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It’s tax refund time again!

You have been waiting for it, now you have it, and you want to use it to get closer to your goals instead of blowing it. How responsible of you!

If you don’t plan how you will spend it, then it will just slowly disappear in your account, right? Well, if you have a budget, that shouldn’t happen, but you definitely need a plan for that money.

If you are in debt, that should be your first priority.

Now that all of that is out of the way…

Here are 33 quick tips, including some very unique tips, for spending your tax refund effectively and productively…

Another Perspective: You may not want to get such a big tax return next year. You are just giving the government an interest-free loan for the year by paying more taxes than necessary. You can re-file your tax form to have less money deducted and get more on your paychecks. Then you can increase your monthly budget amounts.

Build Your Foundation

1. Start an emergency fund with $1000.
2. Fully fund your emergency fund.
3. Fund your retirement by starting or contributing to an IRA.

Pay Off Debt

4. Use the debt snowball to off as much debt as possible.
5. Pay off credit card debt.
6. Pay off those student loans.
7. Pay off your vehicle.
8. Put money towards the principle on your mortgage.
9. Pay off those medical bills.

Prepare

10. Pay all of your expenses for this month, and from now on start paying for next month with this month’s income.
11. Start saving for a big-ticket item.
12. Start or contribute to your children’s education account, such as a 529.
13. Start making debt-free car payments.
14. Pay your car insurance in advance (6 months, 12 months, etc.)
15. Buy gifts in advance for the holidays.
16. Stock up on non-perishable items.
17. Create your legal will.

Invest

18. Buy individual stocks.
19. Add an ETF to your portfolio.
20. Add one of the 3 mutual funds from FoolFunds.com to your portfolio.
21. Start a DRIP.
22. Make a large contribution to your company retirement account.

Give

23. Give to your church.
24. Give to a charity or organization.
25. Spend a day downtown buying food for the homeless.
26. Pay off someone else’s debt (parent, child, friend, etc.).

Do Something for Yourself

Remember, if you’re in debt, the debt comes first.
27. Start a home business.
28. Go back to school or take a class online.
29. Take a vacation.
30. Hire a maid to clean the house for a few days or even a few weeks.
31. Do a home improvement project that will increase the value on your house.
32. Make your home more energy efficient.
33. Buy something that you have wanted, but not wanted to spend the money on.

Final Words

I could go on for days, but 33 is enough for this year.

Do what is right for you. Debt should be your first priority.

Once you are debt free, you will have extra money all year, not just during tax season.

Photo Credit: Nick Ares

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