Fun ways to use your tax refund

Normally when the ‘t’ word is thrown around, most people start to tremble at the mere mention of it. Which word is that, you ask? TAX *shudders*

But it doesn’t always have to seem like doom and gloom. It can present some really exciting opportunities – with the chance to splurge or discover something new. However, there is a fine line between finding something worthwhile and spending carelessly.

Let’s be real, you don’t want any regrets with how you spend this money. So, how should you go about it?

Focus on what’s important first

First and foremost, you should absolutely consider anything important that might need a boost from your refund. If you’ve racked up some credit card debt or have a few loans you’re repaying – it’s a good idea to give these some love first.

The quicker you pay these off, the more money you’ll have later down the track to save for the more exciting things in life.

You can also use some of the money as an emergency savings fund, just so there’s a little security if anything were to take an unexpected turn.

But what about the fun?

Yep, you’re in for some great ideas (if I do say so myself).

It’s time to holiday

Whether you want to put your refund into savings to get you closer to that international holiday (which I did a few years ago – and did not regret it for one second), you go right ahead and boost those savings.

However, you don’t need to travel overseas to enjoy a break. If you’re lucky enough to have a wine region within driving distance, go and get out there. Take a tour, learn something you didn’t and have a good time.

A road trip or even a ‘staycation’ (staying at a hotel in the closest big city to you) could be worth the money too. It’s not as expensive and you become a tourist in your own city – seeing it in ways you haven’t before.

Learn a new skill

We’re not talking about education (yet, keep reading for our thoughts on that), but a new hobby. It’s a great excuse to meet new people and learn new skills.

For example, I attended a chocolate making class earlier in the year and it was totally worthwhile. Not only did I learn more about my favourite food group – but I went with my friend and met some great people.

If you’d like some ideas, a few other workshops that are on my list to try are a pottery class, pasta-making class and a painting class (while drinking wine).

Focus on your education

If you want to take it that step further, consider using the money for educational purposes. Is there a short course that could help you with your career progression? Or have you been wanting a complete career change?

Consider how studying could help get you to where you want to be in the future. You could also get back on this with next year's tax refunds.

Give your home some love

With a bit of extra cash, think about how you could improve and change some aspects of your home to refresh it. Whether it’s buying a few smaller items to make it seem more season appropriate, to getting creative with feature walls.

Make yourself a priority

Self-care is important, and it consists of different things depending on who you ask. If you’re asking me, I’d happily get a massage and a facial any day of the week.

No matter how you choose to define self-care, putting some money towards improving your health and wellbeing is also essential.

This could be anything from a few personal training sessions, yoga and Pilates to visiting the dentist.

Think bigger

You might not see this as ‘fun’ (yet), but saving for something bigger means you’ll be reaping the rewards a little later down the track. I’m thinking weddings, holidays, a new car or even retirement.

Think about what your tax refund could be put towards and your future self will thank you.

Support a good cause

If you have everything you could want and need, think about how the extra money could benefit others. Donating to charity gives you the opportunity to help out those who need it most. This also doubles down as a tax deductible.

It’s also a great way to know that you’re not carelessly throwing your money away.

If you’re looking to put your tax refund towards buying your first home, or an investment property – give us a call. We can help guide you through the entire process so you feel confident with your decisions.

Or, if you’re looking for advice on how to better manage your money – speak to one of our Mortgage Choice financial advisers. They can tailor a financial plan to suit you and your needs.

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Posted in: Lifestyle