About a week ago we got our tax return in the mail. And every day for the past week, my wife has told me, “Walter we got to talk.” Well, she is right, last year we didn’t talk and the money vanished into thin air. In other words, we spent it carelessly. So, this year, we are considering five options. We are complete in accord with the first one – which for us, is non-negotiable. But the other four, we are still talking about. Please allow me to use these five suggestion to get you thinking about how you are going to use your tax return.
Use the 10 percent and over and above principle.
If you’ve been faithful paying your tithe throughout the year, you don’t have to give 10 percent this time around on your tax return. If you have paid your tithe correctly, on the gross and not the net, than you really don’t have to give 10 percent, you’re covered. However, there is the over and above principle. That means, you can, if you decide to give over and above you regular 10 percent. You may also consider giving to your parents, or your favorite charity. In any event, a great love offering to your church won’t hurt at all.
Pay your debt
If you have substantial debt, this could be the right time and opportunity to get out of debt or put a massive dent in the amount you owe. This is a decision you will never regret. It is a blessing to live a debt free life. If you truly want to live a life of freedom, paying off your debt is the best thing to do (Proverbs 22:7). God obviously intends for us to lend to others, but if we are in debt, that possibility becomes very slim (Matthew 5:42).
Take a much-needed vacation
Instead of borrowing more money to take a much-needed vacation, it could be a great idea to actually take a vacation and pay as you go. Most American, when they are going on vacation, put all their traveling expenses and accommodations on a credit card. You may have all the fun in the world using your credit card, but paying it off is usually not a fun experience.
Jump start or revamp your emergency fund
One of the first things we learned many years ago in premarital counseling on finances, was the importance to having an emergency fund. Something set aside for emergency. But if your family is like mine, that fund can quickly dissipate. Now that you have some extra cash, this could be a great time to either start or revamp your emergency fund.
College fund for your kids or retirement fund?
Some argue that your kids will have more sources of money for college than you will have for those many years during your retirement, therefore, you should not sacrifice your retirement savings. Rather, investing in stocks, mutual funds, getting a 529 savings plan or applying for Federal, state, and private grants and loans, are great ways to plan for children college. Which ever way you decide to go and whatever you decide to do, timing is key to success. So it is smart to start now – the sooner, the better.
Okay, enough of what I think, I not an expert in these matters. But before you leave, would you mind sharing what you are going to do with you tax return this year? Or, better still, do you have any tips to share? Thank you very much.