It’s tax time again, and like many Australians, if you’re due a refund you’re about to be flushed with extra funds. Even if you haven’t lodged yet (what are you waiting for?!) it’s time to start thinking about what to do with your windfall. So how should you go about putting this extra cash to good use? Why not consult our guide to Spending your Tax Return, with options on a scale we’ve invented especially for this post, from frivolous fun to tediously boring!
Do Have a Bit of Frivolous Fun
Do something all expenses paid. No matter how much your tax return is, spend it on you. Spoiling you that is! Take a trip to somewhere you’ve always wanted to go, book a cruise or take a gourmet picnic to the park, invest in your wellbeing! Stay within your tax windfall budget and you can have a chance to really spoil yourself without even touching your regular budget.
Invest In Your Nest
Upgrade something fun. Spend some (or all) of your tax return to treat you and the family to something affordable that will also make a big impact on your day to day life. Maybe it’s a flash new TV, a new stroller or bikes for everyone to get out and about on.
Stock Up on Good Staples
Were all about food here at SAHM, meal planning, cooking, organising and most importantly; eating. With a bit of extra cash around maybe it’s time you cleaned out your pantry, stocked up on food that’s good for you and your family and got organised! Buy storage containers that match, grab a copy of our Once a Month Cooking book, do a big shop in bulk and spend a day cooking, freezing and organizing.
Update your skills. Are you keen to learn something new? You may want a new career, to re-enter the workforce or just pick up a new skill for fun. You could go to TAFE, enroll in a University or private college course online. Some car dealerships run courses about car maintenance or you could look into other fun night classes in languages and art or short community programs like electronics, cooking or gardening skills.
Repair something big-ish. If you’ve been putting off something, whether it’s a home or car repair, get it out of the way with your tax dollars before spending it on something fun. The benefit of taking away that stress from your day to day life will last much longer than the thrill of a new purchase.
Replace an appliance on its last legs. Is your old fridge draining electricity or is the washing machine an old, energy inefficient appliance? Upgrade to a more energy-efficient and money saving model and have this year’s return be the one that keeps on giving. Using unallocated money to invest in long term money saving plans like cutting power bills is a wise way to use your return, if not a bit boring.
Except for when you’re actually using that new appliance. Oh yes, then you’ll probably kiss yourself in the mirror and possibly upgrade this suggestion from Double Meh to Frivolous Fun.
Add it to your savings. Your tax return could take you one slightly bigger step than normal closer to your savings goal. Whether you’re saving for a holiday, a new car or home deposit, any size tax return will help your bank balance grow.
Put it away as an emergency fund. How much you should set aside is completely up to you, but there is no more conservative way of spending your tax than establishing an emergency fund or bolstering your existing emergency only cash stash. Use your emergency fund toward unexpected costs or problems that may come up throughout the year.
What was that sorry? I dozed off”¦
Pay off debt. Really, this list wouldn’t be much chop if I didn’t bang on about paying off debt for a bit. Put your extra cash to work for you and pay off some of your debt. Whether you put one good whack on a high interest debt or pay off a few small ones in one hit, you’ll feel better for it.
Spend it on your health. If you’ve been putting off going to the dentist because of the cost, now’s the time to make that appointment. Invest in a gym membership or exercise equipment and get fit. Got lots on your mind? Seek out a professional to talk to without having to eat into your normal budget.
Do you save or spend your tax return? Tell us what you’re doing with yours this year!