Top 10 Smart Ways to Spend Your Tax Refund

By: Roni Deutch

1. Pay down your credit card debt
Credit card lenders typically huge interest rates, so this year why not use your refund to pay down all, or at least part of, your credit card debt? If you have multiple credit cards you should try to pay off those with the highest APR (annual percentage rate) first.

2. Make an extra mortgage payment
If you use your tax refund to pay an extra mortgage payment every year you can drastically reduce the total amount you pay on your loan. By making one extra payment each year you can reduce the life of your loan by up to six years.

3. Prepay major bills
If you have any big bills coming up then you might want to consider prepaying them with your refund. These bills range from annual insurance premiums to orthodontist bills, but can cause problems for anyone living on a monthly budget.

4. Upgrade appliances
By upgrading to energy efficient applicants such as air conditioners or refrigerators, you can actually save money on your energy costs. Additionally, these improvements can also increase the value of your house.

5. Open a college fund
If you have kids, or if you are planning to, it may be a good idea to put your refund away to their future college expenses. Tuition and book prices rise more each year and it is never too early to start saving.

6. Service your car
For many people their vehicle is their only way to get back and forth from their job. If it has been a while since you have had your car serviced it is probably a good idea to take it in.

7. Invest in yourself
By attending a professional conference, learning a new language, or even taking a class at a community college, you can put your refund to good use by investing in yourself.

8. Prepay a future vacation
There is nothing more relaxing than taking a well-deserved vacation. If you worked hard last year then odds are you will have a sizeable refund to show for it. Why not take a vacation with friends or family with part of that refund?

9. Donate it to charity
Making a charitable contribution is always a smart way to spend your tax refund. By helping others in need you can do a great thing and lower your taxable income.

10. Save it for a rainy day
This one technically is not a way to spend your refund, but it is a good rule of thumb is to have at least 3 to 6 months worth of living expenses saved in case of an emergency. You never know what will happen tomorrow, so you should always be prepared.

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