2020 was a year filled with uncertainty. As we start anew in 2021, one thing is certain – taxes! Some of us are already downloading Turbo Tax and collecting documents in preparation for filing this year’s return. Others won’t worry about it until April!
Maybe you’ll get lucky and qualify for a refund. Even if you don’t, you’ve probably already received stimulus checks or unemployment benefits as a result of COVID. Either way, there’s likely some extra money burning a hole in your pocket!
It’s important not to spend it immediately or impulsively. A stimulus/tax refund is an opportunity to advance your financial situation in a way that honors God. Here are four ways my family uses our stimulus checks/refunds. Consider them as you decide how to use yours:
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 nearly $150,000!
Dedicate a portion of your stimulus/refund to alleviating debt. Make a few extra payments to lighten your family’s financial bondage in 2021.
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. 70% have less than $1,000 in savings!
Dedicate a portion of your stimulus/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 provide a much-needed break, and opportunities for couples and families to make memories.
Dedicate a portion of your stimulus/refund to taking a trip. It doesn’t need to be anything fancy. Even if it’s just an overnight getaway, a trip is a solid investment in your marriage and/or family.
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