With the federal tax deadline quickly approaching, 83% of Americans can expect a refund on April 15, with the average refund roughly $2,800. Perhaps you want to squirrel some away into savings or maybe you need to make a few minor improvements around the house. But if you’re feeling bold and your finances are in a good place, consider investing in something different this year. Read on for our seven brilliant ways to spend your tax refund.
1. Invest in your past.
Investigate your heritage by researching your genealogy with a website like Ancestry.com. You can also consult your local library to find a genealogist in your area to put together a personal narrative of your family tree. Alternatively, consider documenting your family’s living history by recording family recipes while cooking together, or taking a long weekend to document family stories from your relatives.
2. Invest in your career.
Could your career use a boost? Or maybe you’d like to switch career paths? Enroll in a professional development course to propel yourself in the direction you want to go. Brush up on a foreign language to expand your clientele. If a class isn’t for you, check out industry conferences that could help with networking.
3. Invest in a child.
Donate to a nonprofit organization like the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which helps children with life-threatening illnesses experience their wildest dreams. From visiting Disneyland to going on a birthday shopping spree for toys, children throughout California and the broader U.S. are receiving new hope and lasting memories every day. Read Wish Stories from California here.
4. Invest in your health.
Motivate yourself to get healthy by pre-paying a gym membership or signing up for a personal trainer. You can also try a specialized facility like a barre or yoga class.
5. Invest in your daily life.
Choose a small upgrade for your home that will make your everyday life a little better. Whether it’s a new mattress for the master bedroom or that Vitamix you’ve been eyeing every time you go to the store, consider following through with a purchase you’ve been dreaming about for a while.
6. Invest in your free time.
Perhaps you’ve let the dust accumulate on your baseboards a little too long, or you’ve been dreaming of some raised garden beds but haven’t had the time to put in the labor. Use those tax dollars to hire someone for a deep clean of your home, or to add a few raised beds so you can simply plop in your favorite vegetables and herbs. Once you have a strong foundation, you can easily keep up the maintenance of cleaning or gardening.
7. Invest in your own real estate.
Consider making an extra principal payment on your mortgage. If you do this trick once a year from the beginning of your loan, you’ll cut years off your loan time. Even if you don’t plan on staying in your current place for the next 30 years, you’ll still knock off plenty of principal to increase your profit when it’s time to sell. If you’re renting, you can set aside some funds towards your down payment.
What brilliant way will you use for your tax refund? Let us know in the comments.