Suze Orman TwitterSuze Orman FacebookSuze Orman YouTubeSuze Orman LinkedIn
View Blog & News List

The 3 Smartest Moves You Can EVER Make with a Tax Refund. 

March 02, 2017 at 5:00 AM

The average refund for federal tax returns is nearly $3,000. And I know plenty of you also end up getting some money back when you file your state tax as well.

Don’t blow it! Look, I know how easy it is to see your refund as a windfall. And that triggers thoughts of vacations, new wardrobes, or a new gadget or two.

But a tax refund you spend isn’t nearly as valuable as a tax refund you save.

Three of my favorite ways to use a tax refund to build financial security.

Pay Down Your Credit Card Debt. This year paying off credit card debt is more important than ever. Now that interest rates are beginning to rise, credit card companies are boosting what they charge in interest for unpaid balances. The average is around 15%. There is no better investment than to use a tax refund to pay down your credit card balance. That’s like earning a 15% return on your money!

Boost Your Retirement Savings. Let’s say you are getting a $3,500 refund this year. Invest that in a Roth IRA that earns an annualized 6% over the next 20 years and your tax refund this year will eventually be worth more than $11,000. You can’t tell me tripling the value of this year’s tax refund isn’t a great deal.

Be Ready for Emergencies. It is so upsetting for me to read the surveys that say a majority of Americans don’t have $1,000 or so set aside to deal with emergencies. This is your chance to start an emergency fund, or top off a savings fund that doesn’t yet equal eight months of your living expenses. Just think of the peace of mind that will come when you know you have more money set aside for dealing with life’s what-ifs.

