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Money Management

Ideas for Using Your Tax Refund

It’s always nice to receive a sudden windfall, but what do you do with it?

If you’ve already taken care of your taxes this year, then first of all, good for you! It’s very responsible to get it done as soon as possible, not to mention easier and faster than having to do it at the same time as everyone else. Secondly, assuming something about your return didn’t prompt the IRS to throw a brick through your window, there’s a chance you’ve already received your tax refund for 2020. Don’t be surprised if your refund is notably different from what you’re accustomed to; all the pandemic-induced shake-ups of 2020 like changes in employment and insurance, as well as the stimulus checks, could have affected how much you got. The point is, though, you got a big stack of cash, so now it’s time to decide what to do with it.

If 2020 has left you with any outstanding debt, and there’s a statistically good chance it did, the first place that money should go toward is paying it off. Credit cards, back rent, utilities, or whatever other vital services you may be behind on should be dealt with as soon as possible. Having a big wad of cash in your pocket is nice, but you know what’s nicer? Not having the threat of debt hanging over your head.

If you’re all caught up on your bills, consider putting that money toward something practical. If there’s a part of your home that’s not in the best shape, for instance, use that money to fix it. Repair stuff, get some new appliances, or maybe just redecorate. If you’re feeling gutsy, you could try investing in the stock market. After that whole GameStop debacle, there’s been a fresh influx of rookie investors sharing tips and advice, so if you’ve got some know-how, you might be able to use that money to find your next big move.

If all that’s out the window, then just stick that money in the bank and save it for a rainy day. You never know when you’ll just suddenly need a big stack of cash, after all.

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