Oh March. It’s the time of year where you are reconsidering resolutions, looking forward to the end of winter, planning for spring break, and oh yes, tax refunds. Yes, tax season is upon us. For those of us who have standard employment, those long awaited w-2’s should have arrived by now, now we wait for our refunds on overpaid taxes in 2017. Now, we know it can be tempting to treat yourself with those extra coins but, we have some tips on how you can put your money to work and maximize your tax refund this year.

Tip 1: Make a deposit into the emergency fund you’ve been meaning to start.  Use your tax refund to fund your emergency savings

Saving for a rainy day is one of those things that we know we should do, but few of us have taken the steps to start. According to financial experts, your initial emergency fund should be at least $1,000. And beyond that, depending on your personal lifestyle and circumstances, between 3 – 6 months of income. Whether you’ve started your emergency fund or have been putting it off until you had a little extra money, using your tax refund is a great way to get started and cover yourself in case of an emergency.

Tip 2: Get smart about mutual funds and invest in one.

If your emergency account is funded, a great way to make use of your tax refund is to turn your attention to investing. Here’s a hard truth ladies, the wage gap is real and it affects us both now, and in the future. As women we need to take control of our money sooner than later. While mutual funds, investing, and other financial topics can feel overwhelming, there is so much information available to help you get informed. You can even sign up with an investment company like ElleVest to help you get started and get smart with your money.

Tip 3: Pay off those Christmas 2017 credit card charges.

Who else understands the love/hate relationship with credit cards? Sure, they are awesome when needed and used responsibly, but credit card debt is never fun. If you’ve racked up a balance buying gifts for your friends and loved ones during the Christmas season, you’re not alone. The good news is, you can use your tax refund to pay off, or at least pay down, some of those higher balances. Trust us, you’ll feel lighter when you’re done.

Tip 4: Plan a short vacation or staycation.

All set with your savings, investments, and debt? Great! It’s time to have a little fun. It may be tempting to run out and splurge on those shoes you’ve been eyeing. But, before you go shopping, pull out that travel bucket list and see if a quick trip is possible with your tax refund. Make sure to check to flight deal sites to see if any of your wishful destinations have cheap flights. And if traveling is off the table, a staycation at an upscale spot in your city or the next town over is a great way to get away and get refreshed.

Tip 5: Home improvement projects. Use tax refund for home improvement projects

This is one of my favorite things to do with my tax refunds. They say home is where the heart is, so take some of that “bonus” money to upgrade yours. You can tackle those things that are a bit more expensive like new flooring or a bathroom remodel. Or you can keep things simple with fresh coat of paint and some new decor items to elevate your space.

Tip 6: Sign up for a class or certificate program.

No matter where you are in life or your career, you should always continue learning. Brushing up on skills you know, learning some news that you don’t, or even getting certified in an certain area is a great way to stimulate your mind and your resume. Use your tax refund to enroll in a coaching program, take a creative course, or get a special certification. Make yourself more marketable and stand out in a crowded marketplace.

Tip 7: Donate to your favorite charitable organization.

For those who have, give. As we’re getting tax refunds, getting raises, and excelling in life, it’s important that we remember to give back as well. If all of your other are bases covered, donate some of your tax refund to your favorite charity or local nonprofit organization. Every donation counts so whatever you can do to help those in need is appreciated.

Published by Aija Rhodes

Aija is the founder of BossChix Network, a women’s empowerment and lifestyle blog that celebrates women’s professional achievements, community involvement, and family life. BossChix Network also empowers women to overcome challenges and achieve their goals, BossChix Network serves as an outlet for women to connect and collaborate with others who seek to climb the corporate ladder, land roles that prepare them for senior leadership, and live authentically. Aija is a management consultant for a Big Four consultancy firm. She is a certified Project Management Professional and has fourteen years of program and project management experience assisting clients in conquering an array of business challenges. Most recently, she led a team that designed an IT security program and portfolio management processes for a global healthcare company. When she isn’t blogging or working with clients, Aija can be found enjoying the restaurants and museums of her hometown, Washington, D.C.

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2 years ago

These are great tips. I plan on paying down my credit card and planning a vacation.

2 years ago

I don’t really have any plans for my tax return. I usually just dump it in the bank. That’s the safest place for it.

2 years ago

These are some great tips! I definitely want to put mine towards my credit card!

2 years ago

Great tips! I usually put most if not all of my return into my savings. Once in a while I might treat myself

Elle Cole
2 years ago

My favorite tip is investing the money. All too often people buy depreciating or goods that will just disappear in a few years. Investing means the money will work for you later on.

Mini Green
2 years ago

I like these tips. I usually save some and buy myself something. We are shopping for a new home so I will save it for that.

Jay Colby
Jay Colby
2 years ago

Great tips to spend your tax refund. I’ve always been in favor of saving at least 50% of my refund.

2 years ago

All great tips. I am saving my entire refund. My goals is to save at least a year worth of our expenses.

2 years ago

Great tips!!! We always put some of ours in our emergency fund!!!

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