Tag Cloud

no splurge let them have 50% controllower interest ratebad retirement planning20 year level term FHA loan fees20% down payment avoid feesdental insurance high premiumsrolloverbudgetproperty taxsecure creditovercome financial fearsFinancial Educatorlower premiumHoliday SeasonsidelinedCredit Card Rate IncreaseFICO Scoreno retirement funds for down paymentpay interest while in schoolRevocable Living Trustcredit utilization ratebest interest of investor2015 financial roadmapbe good exampleSatisfyingcredit reportprotect loved ones pay 100% cashsavings pleasuresmall changes manage student loanstax ID thefthome insuranceaffordable premiumCollege of Veterinary Medicinezero rate transfer dealsdeath benefit 20 to 25 times annual incomeearn more on savingsSuze Orman spouse Kathy Travistraditional vs roth 401(k)Financial Awarenesspositivedon't blow tax refundno tax on withdrawlstaxesteach your child good money habitshealthy gumsloan big picture US Tax Code6 month waiting periodalternative FICO scoreget the most out of social security car loanlower mortgage interestpercentage men widowed 75-84no life insurance financially irresponsibleStock Investmentsclosing costs 2% of loanage appropriate choreeight month living expense open enrollment review value moneyFinancialcostly legal don't cover cosmetic dentistryrefinanceunder 18 financial giftdear suzelearn good financial choiceshome loan credit score below 740 term life insuranceRevocable Trustdental discount planstrained relationshipPay Off Debt Before RetirementPrime Rate Increase8 month safety netcollege graduateFree Debt Eliminatorpoint cost offset by savingscost of capitalization calculatorraise your deductiblebad decisionseliminate credit card debtStudent Debtonly refinance if it paysdeath benefit needs for familyfinancial independenceInvest for savings growthlong term goalbest loan deal contribution car leasingverify wellness screening and programsreal estate marketSchool of Social Workdream schoolpay high rate off firstschool low down paymentkids schedule paymentsFRAoverspend on gifts8 month emergency fundWashingtonSelfishNew York Lifedebit cardstandard deduction write new goaldon't extend mortgage contribute household expenses grandparent IRA contribution Eric Dodge marriage inequalitycommissionsbuying a carraising mortgage rates pay off debtdoctor no longer in networkmental healthis it necessarymortgage interest tax deductionCredit Card Interest Ratesocial securitygift up to 14,000require chore in exchange for allowanceDeath Benefitprotect dependent home buying budgetpaying for collegewomen live longercostly insurance mistakeis it necessary?Gay CouplesETF'sinterest on student loansmax benefit coveredrepay student loanspercentage of women widowed 75-84RichMortgage Credit Availability Indexbig results SelectQuote.comgraduationburn outpublic service loan forgiveness programroth ira740 credit scoreretirement accountsBill and Pennyno late fee standard rateAARP Social security calculatorcommunity bankget over life insurance phobiafederal student loan deferment Influentialsloan is giftlong term carefile taxes quicklyultimate compounding giftpowerfulno negativityfamily save at least $100 monthlyretirement planmortgage19 years cash flow problemCOLAgrandchild summer job IRA contributioncut monthly cable billno private loansno fee transfercnbc alarm clockHigh Credit Scorereal estate mistakessecured cardSuze Ormanexercise reguarlygift not loanGiftsaccelerate dental workHDHP allowance taskdon't ignore open enrollmenthealthy aging calculate dependents annual income needsOverspending50 over 50higher monthly paymentLong Term Care Insurance insurance yearly reviewlong-term care identity theftignore 6 month grace period Grace15-year refinance dealChanging Livesemployer funding HSAsave moneynot enough life insuranceFinancial Systemadd teenreferrals insurance mistakeallowanceshorter payback perioddebtlower ratelowest cost fund optionrent vs buynear historic lowsConventional loan PMIPost-Divorcefinancial concernGoodbyeWarner Bros Television Groupprotect and provide for minor child letter to suzestore credit cardsadjust allocations juggle multiple financial goalsstudent loan repayment estimatorshort term goal confident of solutionVital Documentsget health insurancefour steps to retirement savings Forbesback-to-school budget401Kanticipated salarybe kind to yourselfoverspend on dining outLTCi ASAPcollege studentnew carstretch out haircut appointmentsworkaholicMarlo Thomas10% donate to charitymake saving a pleasuredon't buy wantsHDHP/HSArefundincrease retirement contribution rateAdequate Auto and Home Insurancehigher insurance deductible401(k) Contributionsincrease emergency savingsEmployer Matched Contributionlong-term care premiumsemotional stakesFinancial Solutions For Youwives should be involved in retirementpay down student loan debtmortgage brokerhousing marketquick closingtitle insurancepresident Obamaunexpected expensefraudulent returnlow-cost index mutual fundresponsible with moneyretirementmoney-aware childExhibitionplanUniversity of Floridasocial security never insolventidentity fraudbecome member 8 RulesinsurancePersonal Financeunsubsidized Stafford loantelevision hoststudent loan repayment planmultiple lendersLong Term Care shoppingalways use all paid time offcommunity collegemobile apppush yourself to save more for retirementbe true to yourselfFederal PLUS loanautomatic withdraw to savings age appropriate goalsbuy home you can affordDurable Power of Attorney for Health Careone annual feeBaby BoomersCommencementOne Wallet At A Timehome buying seasonARM Cautionphysical healthno private loanSwap Older Annuities or Life Insurance Influential Celebrityloved ones dependent on income3% debt transferred suitableMust Have Documentsprotect your familyretirment savingsadult childrensocial workdental savings planco-sign professional advisorautomate student loan paymentsmonthly dental insurance premiumStudent Debt