By : MIKA
As if it isn’t bad enough that 76% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, there are a lot of people sitting around waiting for their tax refunds to hit their direct deposit so they can buy all of these things that they probably couldn’t otherwise afford.
Those of us who have a problem with spending money before we get it have probably already calculated down to the penny what we’re going to spend our tax refunds on.
This year, I will not be one of those people. I have bigger things in mind besides a shopping spree or big ticket item purchase.
I’m pretty new to this tax refund thing (three years to be exact), but I’ve learned from the mistakes of the people around me who I’ve watched blow tax refund checks and of course my own experience blowing money fast. Unfortunately, many of us are never formally educated about this tax refund business and just learn from what we see. Most people see their tax refunds as “free money” from the government but it absolutely is not. Your tax refund is nothing more than the excess amount of your money that you paid to the federal government throughout the year. Keyword, YOUR money.
Let’s make this tax refund season the one that helps shape our financial futures instead of a trial period of the “lavish life”. Here are some of the things that I plan on doing with my tax refund check this time around:
Paying down credit card debt
Whether you have one credit card or 10, owing folk’s money is NOT cute. The first thing I’m doing with my tax refund money is paying off a good portion of my credit card balances. Some experts say to start with the card that has the highest interest rate, but considering the rates on my cards are relatively close to one another, I will be starting with the card with the least amount of debt. When that balance is zero, I’m on to the next.
Paying some bills in advance
People come and go, but bills, my dear, are here to stay. Of course you could wait to pay your bills on their respective due dates as you usually would, but what harm is there in getting a head start on next month? And the month after? None whatsoever. Making some advance payments on some bills can ease some of that “first of the month” blues.