Your Income Tax Refund: Sofa, Pecs, or Freedom?

By: Darlene Arechederra

Your Income Tax Refund: Sofa, Pecs, or Freedom?

What will your tax refund 'buy' for you this year? A lovely
sofa? Perfect Pecs? Freedom?

I hate to admit it, but I almost bought the Pecs. I opened a
colorful brochure that caught my eye...

And, there it was... the perfect way to *invest* my refund:
in myself -- with my very own home gym! Who doesn't deserve
those Abundant Abs, that perfectly Toned and Sculpted Body...
All for under $1,200, with payments under $35/month!

I was drooling. I had to have that gym! I deserved it! I'd
wanted it for over a year now... Good things come to those
who wait, right?

I found some even smaller print at the bottom -- The APR was
just under 22%! I exhaled. Slowly. It felt like someone
had stopped Bob Seger's 'Beautiful Loser,' right at the best
part of the song. The drooling stopped. The adrenaline
retreated, waiting for the next spending rush.

My sanity returned.

Still dazed, I followed the efficient-looking tax lady back
to her desk, all the while calculating how much interest I
would have paid for those Perfect Pecs...

those Adorable,
Abundant Abs. Just how tired would my bones be by the time
I had this home gym paid off?

I didn't even have the refund in my hands yet. But I was
holding a brochure that had the power to devour any refund
I might have... before it could chill in my bank account.

4 Tips to Keep the Drooling at Bay

1. Decide ahead of time not to spend it. If you later change
your mind, ask yourself, "is my *want* important enough to use
this lump sum of money?"

2. Tuck it into savings immediately (preferably your emergency
account). Or, if that sends you into a cold sweat, put up half
of it. Avoid the Money Sponge. Don't be tempted to leave it
in the checkbook!

3. Think of your tax return as *Freedom Money*, not as *extra*.
Add bits of money to it for a 'Freedom-To-Be-My-Own-Boss' Account.

This is money you've managed to do without over the past year.
You didn't miss it then -- no need to miss it once you've tucked
it away...

4. Picture yourself debt free... All credit cards are paid off.
You have a few thousand dollars in several money accounts. You
are contributing to your retirement account on a regular basis.
Bill-paying time is stress free. You can go out from time to
time, paying cash as you go. Emergencies are covered.

Your money is under control. Your control -- not that of the
credit card companies or debt collectors.

Will this year's refund bring you a new sofa, Perfect PecsScience Articles, or
the Feel of Freedom? You have the *power* in the palm of your
hand -- to take a huge step forward in your financial life.

Will you DO it?


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