These steps taken before the tax season arrives, will be the beginning of smart financial practices that will help you during tax time and throughout the year. Be strategic. Create a monthly spending plan and write down how you’ll spend your tax refund in the coming year.
Begin with Direct Deposit. It’s easy, secure, convenient and fast. In the Refund section (Form 8888) of your 1040 income-tax return, write in your bank’s routing number, your checking or savings account number and your refund will be automatically sent to up to three different accounts indicated in Form 8888. You can also purchase US Series I Savings Bonds on Form 8888. Choosing this option will ensure no
lost, stolen or undeliverable paper checks!
I recommend using the 30-30-40 plan to pay for your past, present and future.
- Use 30% of your refund to pay down (or pay off) high- interest rate debt, like credit cards. PAYING OFF YOUR DEBTS CAN SAVE YOU HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS IN INTEREST YOU WOULD HAVE PAID IN THE FUTURE.
- Use 30% of your refund to create or boost your Emergency Savings fund to be financially prepared for emergencies like unexpected car repairs, home improvement or medical emergencies.
- Use 40% to either boost your retirement savings, save for your child’s education or pay down the principal on your home mortgage.
You may also want to consider charitable contributions to a food pantry or a homeless shelter. You’ll be helping your community and giving yourself a tax write-off when you file your taxes next year. Other ways to make the most of your tax refund: Save for the purchase of a major appliance, start a holiday fund, your child’s braces, summer camp, your anniversary etc.