In 2011, the average federal income tax refund was $2,985 and two-thirds of taxpayers are expecting a tax refund this year. While some individuals will use the money for every day purchases, vacations or big ticket items, here’s a list of more frugal things to do with your money.
- Pay off debt – This one is obvious but paying off your high interest debt can save you money and give you piece of mind.
- Start an emergency fund – Avoid getting in debt by create an account specifically for emergencies that crop up such as home or car repairs, job loss and vet visits.
- Fund your retirement – The longer you contribute money into IRA accounts, the more compound interest you can accumulate.
- Save for the medium term – Save money for future purchases such as a newer car or new hot water heater.
- Start a 529 account – By contributing $2,985 into a 529 account for your child and it grew at a rate of 6.5% annually; you would have about $9,587 after 18 years.
If you are not receiving a tax refund this year or you owe taxes there are still ways to pay off your debt as well as fund your savings. By selling some of your future periodic payments for a cash lump sum to use to pay off your debts or taxes. Once your debts are paid off, use any remaining money to fund your emergency fund. In addition, the money that you previously allocated towards debt should be reallocated towards funding your various savings accounts. Need help figuring out your finances? Visit our helpful tools to get started.
With the end of the year approaching many people are starting to make resolutions. Some of which include getting out of debt. Instead of making a resolution, I would make improving your finances a priority for 2012. To help you get started here is a list of our favorite financial blogs.
- Rescue Capital – Our blog contains a little bit of everything from budgeting to selling your future payments.
- Get Rich Slowly – This blog provides practical advice on saving money, getting out of debt and investing.
- Kiplinger – Gives advice on personal finance and how to secure your future.
- MSN Money – Saving, investing, retiring and getting out of debt advice.
- Smart Money – Advice on how to save, spend, borrow, plan and more.
- Learn Vest – How to live frugally.
- Savvy Sugar – Advice on money, careers and travel from a woman’s point of view.
- The Consumerist – Gives independent advice on scams, deals, issues, recalls and more allowing to readers to make informed buying decisions.
- Daily Finance – Money and finance tips galore.
- Bankrate – Bankrate publishes personal finance tips as well as rates on mortgages, credit cards, savings accounts and more.
Someone once said there is no such thing as a free lunch. But there are still ways to get some things for free or at least cheaper.
- Get Free Stuff - From chocolate to flu shots this article from Yahoo Finance tells you how to get free stuff all year round.
- Save Money - 20 Ways to Save Money via CESI Debt Solutions.
- Get discounts on drugs - NAIDW offers its members a free discount drug card. Did we mention NAIDW membership is free too.
- It's easy to be frugal - 25 frugal changes you can make today from Wisebread.
- $1,000 by Christmas - Save or earn $1,000 in time for the holidays.