By: Briana Echols
So it’s February again and you know what that means???? It’s time to reap what you’ve sown into the government for a whole straight year. Yep, you guessed it, it’s time to get that tax money back. It’s also time to start seeing posts about what people are spending their money on. Before you go there, this is NOT one of those posts to bash people on how they choose to spend “THEIR” money. Tax money is not a gift that the government decides to hand out each year, it’s the money THEY OWE YOU, so do you, honey! Although I’m not going to pick on your money decisions, I do want to take this time to offer some suggestions on how you could spend your lump sums in a way that might prove to be more beneficial than the latest Guc… wait we’re boycotting them, right?… Well, you get the point.
Pay up/off bills. If you’re behind on some of your financial obligations, now your chance to get back on track. Instead of getting a new designer belt or heading to Charlotte for All Star weekend, catch up your bills. There’s no better feeling than knowing you don’t owe anybody anything and don’t get me wrong, I get it. Sometimes things come up and you have to pick and choose which bills you’re going to pay and things get left outstanding, but if you come into thousands, you can handle those things now. Don’t wait until those items become collection accounts, ruin your credit, and prevent you from making future purchases, before you care. You got the money, so do it now. Also, if you’re lucky enough to not be behind, why stop there? GET AHEAD. That credit card with a 25% interest rate, PAY IT OFF! Why continue to pay interest and pay back more when you can take care of it now?
2. Start a savings account. Tired of living paycheck to paycheck? Here’s your chance to break that cycle. Who says you even have to SPEND your tax refund? Now is the time to put some money away for a rainy day. Starting a savings account can help you when you have an unexpected car repair or medical bill that you can’t afford to pay with your regular paycheck. Having a savings account means not stressing if a financial obligation catches you off guard. By siting this money aside, you might be putting yourself in a position to solve a problem that hasn’t even presented itself yet!
3. Start Investing. So maybe you don’t have many debts to catch up or pay off and your savings account is already established, so maybe you can go even one step further: start investing. There are many investment accounts now that you can open for under $1,000 and the sooner you start investing the better. Now I’m not saying to bet all your money on some super risky trial drug in hopes of striking it rich, but what I am saying is that I’ve come across MANY millionaires in my line of work and not one them was NOT an investor. If you don’t know what to invest in, start off broad. There are many mutual funds and ETFs that track the whole stock market and would be a great way to get your foot in the door. Future you will be very grateful if you take this step.
4. Start a business. So this is not necessarily something you just wake up and do, but for those of you that have been debating about starting a business, but just needed a sign… HERE’S YOUR SIGN! I’m not against corporate America. I’ve worked “for the man” all my life and sometimes I kind of enjoy the structure, but there’s absolutely no feelings like cashing in on money YOU made. Not that paycheck that they send you for sitting in their office for 80 hours, but money for your vision, your calling, your purpose. If that desire burns bright in your heart, then take the leap. I’m not saying quit your job and I’m also not saying you’re going to leap to the top of the Forbes list, BUT I am saying ain’t NOTHING wrong with a little extra income and if you have a business idea that you can monetize, what better time to do it than now?
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