Here it is again — tax season! I mean… April! April is so colorful here in the desert with the plants and bushes in full bloom. The birds are singing and the lizards have begun basking in the sun. And … it’s tax season.
I am blessed to have a career that I love, a beautiful place to live, and loving family and friends — but I still have to do taxes. Ugh! I can’t get away from it until it’s done! But taxes, in a way, can be a blessing in disguise. You get to see how much financial success you’ve had last year and make adjustments for the year to come!
Some people have already filed their tax returns and I applaud them. I’m guessing they’re probably receiving a tax refund. In fact, about 70% of American taxpayers are getting part of over $200 million the IRS will be paying out in refunds this year. That’s a lot of money!
The average tax refund will land somewhere around $3000. A lot of people get excited about their refund because it seems sort of like winning a prize or receiving a gift. And $3000 is a lot of money! The truth is, when you receive a tax refund, it’s actually the government giving you back your own money. You earned it and gave them too much during the year and now they have to give it back. Interest free.
If you’re receiving a tax refund, and especially if you’re receiving a refund of $3000 or more, T&H Financial Coaching has two suggestions for you:
First, make an adjustment on the amount withheld from your paycheck so your 2018 tax refund will be closer to zero. This means you’ll have about $250 more of your money every month! Talk with your HR Department at work. You’ll need to fill out the new 2018 W-4 form, but they can guide you through the process. I have friends and family who work in HR and they are some of the nicest people I know. They enjoy helping people!
Second, take time to enjoy having $3000 — and be intentional about how you spend it. My advice is to always do what’s right for you. It’s your money and you get to decide; but decide with intention. Remember — it’s not an all or nothing decision! You don’t have to do just one thing with your tax refund. You may want to use T&H’s Financial Rule #2: Spend some, Save some, and Give some. I love this balanced approach!
This is what I would do with a $3000 refund:
$1000 : Pay down my credit cards or student loans
$1000 : Save in my Emergency Fund
$ 400 : Pay cash for new spring clothes! (New yoga outfit here I come!)
$ 400 : Set aside cash for girls night outs for the next few months!
$ 200 : Give cash to my favorite charities. I like to give to local and global food banks in the spring. I give to St. Vincent DePaul, a local food bank here in Phoenix. I also give to Feed My Starving Children, which is a global food provider.
I hope you enjoy April here in Arizona, or where ever you may be! It’s a beautiful time of year! If you like the idea of being intentional and balanced in how you spend your money, then let’s work together to create a balanced and intentional financial lifestyle. As the owner and founder of T&H Financial Coaching, I personally work with you one-to-one to get you there. Check out T&Hs Quick Start Package to get started and follow me on Facebook!
I’d also like to invite you to a few of our fun events coming up. Click here for more details!