When that tax refund comes in, it’s easy to see it as “free” money to treat yourself to something fun – a weekend away, or special purchase you’ve been eyeing for awhile.
But remember, your refund is actually a percentage of your own hard-earned income, so if you really want to get the most from your refund, it pays to pay yourself first:
1. Start an emergency fund: Your tax refund is the perfect opportunity to start your emergency fund – money set aside in case of situations like income loss or unexpected car repairs. Start with as much as you can afford, building up over time until you have enough to cover three months of bills. When the unexpected happens, you’ll be prepared.
2. Send it directly to savings: Setting up direct deposit allows quicker access to your refund, and can make it a lot easier to save that money: instead of sending it to your primary chequing account, direct your refund right to your savings!
3. Pay down your credit: Most can benefit from paying off credit card debt. If you have multiple cards, put your refund onto the card with the highest interest rate to save money over time in interest charges, and boost your credit score!
4. Put it toward a major financial goal: Maybe it’s time for a more reliable car or to think about buying your first house. A larger downpayment can make major purchases much more affordable longterm, lowering the amount paid over time and offering long-term advantages like lower interest rates. Your tax refund can help make your financial dreams a reality!
5. Start a retirement account: While retirement savings can be tough to commit to with so much else tugging on your wallet, every bit helps. If you’ve already started saving through an RRSPs, RIFs or Tax-Free Savings Account, your tax return can give your savings a boost. Even better, that contribution will lighten your tax burden next year!
6. Invest in the online stock market: Today online investing is becoming easier and much more accessible, allowing beginners and professionals alike to create a diversified portfolio. Robo-advisors provide sophisticated algorithms, comprehensive dashboards and interactive reporting that allow you to take a set-it-and-forget it approach and still see long-term benefits.
7. Spend it (wisely) on yourself: There’s no harm in spending a little of your tax refund on yourself, but as with so many things, the key is moderation. Maybe it’s time to pay for that certification or class, or invest in a stand-up desk. These are ways to use your refund to invest in yourself!
When you need short-term help
If your refund was not as much as you were expecting, or worse yet, you end up owing this year, easy, safe and secure options are available through Canada’s licensed payday loan specialists.
“Sometimes you just need a little help getting back on track, and that’s where a payday loan from MyCanadaPayday.com can help,” says Sundeep Thind, manager of MyCanadaPayday’s Surrey office.
“We have the entire process online, including the one-page application form, and our specialists are here to help you reach your financial goals.”