Tax season is over, and you potentially have a tax refund. What do you do with that chunk of money with your name on it? Don’t let it dwindle away and disappear. If you make a plan and stick to that plan, you will be able to make the most of that tax refund. If you don’t plan, that money may be gone before you know it. Don’t let this opportunity go to waste. Consider your options carefully.

Treat Yourself

You work hard. You have worked hard all year. Treat yourself. However, treating yourself doesn’t mean just freshening your wardrobe or taking a long weekend. While these are things you should do, don’t limit your “treat” options. It will be a treat to yourself if you use your tax refund wisely. Make a list of what is stressful in your life. Car note? Student loans? Credit card debit? Use your refund to lessen that burden. It may seem too overwhelming for you to want to try and fix it with a tax refund, but continuing to pay off as much of your debt as possible will lessen the total amount you eventually pay. While it may not seem like the most enjoyable course of action to take with your new found money, you are really treating your future self.

Treat Your Savings

Use your tax refund to begin creating a safety net for yourself. What is left over from your refund after paying on your debt should go into savings. If you have more debt than tax refund or you really want or need to spend most of your tax refund now on essentials, aim for keeping $500 in savings. Start a fund for when everything goes wrong. You want to begin working towards the goal of having enough in savings that you can survive without income for three months. It can be an overwhelming step to take, but your stress will lessen if you know you are working towards being prepared for the worst.

Remember, you worked hard for that money; that tax refund is not free. Treat that refund like another paycheck rather than a bonus. While you should treat yourself, it is important to remember your future and past selves want to be treated too.

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