We often think of a tax refund as “free money,” but nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, you earned that money last year, and it’s high time that it should get to work on your behalf. Here are some great ideas for making the most of every penny.
Use it as Seed Money
You worked hard to generate those funds that are coming back to you, so why not invest them in making a dream come true? If you have a thriving side hustle, or are interested in starting one, this could be a golden opportunity. With technology allowing people to rely on the web for their work, you don’t even have to make a huge investment to get something off the ground.
Take e-commerce for instance. You can glean all sorts of tips from learning tools on the web, and set up an online store with minimal financial outlay. Get familiar with concepts like brand building, search engine optimization, anchor text, and email marketing, so you can get started on the right foot. With a bit of research and a bit of seed money, you could be well on your way towards a profitable endeavor.
Secure Better Self-Care
Putting that money into your well-being is another perfect solution to your tax-dollar dilemma. As Psych Central explains, a self-care program should include basic actions that encourage your physical and emotional health. With that in mind, perhaps your fitness is on your resolutions radar. Beyond providing things like improved strength, flexibility, and stamina, routine exercise can make you happier, boost energy, and reduce your risk for disease.
Think about how you can make that happen. Perhaps the convenience of an under desk elliptical machine would be a wise investment, or a personal trainer would encourage better discipline. Another idea is to simply add a fitness tracker to your equipment—a safety-oriented Apple Watch, or an Alexa-enabled Fitbit Versa 2 could fit the bill.
Of course, self-care doesn’t stop with exercise. Diet is another universal cornerstone, so you might use that refund to subscribe to a healthy meal delivery subscription. If you’re a hard-core foodie, Glamour recommends Home Chef, but if your tastes lean more toward traditional fare, aim for Blue Apron. Pick whatever sounds tantalizing, and dig in!
Get Away from it All
Since your tax refund is a product of your toil, using it to take a break from it all might be the ultimate solution in your book. What’s more, taking a vacation is a worthwhile expenditure and can mesh nicely with both your self-care and work goals; reducing stress levels, improving productivity, and reducing heart disease are amongst the benefits to be had.
Your refund money could be just the ticket to a bucket-list destination. Perhaps the Emerald Isle beckons you with its ancient coastline, or the brilliant blue waters of Santorini call your name. If exploring nature is more your bag, the Galapagos offer a unique and one-of-a-kind experience. Of course, closer to home is the Grand Canyon or Big Sur. Contemplate what will give you fodder for amazing memories and be worthy of those precious pennies returned by Uncle Sam.
The Future You
Saving for your golden years is a must these days. Many of us are living longer and wanting to age in place, so being able to do it with comfort, dignity, and independence is a great goal for your tax refund. Consider plunking that check in your retirement funds, or if you’re drawing close to your big event, adding a supplemental investment. When you’re ready to dip into that nest egg, you’ll thank yourself.
Your tax refund might feel like easy money, but in fact, you earned it the hard way a while ago. That’s more than enough reason to make sure you get your due. Contemplate what investment will feel most worthwhile to you, then put that money to work!