HERE ARE SIX OPTIONS FOR ENHANCING YOUR TAX REFUND
- Pay down debt. This includes credit card debt, mortgages, student loans or other outstanding bills you may have. Paying them down reduces the interest you pay and helps avoid unnecessary fees.
- Start your emergency fund! If you do not have a savings account set aside for emergencies, start one now. Enjoy the sense of security it can bring.
- Buy a U.S. savings bond or invest in Certificate of Deposits (CD). You can purchase these bonds and CDs from most banks and credit unions. They are a safe way to earn interest on your money.
- Start or add to an IRA. If you qualify for a tax-deductible IRA, you have until April 15th to contribute and claim the contribution for your current tax return. Or, you could put your tax refund into an IRA for the following tax year.
- If you qualify, open a Roth IRA. Even though you don’t get to deduct the contribution from your taxes, the Roth IRA provides a tax-free way to save for retirement.
- Have a little fun. This doesn’t mean spend every penny traveling to the Bahamas, but show yourself a little leeway. Go hit a bucket of golf balls, take an inexpensive getaway, have your hair done or go out for a nice dinner.
Published Feb 15, 2011.