You’re getting a tax refund. What to do with it? Do you feel guilty even considering using it for something other than paying bills? Do you want to feel abundant AND responsible about the choices you make with your money?
Here’s my suggestion: Devote a portion of your refund into repairing the past; spend a percentage on the present; and invest an amount toward the future.
For instance: Do you have debt that is hanging over your head? A sofa that Goodwill would hesitate to take? A paltry savings account? You could put money toward all three!
No doubt about it, paying off debt feels good. Getting that monkey off of our back is very liberating. It can be crucial to our self esteem that we attend to this. We also know it’s important to have savings. But did you also know that having money set aside for short-term use is one of the major ways to stay out of debt? If you don’t have money in reserve for periodic, non-monthly expenses (the little or big surprises that are just a part of life) guess what so many people do? Use a credit card and incur more debt! It’s hard to get out of a hole if you keep digging.
It’s also important to attend to some of our immediate needs. If we fall into a pattern of neglecting our present situation, we’re likely to go into more debt by picking up our credit card to try to fill the deprivation. Do you worry about driving because you need new tires? Do you avoid having guests over because you are ashamed of the holes in your sofa? Consider attending to one of the areas of your life that you have been neglecting. Even a little bit of money dedicated to this can increase your sense of abundance.
Regardless of how you decide to allocate your tax refund, I encourage you to make a conscious decision and make a plan. Otherwise you may be asking yourself, “Where did the money go?”