You got your tax returns in on time (go, you!) and are now the happy recipient of a rather sizeable refund. Oh, sure, you could buy those vintage Archie and Jughead collectibles, splurge on a brand new beautiful Louis Vuitton or take your other half on a nice trip, but financial advisor and author Lori Sackler has some suggestions that might be a little bit better for your financial health. Here are her top 3 tips:
- Pay down your credit card debt. The longer you owe money on your cards, the more money you owe. Sackler says, “If there is high-interest credit card debt and you have some money in reserve, I would opt for paying down the debt.”
- Put yourself first and save. “I always talk about paying yourself first by saving,” Sackler says. Think of it as an investment in YOU.
- Start (or add to) your retirement account. Sure, this sounds safe and a little boring but future you will be so happy you did this. In addition, says Sackler, the money will reduce your tax liability.
Before you make up your mind, it’s always a good idea to check with a professional advisor, i.e. a financial advisor or an accountant, particularly regarding taxes, to see what works best for your personal situation.
The M Word Journal: How to Have the Money Talk by Lori R. Sackler (Koehler Books; April 1, 2016)
This practical journal is the perfect companion to Sackler’s wise guide to discussing finances with your family, The M Word (McGraw Hill Education 2013, updated 2016). This comprehensive guide helps you negotiate life’s big transitions—birth, death, adoption, marriage, remarriage and divorce—and the conversations you must have to deal with related financial issues.