April is the month when Americans get one of two bits of news. We write a check to pay our taxes, or we get a check written to us in the form of a tax refund. If you’re one of the nearly 80% of Americans who receive a refund on your federal income taxes, congratulations! Now, what to do with the unexpected windfall?
Start or increase your emergency fund
It’s not sexy, it’s not glamorous, but an emergency fund is essential. The days of working 40 years for the same company are behind us, so an emergency fund is a vital tool to manage a job loss or to cover an unexpected medical or home expense.
Pay off high-interest debt
Maybe you didn’t have an emergency fund when you needed it…and you had to finance day-to-day living on high-interest loans or credit cards. Use your tax refund to pay down or pay off that debt. Dollars used today to pay down high-interest debt can save you thousands of dollars in the future.
Start or increase your retirement fund
Every day, you are inching closer to retirement. So, what’s your plan? If the answer is “Social Security,” or, “Not sure,” well, put your refund to work on a retirement fund. At CSFECU, Roth or Traditional IRA Certificates can be opened with as little as $100.
Save for something
Seeing a pattern here? Deferred gratification. Put some of your tax refund away for that new car, new computer, self-improvement classes…
Do something for yourself
We aren’t heartless! Yes, if all the basics are covered, take some of your refund and do something for yourself, for today.
Happy tax day!