Whenever I hear someone making plans to spend off their tax refund, a sad feeling comes over me. It is not that I do not understand the excitement of such spending, but I do believe it is a behavior we should try our to change. Many of us put off major purchases until the tax refund comes, or accumulate bills that we hope to pay off with it.
We ought to look at tax refunds differently. We should first realize that it is not a bonus, but rather, wages withheld from us by the government and later returned without interest. So we have already missed out on potential interest on that money. We should therefore designate this money as additional contribution to our savings, in an effort to help us reach our financial goals.
Whichever way we handle our finances throughout the year, saving should play a big role and this includes putting money aside for major purchases. We should not rely on the IRS to do our saving for us! Any return we receive should be put to work, as opposed to treating it like a bonus with which to go on a spending spree.
Having said that, there are conditions under which I believe it would be wise to use this money besides saving, but these methods would have a positive impact on reaching your financial goals. It is my hope to get into that later on, but for now let us first adjust our mindset from seeing this money as a bonus with which to splurge.