Putting your tax refund to work for you

Putting your tax refund to work for you

ARDMORE, Okla. – Despite the terror that returns each year during tax season, many Oklahomans often plan to receive a refund.

While it’s fun to dream and plan how to spend the windfall, don’t forget to consider how those dollars can help create a better future for financially savvy families.

Sure, you can use some of your refund for something fun, but it’s a great opportunity to find ways to help you and your family reach your financial goals.

Regardless of the size of the refund check, here are three solid ways to make those funds work for the longer term.

Pay off high interest debt. It can be difficult to make meaningful progress on credit card and loan balances by only covering the minimum payment.

In many cases, paying the minimum each month means most of that money is taken up by interest. Use your tax refund to pay a lump sum on the entire balance.

Create or add to your emergency fund. In the event of an unexpected bill or loss of income, an emergency fund can help cushion the blow to the family budget.

Families should strive to save enough to cover their living expenses for 3-6 months.

Establish or advance other financial goals. Achieving long-term savings goals, like building a retirement fund or buying a house, takes the discipline to put money aside consistently. Even modest sums add up quickly.

Oklahoma State University, US Department of Agriculture, State and Local Governments Cooperating: The Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons, regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, disability or veteran status, and is an equal opportunity employer.

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