tax tips, personal finances — April 27, 2018

Life-Changing Ways to Use Your Tax Refund

by Susannah McQuitty visits Antigua, Guatemala.

Truth be told, you probably already had plans for your tax refund months before actually receiving it. Once you file your tax return and learn the exact amount of your refund, it’s hard not to daydream about what to do with the extra dough.

When that money shows up in your bank account, however, you may be overwhelmed with FOMO. You don’t want to spend it all in one place, so you start looking into ways to make that refund really matter long term.

Here are a few ideas that can make the most of your tax refund.

Stash it away

Okay, I know this one isn’t exactly exciting, but putting your refund in a bank account with a decent interest rate means you can earn passive income over time—basically getting paid to do nothing. That’s a win, right?

We’ve talked about the best sorts of bank accounts for your tax refund on the blog before, so if you’re thinking of piggy-banking your refund, check it out for some pointers that will really pay off in the long run.

A cross overlooking a volcano in Antigua, Guatemala

Plan a trip

“Wait a minute,” you may be thinking. “You said you’d be talking about long-term ways to use my refund.”

You have a point, but hear me out: I’m not talking about a trip to the city to spend all your money in one night. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? Who would you see?

Even if you just spend a weekend in a faraway country, you’re creating memories that will last a lifetime. Your perspective may change when you see the world from the eyes of another nation, and even if it doesn’t, you get to walk around in someone else’s shoes for a day or two!

Take online classes

Speaking of investing in yourself, why not look into some online classes? Universities and community colleges are more accessible than ever, and if you’re looking for something a bit less involved, you can look into sites like Masterclass and Skillshare. These are typically more anecdotal than rigorous, but give you access to great minds in a myriad of fields. (I personally want to check out Malcom Gladwell’s Masterclass! His writing is mind-blowing.)

Best of all, online learning sites are relatively inexpensive, so you can use the rest of your refund on materials or new ventures. Maybe you’d finally like to write that book or start that podcast: You can spend some cash to learn the ropes and use the rest to buy a nice microphone or hire a cover designer. It’s up to you!

Which of these ideas do you like best for spending your refund? Did you think of any other opportunities while reading? Let us know in the comments!

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