How to Use Yours Wisely and Have the Last Laugh

Sid S.
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Here's how to make the most of your tax refund, by spending it on your priorities like paying down debt, investing in your future, and even treating yourself a little.

Ah, tax season is upon us once again! It's that time of year when we all start to feel like accountants, pulling out our calculators and furiously crunching numbers. But the good news is that if you're lucky, you might get a tax refund. And if you do, it's important to use that money wisely.

Now, I know what you're thinking: "I want to spend my tax refund on a new TV!" Well, hold your horses there, cowboy (or cowgirl). While a new TV might be tempting, there are plenty of better ways to use that money. Let's take a look.

1. Pay off debt

I know, I know. Paying off debt isn't exactly fun. But think about it: if you have credit card debt, you're probably paying a high interest rate. By using your tax refund to pay off that debt, you'll save money in the long run. Plus, you'll be one step closer to financial freedom.

2. Invest in yourself

Are you looking to further your education or improve your skills? Use your tax refund to invest in yourself. Take a course, attend a conference, or buy some books on a topic that interests you. Not only will you be expanding your knowledge, but you'll also be investing in your future earning potential.

3. Give to charity

If you're feeling particularly generous, consider giving some (or all) of your tax refund to charity. Not only will you be helping a good cause, but you'll also be able to deduct the donation from next year's taxes.

4. Start an emergency fund

Life is unpredictable, and sometimes unexpected expenses arise. By using your tax refund to start an emergency fund, you'll be better prepared for those situations. Aim to save at least three to six months' worth of living expenses.

5. Invest it for your future

Let's say you received a tax refund of $2,000. One way you could invest that money is by opening a Roth IRA. A Roth IRA is a retirement account that allows you to save and invest money tax-free. Plus, when you withdraw the money in retirement, you won't have to pay taxes on it.

With your $2,000 tax refund, you could open a Roth IRA and make a contribution. The maximum contribution for 2023 is $6,000, so you would still have some room to contribute more later in the year if you wanted to.

Once you've made the contribution, you can choose how to invest the money. This might be a good opportunity to diversify your portfolio by investing in a mix of stocks and bonds. Keep in mind that investing always carries some level of risk, so make sure you do your research and invest in a way that aligns with your goals and risk tolerance.

Over time, as you continue to make contributions and your investments grow, your Roth IRA could become a significant source of retirement income. And the best part is, because it's a Roth IRA, you won't have to pay taxes on any of that income when you withdraw it in retirement.

So, instead of spending your tax refund on something fleeting, consider investing it in your future. Your future self will thank you!

6. Treat yourself (within reason)

Okay, I know I said earlier that buying a new TV might not be the best use of your tax refund. But that doesn't mean you can't treat yourself a little. Just make sure you do so within reason. Maybe you've been eyeing a new pair of shoes or a fancy dinner at a nice restaurant. Treat yourself to something that you'll truly enjoy, but don't go overboard.

What not to do with your tax refund

what to do with your tax return

Now, let's talk about some examples of what not to do with your tax refund.

Splurging on a luxury vacation

Sure, it might be tempting to use your tax refund to book a luxurious vacation to a tropical paradise. But remember, that money will only last for a week or two, and then it's back to reality. Plus, the credit card bill that comes with it might haunt you for months to come.

Buying a new car

I know, a new car is shiny and exciting. But it's also a depreciating asset. The moment you drive it off the lot, it starts to lose value. Instead of using your tax refund to buy a new car, consider putting that money toward your current car's maintenance or paying off any car loans.

Going on a shopping spree

You might be tempted to use your tax refund to go on a shopping spree, buying new clothes, electronics, or other goodies. But think about it: do you really need all of that stuff? Will it truly make you happier in the long run? Probably not. So, instead of splurging on things you don't really need, use your tax refund to invest in your future or improve your financial situation.


In conclusion, while tax refund can be exciting, it's important to use that money wisely. Pay off debt, invest in yourself, give to charity, start an emergency fund, invest and treat yourself.

If you're looking for more guidance, set up a FREE chat with one of our coaches to learn more about how to make the most of your tax refund.

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