Published in the February 22, 2017 issue of The Bells
Tax season can be kind of a pain, but there’s one great reason to just get it over with– the refund check.
When that money comes back to you all at once, it’s one of the greatest feelings in the world.
It’s basically a paycheck made up of the money that was taken out of your other paychecks all year.
But this extra paycheck makes us want to go out and use it, because it feels like extra money.
It’s more than natural to take a stance like “I haven’t needed it all year, so why wouldn’t I spend it now?”
Truth is, you need to treat it like any other paycheck.
If you believe in tithing, 10 percent comes off the top and goes to your tithe.
The next 10 percent you put away and pretend like it doesn’t exist.
Call it a rainy day fund or emergency money.
The rest of it is more discretionary, and here are a few ways you can put it to use.
1. Hold on to it.
There’s still nothing forcing you to spend it right away.
You never know when something new is going to come up, be it a movie, game or book that you’re going to need a little spending money for.
2. Spend some of it on something you really want.
Most refunds are big enough for you to go out and buy yourself something you’ve been eyeballing for a while and still have some to spare.
3. Treat yo’ self.
The view that a refund is entirely disposable income may be wrong, but it’s still your money and you’re an adult. You get to make your own decisions.
Go out with friends, on a date, or spend a little money on yourself. It’s not something college students get to do incredibly often.
4. Invest some of it.
Maybe you don’t know anything about investments, but someone you know probably does.
You can ask a parent, grandparent, teacher, or someone you know who can help you make a wise investment.
It’s a better idea than just blowing all of it, and it still leaves you some room to spend a little.