I’ve recently started writing a frugal living column for our local weekly newspaper. While I sometimes write with a local focus, I thought that one of my most recent columns would be something all of you would be interested in.
Here’s a snippet from my column, 7 Smart Ways to Use Your Tax Refund :
Some financial experts will tell you you’re foolish to get a tax refund. They’ll say you’re giving Uncle Sam an interest free-loan. They’ll tell you you should change your tax withholding so that you can have that money in your pocket all year-round.
It’s not bad advice, but for some of us, it isn’t practical. When that money is sitting in our checking accounts, we’re more likely to spend it. Overpaying the government and getting a tax refund in the spring is a kind of forced savings plan. Sure, we know we aren’t earning interest on that money, but we also haven’t wasted it on pizza delivery and fancy shoes.
The average income tax refund is about $3,000. While it may be tempting to go on a spending spree, there are some smart things you could do with that windfall. Read more…