Crisisreduce monthly paymentkid borrow firstbill paying prioritiesreduce interest ratedon't derail retirement savingsmax employee match4 Must Have Documents yours, mine & ourshealthy youHow To Build Creditsetup automatic savings withdrawno interestis it true? itemized deductionback door Roth IRAFICO credit score credit card mortgageMoney Marketresponsible20 to 25 times annual incomewaive home inspection bidcouple financesloan necessity3 step financial road maphome ownershipcredit cardjanuary billsemergency fund savingsLifestyleconsider roth 401(k)marriage financial responsibilityFinancial Gift CliffCredit scorepay more than minimumderailed planfinancial fearsAmy Lacyetfinancial argumentsdangerous retirement planget credit cardLong Term Care premiumshealthy retirement weightdebt freepay credit debt ASAPdon't do five year car loanMoneyholiday spendingLTClife insurance name trust as beneficiaryThe Suze Orman Show2016 adjust estimated taxschedule vacationJose Rodriguezswitch to roth 401(k)Newtownpurely financial standpointuniversal college accesssame-sex marriagefocus on needsFinancial Cliffsocial security not going brokePhyllis Shelton expert long-term carecut monthly cellular billstay positivehome related tax break bonus focus on new truth Young Adult AccuQuote.compublic service career student loan repayment High FICO Score = Better Rateno sneaking in feesemployer offered life insurancestaycationdon't spend file asapdepreciating asset closing disclosure2017 TaxesInflation BenefitInterestBankruptcyCommunication Skills Ashley SpringerRetirement Savingsritual scheduleteensheartacheclosing feesCD'spaid vacationMoney-SavingSave Us MoneyHoliday Shoppingbuying car 2016paid in fullshop online guaranteed level term policyfinancing car confidentFundsspring summer dangerous money seasonteach importance of helping othersnot gender specific save ForeclosureFixed Rate Mortgagemortgage disclosure10 year repayment plan CPI-Wthree year car loancreate new truthHDHP'srising home pricesAlarm Clockdon't charge a pennyautomatic paymentsuccesssavingsSuze approvedMotherhealthy teethTelepicturesAmericans don't use all paid vacation timeSuze Orman Scholarshippremium2016 adjust withholdingtake action15 year mortgageSuze Orman's Money Warswomen outlive menFiscal Responsibilityno apologybreakdown projected monthly housing costescrowGay Rightslow credit scoreUniversity of Illinoistoo expensive schoolfinancial aidretain separate credit cardshome buying mistakesCiti Simplicity Card comparison shoppingbuy homeemergency fund lower overall drug cost!00% tuition paidengaged in financesspecial saving accountonly offered while employed increased auto insurance premiumbetter loan ratesEasy Life Insurance Combo Insurance Productsoverspend on nights outCNBCAuto Savings commitchildren's bookcredit managementUrbana-Champaigngay marriage ban end Florida money vowsincentives for health care wellness screening30 year mortgage Veterinary Schoolat worst still pay 75% benefitWillprescription tierLovevalentines dayprovider of financial supportdoctors in networkFederal Reserveincrease retirement savingsHSA tax savingshighest possible benefitenjoy saving 20% down paymentstudent loan debtreplace permanent life insurance with termHDHP's are not badrequired disclosureFICO at least 720life insurancemax employer matched 401(k) contributionRoth 401(k)full retirement ageSpendingIRA contribution gifted moneylive below your meansHDHP's are good for youpeace of mindpermanent life insuranceForbes Top 10pay down car loannegotiate points with bank or sellerFinancial Adviceloan no longer than 36months3 savings buckets initial tax break Most Influential Celebrities ListFederal Funds Rateone credit cardMass Mutualwomen long term careface your financial fearFinancial Awareness Video Festivalcharges on credit cardlousy investmentstudentCory Bookerreduce withholdingraise insurance deductibleAARPiffy incomeSuze is my biggest mentorearn allowanceaffordabilitySandy Hook PromiseLTC shoppingdon't defer interest paymentsborrow each year, capitalization is going to pile up borrowing plan avoid burn outlow mileage discountbest interest ratesinterest capitalizationLegal Guardiancompare monthly expensesbetter loan dealssame sex marriage band end Floridachildren under 18raise deductiblesis it kind?buy down Bankdo not pay allowance for good behavioradvice for college graduatesspeak new goalWall Street2015 record year car salesannual cost of living adjustmentwomen longer life spando you need life insurancenon conventional route20% equityorigination feesteens and moneyworst financial mistakeSandy Hook Elementary Schoolmeet monthly high FICO scoreStudent LoanFederal Stafford loan40% toward financial goalSuze changed my lifeMinor Children high deductible health care planbetter termsNew american Dream HeartStaffords this year have a fixed 6.8% interest ratecompare provider pricingapproved medical 100% tax-freeterm insurancecan you afford itleave a legacyhome budget after tax costRetirement Incomehigh credit score discountTeachraising interest ratesEmergency Savingssummer job match income verify retirement plan with HR or plan sponsorpreexisting condition not coveredHolidaygift grandchild IRA contributionfinancial goal phraseBeautyfiduciaryCivil RightsFinal Goodbyestudent loan repayment3 bucket approachbalance transfer Gifthigh down paymentPrime Rate Rise 2015credit uniondon't use allowance as bribeFinancial Power of Attorneymaintain standard of livingwould you decline a bonustax refund fraudkeep a scheduleswitch to spouse coveragePBS SpecialARMknow before you owehealthy retirement blood pressurecar buying mistakesmonthly benefit no waiting period


View Blog & News List
People First. Then Money. Then Things.
Connect with me on Facebook Connect with me on YouTube Connect with me on Twitter
© 2017 Suze Orman Media Inc. All rights reserved.
 
 |  Search  |  Sitemap  |  Privacy  |  Terms
Sign Up For E-mail Offers
Open Panel
Close Panel