Saturday, February 22, 2014

How Do You Spend Your Tax Refund ?

Just a few weeks ago I buckled down and completed that annual ritual of doing taxes.  In all of my years of paying taxes, I have never owed money when filing my taxes, so there should be no reason to hesitate on doing them.  Some years the refund has been meager, and other times the amount has been so large that I seriously questioned it's *accuracy.
Regardless of the size of the refund, the other annual ritual is the discussion around what do we do with the money.
*I am a die hard TurboTax fan, so it's hard to question accuracy unless I willfully chose to answer a question wrong or skip a section ... and I never do, so there's virtually 0% chance of error.

Some years, the money has already been spent (usually these are the meager years).  These are sad days indeed.
Some years, the money has all been put into savings (for a house downpayment, or a newer car, or kids' mission funds).
Some years, the money has been spent frivilously (family or couple's vacation, or a new car that we didn't really need).
And in some years, the money has been invested in something practical and useful (payment of additional principal on the house, purchases of carpet or furniture or landscaping materials, etc.)

This year's refund has been earmarked for savings towards future upcoming costs (braces, new flooring, newer car, etc.) but the discussion certainly isn't over on what it will be spent on.  In fact, this very year, we began what will likely be a multi-year discussion over financial decisions we have been making recently and want to continue making going forward.  It's a good, healthy discussion, but that doesn't mean it is always fun.

Sometimes in life, you have to sacrifice what you want or what sounds good right now, for what you know is right or good for you, and your family, in the long term.  I am grateful to have married a wonderful wife who not only understands that concept, but helps ME remember it when I get a little too short-sighted.  A family vacation to the happiest place on earth sure would be nice, but it's not the right time.  Sad face, but I'll be glad we chose more prudently in the long run.

Whatever your tax season brings you, I hope you can enjoy whatever decision you make now and can also feel good about that decision years later!

Song Of the Day:
There are almost as many songs about money as there are options for how to spend it.  Today's post is accompanied by Jessie J's tune "Price Tag" which features B.o.B.  I like the beat, but one portion of the lyrics feels very applicable here.  Why is everybody so obsessed?  Money can't buy us happiness.  Can we all slow down and enjoy right now.  Guarantee we'll be feelin' alright.

There is a quote by Tony Robbins which states "Nothing you get will ever make you happy ... nothing.  But, who you become will make you very happy or very sad."  Those are wise words to keep in mind as you choose your tax refund's final destination.


1 comment:

  1. It's great that you set aside your tax refund for future expenses such as a new car, vacation, for furniture, or even just to save it for emergency use. It is very important to us that we use it wisely; better to be prepared than not have the resources when you need it the most. Anyway, thanks for sharing this post with us, Josh. All the best!

    Wanda Hanson @ Tax Tiger