It’s the most wonderful time of the year – tax season! There is just over a month until the deadline to file your tax return for 2017. The IRS is expecting over 150 million individual returns this year.
Americans everywhere are downloading Turbo Tax, scheduling appointments at H & R Block, or making other arrangements to file their taxes.
My family’s taxes were filed a few days ago. As it turns out, we are receiving a refund this year. You receive a tax refund when you pay more taxes than you owe. Perhaps you will qualify for one as well.
If you do, it’s important not to spend it immediately or impulsively. A tax refund is an opportunity to spend money wisely, in a way that honors God and advances your family’s financial situation.
Here are four ways my family has used past refunds. Consider them as you decide how to use yours:
(If you don’t receive a refund, tax season is still a great time to revise your budget from 2017. Click here for ways to responsibly manage your family’s money in 2018.)
Give to the Poor
Proverbs says, “Whoever is kind to the needy honors God” (14:31). It also says, “Those who give to the poor will lack nothing” (28:27). God expects us to remember those who have less than we do, especially when we have extra money.
Pay off Debt
Proverbs 22:7 says, “The borrower is slave to the lender.” It’s no secret that Americans are enslaved to debt. Between mortgages, credit cards, auto loans and student loans, the average household carries a debt of over $130,000!
Dedicate a portion of your refund to alleviating debt. Make a few extra payments to lighten your family’s financial bondage in 2018.
Open a Savings Account
Proverbs says, “The wise store up choice food and olive oil” (21:20). It commends ants as “extremely wise” because “they store up their food in the summer” (30:24-25). Few Americans save as they should. Less than half have over $1,000 in savings.
Dedicate a portion of your refund to savings. If you already have a savings account, open a retirement account or start a college savings plan for your children.
Take a Trip
The average American is given ten days of paid vacation. However, only a quarter of workers use all their vacation time! This is a shame. Vacations are something for couples and families to look forward to, and opportunities to make unique memories.
Dedicate a portion of your refund to taking a trip. It doesn’t need to be anything fancy. Even if it only costs a few hundred dollars, a trip is a solid investment in your marriage or your family.
How do you plan to use your refund? Share your thoughts with a comment below!
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