thrifty frugal living tips
If you've got a nice fat tax refund check coming your way, take a few minutes to plan how to spend it -- before it's gone.
Top 10 Ideas for Your Tax Refund
"Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort."
--Franklin D. Roosevelt
How often do you get your hands on a small lump sum that can do so many wonderful things for you? Here are some ideas for having your tax return make your life just a little bit easier.
1. Train for a New Career or Expand a Hobby
Maybe you've been wanting to 'switch' careers but need some training you haven't been able to afford. Perhaps you're wanting to learn medical transcription and work from home some day soon. Bank this return and use it to fund your training.
Are you a hobbyist wanting to create a steady income? Set this refund aside to purchase supplies on sale so you'll be ready to go.
2. Open a Car Account
Do you dread a new round of car payments once your car breathes its last breath? Tuck away each refund over the next 5 years. Your car could nearly be paid for by the time you need it.
3. Begin a Clothing Fund for the Kids' Clothes
When you have money set aside, you can afford to find kids' clothing at great discounts -- without whipping out your credit card. Do this this each year and you'll be ready when the new school year rolls around.
4. Begin a Home Repair or Remodel Fund
Haven't had the money to remodel a room in your home? Start your Remodel or Home Repair Fund. Take $10 from each paycheck over the next year, and add that to your fund. Throw all gift money received throughout the year in there, too.
5. Open a Vacation Fund
The trick here is to allow yourself only a set amount to spend each year on your vacation, always leaving the majority of the money in the bank. Aim for spending only one-fourth of it each year, or a set amount like $500. Keep funding it with your refunds each year.
6. Open a Christmas Account for Next Year
Yes, the holidays are over, but are the credit card bills still arriving? Each year we think of setting up an account like this.
But then we worry about where the money would come - and we give up on the idea. Your refund, no matter how small, is ready and waiting to get you started. Imagine how you'll feel to have next year's purchases already paid up!
7. Open or Add to Your Emergency Account
Why have an Emergency Account? Because it's the difference between knowing you'll be okay if you have an emergency, or stressing out about where you'll scrape up the money you need.
Everyone has his or her own idea of an emergency, but the point is to have the money set aside. Will you be ready?
8. Use Your Refund to Pay Down Debt
Yes, you've heard this one before, over and over. A word of caution, though. If you constantly have credit card debt, it's likely you're still living beyond your means. What will keep you from spending more than you make after this year's return has paid off your credit cards?
Why not pay off your higher-interest cards, learn to live within your means, and put some of the refund into an emergency account?
9. Set up an Expense Fund Just for Your Car
Let's face it. Most of us have to keep a vehicle running in order to go about the business of living. Remember the last time you were forced to buy new tires? How did you pay for them? Cash? Credit card? How about replacing broken headlights? Even small repairs can tap into money we don't have set aside. Do you have money in the checkbook on a regular basis for the simple, smaller expenses?
10. Hmmm... To Spend, or Not to Spend
Torn between saving your $1500 refund -- or buying something yummy? Put it into perspective by calculating how many hours you'll work to make that $1500 again. If you make about $11/hour, you'll need to work approximately 182 hours (you'll lose about 30% in taxes, etc.) to net that $1,500. That's over one month's worth of pay for you!
Imagine having that tucked away, all nice and secure. If you lose your job unexpectedly, guess what? You've at least got something to tide you over for a short while. How freeing is that?
Author and ezine editor Darlene Arechederra inspires busy women to put the fun back into saving their money. Her complimentary newsletter serves up heaps of motivation with a unique, down-home style of writing.
Join her today at http://www.RatRaceRemedies.com
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