Every year around this time, people tend to engage in bragging contests about how big their tax refunds are. These folks are oblivious to the fact that savvier planning would have let them keep their money rather than giving it to the government in a tax-free loan.
That said, there’s something nice about receiving a fat check of seemingly “free” money, which comes with the temptation to blow it on something frivolous. Give Me Back My Five Bucks warns you against compounding financial mistakes by stumbling into a big refund, only to blow it.
Sensible moves to make with your refund include paying off debt, saving for retirement, fixing up lingering issues with your home or car and taking care of medical problems you’ve let rage unabated.
To make sure you’re not dealing with a big refund next year, recalibrate your withholdings or — if you’re a contractor — your quarterly estimated tax payments to stop overpaying the government.
How to spend your tax refund responsibly [Give Me Back My Five Bucks]