5 smart uses for your tax refund

Cha-ching -- you just got a tax refund! Achieve financial peace of mind by using this money wisely -- with a few bucks left over to treat yourself, too. Consider these five smart uses for your tax refund.
  1. Destroy your debt. Attack your highest-interest credit card first, then move on to other cards. If you’ve fully paid off all your cards, consider paying ahead on your home, car or student loans. What could feel more responsible than that?
  2. Save for a real 911. Combat the headaches and stress that unexpected expenses can bring by building up an emergency fund of three-to-six-months’ worth of living expenses. And a friendly reminder: Don’t use it for things you could’ve planned for, like a new furnace or tires for your car. Save it for times when life really blows up, like if you lose your job or are sick and unable to work.
  3. Prep for your golden years. It’s going to take more money than you expect to retire comfortably. Granted, it’s hard to delay gratification, but you’ll be happy later if you use your tax refund to invest in a tax-deferred retirement plan or to make a one-time, sizable contribution to you Individual Retirement Account.
  4. Keep your home in shape and your car hummin’ Making repairs to your vehicle or home is a great use of your tax refund. Buy new tires for your car or replace your leaky roof.
  5. Reward yourself. If you’ve covered some or all of the above, splurge a little. Enjoy that summer getaway, upgrade your phone, or install a backyard playset – just be sure to shop for the best deals!

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