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Build Wealth with Your Refund

by Laura Hendrix - February 26, 2018

Anticipating a refund? It’s easy to go on a shopping spree or buy something you’ve wanted all year long. STOP. WAIT. Before giving in to unnecessary spending, make sure you are in a secure financial situation.  A tax refund is a great opportunity to pay down debt, build your emergency fund, or save toward a goal. Make the most of your tax refund by following these tips:

Pay down your debt. Use at least part of your refund to make additional payments on any debt that you owe. Pay off or decrease credit card debt. For example, a $3,000 balance at 14.4% with a minimum monthly payment of $90 would take 11 year to pay off and cost more than $1,000 in interest charges. Make additional payments to the principal amount on your home or car loan. Pay down debt to make your month more manageable and save money on interest.

Save for a rainy day. It's always helpful to have a savings account to draw from when a major car repair bill, medical emergency or other unexpected expense comes along. That way, you don't have to borrow money and add to your debt-load. Personal finance experts recommend that consumers save enough to cover at least 2 – 6 months of expenses.  A tax refund can be a giant step toward reaching the critical savings goal of building your emergency fund.

Save for future financial goals. Give yourself an even bigger return on your tax refund by putting the money into a retirement or investment fund. Your tax refund will continue to grow.  Dreaming of home ownership, a college education, a new car, a secure retirement? These all come with a price tag. Saving is a way to achieve these goals.

uaexMoney is your source for reliable information. Connecting trusted research to the adoption of best practices, we are a catalyst of prosperity. Visit www.uaex.edu/Money.  Follow uaexMoney on Facebook and Twitter.

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