|If youíre lucky enough to be receiving money rather than owing it this tax season, resist the urge to hastily cash that check. While we usually recommend saving your tax refund, there are also a number of smart ways you could spend it instead.
1. Pay off a Lingering Debt
Not only does outstanding debt reduce your net worth, but you continually lose money to interest charges as well. If you have a credit card bill, loan balance or other debt dragging down your finances, the best thing you can do with your refund is pay that debt off.
2. Go Ahead and Splurge
It turns out treating yourself every once in a while to a spending splurge is a healthy way to remain motivated in following a budget. Seem counterintuitive? Think of sound money management as the equivalent to following a healthy diet; itís a lot easier to eat that salad every day if you know you can have a cupcake on the weekend.
3. Put a Down Payment on a Car
According to the IRS, the average refund is about $3,034 this year ó thatís enough for a 20 percent down payment on a $15,170 loan. Considering how low auto loan rates are today, now is a great time to use your tax refund to buy a car if youíve been considering the major purchase.
4. Upgrade Your Home
Home improvement can be a costly venture, but you can make upgrading your home an investment in the future. According to realsimple.com, things like painting, replacing windows and landscaping help to increase your homeís value, which means more money in your pocket when youíre ready to sell.
5. Donate to Charity
Finally, if you have everything you need for right now, consider helping out a cause that could use the money today. Bonus: You might be able to write off the expense next year for added savings.