Now that you have a windfall coming, how will you use it? Will you buy some things you've been waiting for....like a new TV, stereo, BluRay player? Or will you use it for a needed car or home repair? Will you pay down consumer debt with it? Pay off a car loan?
Let's look at some other ways to make the most of your tax refund and make your money work for you.
First of all, by paying off debt you are gaining money and peace of mind. You are no longer spending hard earned cash just in interest charges every month. If you pay off a car loan you gain that $$$ each month that you can either snowball or put into savings or an IRA.
How about making an extra house payment with that tax refund? Think of the interest you will save as well as being one step closer to owning your home free and clear. Even one extra month's payment every year adds up.
How about saving some of that refund for pantry stocking? When there is a good deal on meat for the freezer or basic staples for the pantry, you can stock it and then shop from your own resources each week, instead of running to the grocery store or convenience store.
For some of us, save the cash to buy heating oil or deliveries of wood in the off season, when fuel prices are low.
Give to a local community charity...they are in dire need this time of year with so many unemployed and monetary donations down. Then write it off on next year's taxes.
Don't forget your regular savings and emergency fund.
Personally, we are using ours for debt repayment, giving, savings, and a few other things: buying chickens and buying a butchered hog for the freezer! Buy investing $100 in chickens this year, we have enough for eggs, for butchering, and for sale. By buying the hog from a local farmer, we will have almost 200 lbs of packaged pork in the freezer for .99-$1.05 a pound, all costs included. That means farm fresh ribs, hams, bacon, sausage, chops, steaks, etc etc whenever we want it without waiting for a sale. For us it is a good use of cash.
Try to make your money go as far as possible, and make it work for you! Just start thinking and get creative.