April 15th... Time To Splurge

By: logosi
Seriously, throw caution to the win, splurge, and have a grand 'ole time, in moderation OF COURSE. I'm not suggesting clandestine trips to Vegas, down payments on a Lamborghini, or shady high risk investments. My ideas are a wee bit more conservative; simply put, reward yourself, your 'significant other' or your family with a night on the town, weekend getaway, trip to the theme park. Something that says... "Nicely done!"

Okay, now that you've spent your $10.00... :o)... what should you do with the rest?

I don't know the size of your refund, and I feel certain you wish it were more, use it wisely... before 'blink'... it's gone.

* FACT: The IRS reports average refund $2,436 as of early March '06

PAY OFF your credit cards... Years ago I got into serious money trouble with credit cards, since the memory is painful; I've no desire for a return performance. Debit cards are my plastic of choice. Sure, there are times a credit card would come in handy, but I 'bit the bullet', and decided to live free from debt, at least credit card debt. That's not a lecture, your life and choices are your own, but please, pay more than the minimum, or compounding will sink its teeth, draining financial blood for years to come.

* FACT: Credit card debit averages OVER $11,000 per household.

PREPARE for your golden years. As each day passes, we're one day older; over simplification, but true nonetheless. Contribute to, or start a retirement fund. I like to call it, feathering my 'nest egg'. Fun, free and frolicking, that's my plan for retirement, not desperation and worry. Our golden years should be fun, full of exploration and remembrance, use some of your refund to accomplish this.

FUND your emergency account. The other day as I walked my dog, I noticed he was limping. On examination I found a growth on his foot. I love my mutt and I want him taken care of. That said, I wasn't expecting a near $500 vet's bill, thank the lord (and talks with my Grandmother) for my emergency fund. You never know when the Grinch will sneak up, ill intent on his mind.

BE SMART. Or at least make certain your kids are. If you haven't already done so, start a college fund. If you begin when your kids are young, you'll have no problem providing a higher education, wait till they're in their teens and you'll wage an uphill battle.

* FACT: For the last ten years, college costs rose faster than inflation.

KEEP YOUR MIND ACTIVE. Life can be VERY competitive, speaking for myself; I never rest on my laurels (hey remember that great article I wrote last week?). Continue your education; take a weekend seminar, push your boundaries.

PAY OFF your house note. Okay... that won't be possible, but making an extra payment or two, might. And while you're at it, consider a 15 year mortgage instead of the more typical 30 year term. Don't let the larger payment scare you; it's not that radical, and the savings in interest... amazing.

Note: interest rates for example only.

30 year loan at 8%

Loan $100,000
Monthly payment $734
Interest $164,165

15 year loan at 7.5% (15 year loans are typically lower)
Loan $100,000
Monthly payment $927
Interest $66,862

Difference $97,293.

Difficult to believe? Believe it, that's how the rich get richer.
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