As the season’s festivities wrap up and the New Year approaches, many families are looking forward to tax season and a much-awaited tax refund. After a heavy season of spending (cue: holiday gifts and travel, regular bills, and unexpected end-of-year expenses), a nice check from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) sounds like just the ticket for getting back on track.
While some Americans will sock this check away for a rainy day, others prefer to put it toward something fun and unexpected. Recent data suggests that the average American tax refund settles in at around $3,000. This hefty sum offers a nice boost that can make a long-coveted purchase a newfound reality. There is no shortage of ways to spend this highly anticipated swell in the bank account. To get you thinking along the right lines, here are a few of the most common ways Americans spend their tax refunds. Perhaps one of them will work for you, too.
Many Americans are self-proclaimed lifelong learners, but the rising cost of education often creates a barrier to betterment. While the cost can be an excuse year-round, once your tax refund hits your account, there is extra cash to spend. What better way to spend your hard-earned refund than with an investment in your future and overall self-improvement?
There are many ways to seek a little more learning, and today’s tech-driven world makes accessing educational opportunities easier than ever. You can easily invest your tax refund in an online course or enroll in a non-degree-seeking class at a local university. You could also join a local association or professional development group, putting your refund toward the membership fees or mandatory dues. You’ll get to benefit from a sense of community while creating a better, brighter future for yourself.
There’s been much research devoted to the health benefits of relationship maintenance and companionship. Research suggests that spending time with those you love leads to improved self-esteem, positive choices, reduced stress levels, and life longevity. Quality time with others is one of the best ways to find joy year-round, so why not use your tax refund to host a party or celebration for those nearest to you?
A $3,000 check can take you pretty far when it comes to hiring a reputable caterer, purchasing party supplies, and booking a performance with a local band or other entertainment group. Even if you choose to do all the cooking and entertainment on your own, using your tax refund to provide a night of camaraderie and fun for those you love is money well spent. Putting on a party generates positive memories and moments that will last through the years. Plus, you’ll have that “feel good” energy at the end of it.
Travel offers unparalleled lessons in gratitude and self-reliance. There is something special about getting out of your element and exploring a new culture or terrain that you don’t find with any other experience. With this in mind, travel opportunities are a great way to invest your tax refund dollars. A large refund can almost completely fund a unique travel experience, so whether you prefer an all-inclusive relaxing beach vacation, a stroll through Europe’s most historic and sophisticated museums, or an exotic safari adventure, travel is a great way to treat yourself this coming tax season. It’s time to cross that trip of a lifetime off your bucket list!
New and used cars are big-ticket items worth considering when it comes to how you’ll spend your tax refund. Purchasing a new car is a huge decision, and for many people, it can be hard to come up with a substantial down payment at any time of year.
That said, sometimes even the largest refund isn’t enough to get you over the hump for this major purchase. Buying new and used cars usually requires some sort of financing. This can be difficult to obtain if you find yourself in a bad credit situation. Luckily, there is such a thing as a used car dealership with in-house financing ready to help with this dilemma. Buy here pay here financing is a popular and effective way to obtain the loan you need to get on the road with minimal disruption. These flexible offerings let you purchase a new car even with poor credit on your record. The dealership assumes the risk, enabling you to drive off the lot in your buy here pay here car stress-free. If this sounds like a great way to spend your tax refund, you should consider visiting one of AutoMax’s locations in Henderson or Youngsville, North Carolina. They service the entire metro area, including the Raleigh and Durham region. The selection and service at AutoMax can’t be beat, and their financing team will work with you to set up buy here pay here financing for your new ride.
Giving is another great health booster. There’s an endless association of positive health benefits linked to charity, volunteerism, and a general sense of goodwill. If you’re feeling generous and are ready to give in a major way, donating to a charity near and dear to you is a great way to spend your tax refund. Not only will you feel great about the way your money is spent, but if you itemize your taxes, you can also write these donations off as a deduction on your tax return. That sounds like a win-win scenario!
While tax season sometimes results in time-consuming headaches, most Americans will be due a significant refund at tax time. How you choose to spend that refund is up to you, but investing in any of these ideas gives you a way to get ahead and use your refund towards something that will provide lasting value. How will you choose to spend your tax refund?