posted Monday, October 26, 2009, 14:36 pm
One way to survive in today’s economy is to have a good plan for deciding where all our money should go. Getting a tax refund? If we have no plan, for just a few brief weeks we may breathe easier, but as the money dwindles down, we’re right back where we were before. If we have a well thought-out plan for handling that windfall, however, we can hold onto that good feeling.
Here are some thoughts for getting the most from a tax refund:
- Catch up on all the past dues. Those late fees that you’ll no longer have to pay become another windfall!
- Save half your refund. Create an emergency fund. Aren’t we being reminded every day that we need one?
- Join America Saves either through a local campaign or go online to www.americasaves.org and learn tips on the best ways to save.
- Pay down credit card debt. Once this debt is gone, you’ll have more spending money.
- Make repairs. Any repair to your home will make it more valuable. And repairs that extend the lives of your car or appliances will save you a lot of money over time.
- Make your home more energy efficient. Spend a little now and save a lot later. Take advantage of this year’s energy credits.
- Pay off the family car but continue putting the payment in a savings account for the new one so when you buy it, you can either pay cash or have a significant down payment.
- Pay extra on the mortgage. One extra payment a year at the beginning of a 30-year mortgage will cut seven years off your payments.
- Begin or add to your retirement account. The economy may make the real changes in the way we save for our old age, but save we must.