Tax season is finally over and now all that’s left to do is wait for that sweet, sweet tax refund money to arrive. For as much dread as there is in the weeks leading up to the tax deadline, there’s just as much elation when you receive that extra bit of cash.

How many years, though, have you gotten a nice refund back only to watch it disappear without ever feeling like you got an additional financial boost. We’ve all been there. And seemingly wasting away money (even if it’s “free”) is always frustrating. Especially when you’re looking forward to some relief.

Luckily, there are some smart ways to spend your refund that will ensure you and your MilFam notice and enjoy the mid-year kick back.

Pay Off Debt

Debt: the financial equivalent of a personal storm cloud following you around at all times. No matter how well you think you’re doing, there’s always that one crack of thunder that reminds you of your looming payments to come.

Well how about using your tax refund to dis-spell that storm cloud and create a few sunny days, weeks, or even months?! If you’re in the hole on your credit cards, pay as much as you can off with your refund. It’s a quick and easy way to get back on track.

If you have student loans or a car note to worry about, use your refund money to take care of your next payment ASAP. Then stash the rest away to take care of any future payments you need to make. Not only are you staying on top of your bills and potentially helping your credit score, but you can free up your “usual” income for more exciting things than debt collection.

Create Peace of Mind

According to a 2018 report from the Federal Reserve Board, 40% of Americans are currently unable to cover an unexpected expense of at least $400. While we all hope we’ll never be the ones to suffer from an expensive calamity, accidents just happen. That’s life.

And even if they aren’t $400 accidents, they can still add up and drain your bank account quickly. Waiting until the accident happens to figure out how you’ll pay for it can often be just as much of a headache as the issue itself. That’s why it’s crucial to create an emergency fund for times like those.

Take your refund and save it for when it’s really needed. It may be hard at first (and forever) not to spend it during your next online shopping spree, but knowing you’ll be covered for life’s inevitable accidents will be better than anything Amazon can deliver. And if you put it in an interest-baring account, it could even make you some money in the meantime.

Enjoy Yourselves

The day-to-day monotony of life is tough to shake. We all have our routines, whether it’s for work or school or whatever. And before you even realize it, you’re often stuck in a rut.

What better way to climb out of the daily doldrums than a little MilFam fun?! Take your tax refund and spend it on yourselves. You deserve it!

But whatever you spend it on, make it deliberate. Not just a lunch here and a nice afternoon out there. Take a day tip to the city or the country — whichever you prefer. Or if you’re really in need of some leisure time, put that refund towards a full on vacation! You definitely won’t forget how you spent this year’s refund if it’s helping you enjoy frozen drinks in the sun.

Bet on Yourself

As a MilSpouse, your life is hectic. It’s full of changes and the truly unexpected. Unfortunately, that means there’s not always a lot of time for MilSpouses to just focus on themselves. But they should. And hopefully a nice tax refund makes that a little bit easier to do.

Whatever it is you’ve been wanting to do for yourself but have been putting off because of time or money, now’s the time to make it happen. Get that additional professional training you want. Go back to school. Invest in your business. Try out that new hobby.

Let your tax refund be your seed money for the things you really want to do for yourself. Now’s the time!

Get Better

Have you been putting off doctor and dentist visits because of a high co-pay or no insurance coverage? Maybe your glasses have seen better days but you just haven’t had the cash to get new frames. Whatever ailment you’ve been putting off until now, it’s time to get it checked out.

There’s nothing more important than your health, but too many of us neglect it until we’re feeling really bad. Like really bad. If cash is keeping you from getting that yearly check-up that you haven’t had in three years, take that refund money and find the medical professional you need.

It’s time to get healthy.

More MilFam Financial Help:

Solutions for Your Military Family:

Life Insurance, Wealth Management, Home Mortgages, Survivor Services, and more. Learn more about AAFMAA.

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