Whether your tax refund is big or small this year, it’s tempting to splurge with that modest windfall. These three ideas can help you keep the “fun” in your refund while being mainly responsible and strategic with your money. One of the keys to fun-sponsible is using a small portion for fun and the rest to get ahead on your financial goals.
Treat your (future) self with life insurance.
Take care of your loved ones by using your refund to fill in any life insurance gasp. Thinking about what would happen if you’re not around is not a fun time at all, but it can help to put the proper amount of security in place for their future and your anxieties. There is a life insurance plan available for nearly every need and budget. Plus, the earlier you get it, the less expensive it is.
Create an emergency fund for a rainy day.
Many financial experts agree that you should have an emergency fund to help pay for unexpected expenses. About six months of your regular expenses is a great target. But You don’t have to fully fund your emergency account all at once. Try putting a small amount that you can contribute consistently, and then use your refund toward that.
Take care of your debt.
Try taking some of your refunds to tackle your debt. No matter how much you got back, focus on paying down debt with a higher interest rate rather than spreading the money around. “When you pay off a higher-interest-rate debt, it generally gives you more long-term purchasing power,” says Heather Winston, assistant director of financial advice and planning at Principal. Maybe your focus is credit cards or student loans. Just take a chunk out of a high-interest monster together for some financial breathing room.
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