8 Super Smart Ways to Use your Tax Return

Tax season is upon us. Love it or hate it, they have to be done!  It is time to start thinking about smart ways you can use your tax return.

use your tax return

Okay, I know I said “love it or hate it” and most of you are probably thinking, “who in the world loves to do their taxes?”

cough, cough…..um…..

I do.

Okay, before you think I’m completely nuts, I have a thing for numbers. My strongest class in high school was math, and my strongest class in college was accounting.

I especially loved taking a big spread sheet, grabbing a pencil and eraser and making those number balance. I’d take that over a computer accounting program any day.

I know. Deep down I’m a big nerd.

Okay, those who know me super well are probably thinking, “what do you mean, DEEP DOWN?”

It gets worse.

When tax season comes around my husband offers to help and I reply with a “don’t YOU even think about it.”

It’s not because I don’t think he’s capable. It’s that I want all the tax FUN to MYSELF.

Guys, I wish I was making this up. But I’m totally not.  Give me a latte and a tax program, and I’ve got a wild night of excitement planned.

Anyways, if you are one of the lucky ones who get a refund for tax season, even if you don’t particularly enjoy doing taxes, you most likely enjoy the end result. 🙂

When you see those numbers rise for a tax return, it feels like free money. Of course, we all know it’s not, but it’s nice to pretend for awhile.


Tax season is the perfect time to use that extra cash for something wise. I know, I know. Sometimes it downright stinks being a responsible adult. I’ve held that check in my hand and dreamed of going on the biggest shopping spree of my life, buying a whole new set of clothes in one trip.

Okay, that’s not entirely true. More like, I’ve held that check in my hand and wondered how many chickens, goats, or pigs it would buy me.

But then I snap back into reality and realize I need to use it on something different. Of course, that isn’t to say that spending it on farm animals is such a bad idea. Those animals can help you be self-sufficient and it can be a good way to invest your money.

But, unfortunately for me, it’s not the best way for our family to spend our tax refund. While it would be fun for a day or two to spend it however I wanted, if I use it on wise purchases it will pay off in the long run.

So, with tax season coming, let’s talk about some wise ways to use your tax refund.


Put it in an emergency fund. If you don’t have an emergency fund or just a small one, putting your refund into your savings can help prevent a financial crisis when an emergency arises.

Use it towards debt. Knock that debt down faster by putting your return towards anything you owe. You always want to pay above and beyond what your statement says so that you can get rid of the debt sooner rather than later.

Pay for home school curriculum or other school expenses. This is what we use our tax return for. Homeschooling can really add up and the textbooks are not cheap. Instead of panicking in September about how we are going to cover another year of school, we use our tax refund to pay for the following year’s curriculum.

Even if you don’t home school you can use your return for school expenses because things like supplies, footwear and clothes, field trips, and special days can add up in a hurry.

Deposit it into a trip fund. Travelling ain’t cheap, but it’s oh, so fun! Why not use your refund for a trip? It’s always best to save first before you go on a trip, and not pay for it after the fact. This will help you in that area.

Make an extra mortgage payment. Making an extra mortgage payment annually can shave years off of your mortgage.

Use it toward home renovations. Again, another expense that you can ease the burden with by putting your tax return towards it.

Buy a necessity you’ve been putting off because of cost.  Are our work boots falling apart? Have you been putting off a trip to the dentist because of the expense? Does your vehicle desperately need a long overdue oil change?

If you’ve been putting these things off because the money just wasn’t there, now is the time to go ahead and pay for those things while you have the cash.

Invest in starting or growing your business. Maybe you’ve been wanting to build your own business. Maybe you’ve caught the entrepreneurship fever but didn’t have the money to invest in it. Tax refund season is the perfect time to start.

There are so many options to choose from when it comes to starting a business and you want to make sure you choose what you feel confident you can succeed at (though, a lot of the time if you are committed and work hard and refuse to give up there is a good chance you can have success in building a business as long as you are in it for the long haul.)


*This post contains affiliate links.  Please see our full disclosure policy HERE.

What kinds of businesses can you start by investing a little money into it? Investing in your business may be finally jumping in to blogging as a business. If that’s the case, you’ll want to purchase hosting.

I tell anyone who wants to start blogging to make income that purchasing hosting is the #1 thing you want to make sure you do. I purchased mine from Bluehost and it was really affordable at only $3.95 per month (but you do pay for all 12 months at once, which personally I like better anyways.)

For more detailed instructions on how to start a blog you can always read my post, Blogging for Beginners. As I reach my one year mark of blogging I can say it has changed my life and I am so happy I made the jump one year ago!

But, maybe blogging feels too introverted for you. Maybe you’re more of a people person, and into something that allows you to interact with people. Maybe now is the time to invest in a business like sharing essential oils with people (and of course enjoying them yourself! This has been one of my new adventures and I am loving it.)

Of course, essential oils are just ONE example of many things you can jump on board with to share with others. But, again, it’s a business that needs investing in to start, and tax refund time is a perfect place to start.

Or maybe you are like my husband and are in the trades. To further your career it can be wise to invest in things like tools (though, don’t tell him I said that! 🙂 ).

Maybe you already have a business but want to grow it. You can use your tax refund to invest into your business in a variety of ways. For most businesses to succeed at some point you need to invest something. It might be paying for courses and education, advertising, or other things that your tax refund can be used for.

These are just a few examples when it comes to investing in a business.  They sky is the limit when you think of all the things you can do!


Now, before you think I’m a total stick in the mud for suggesting you use it wisely, for our family we do like to take a small amount from it and do something special which may be eating out or buying something small before we put the rest of it towards a better cause. We just make sure to not take the whole refund and spend it on living in the moment!

Using your tax refund for any one of the things on this list can help give you peace of mind. There are so many times we can feel the financial strain of everyday life expenses, but using our tax return towards those types of things can take one more worry off our mind.

2 thoughts on “8 Super Smart Ways to Use your Tax Return”

  1. Great suggestions! Used ours for years to pay down debt now we are debt free and use it to pay a big chunk off our mortgage every year. We are on track to be mortgage free almost 10 years sooner than originally planned. It will be so woth it when its payed off.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *