If you’re a CPA, this week might be a little, oh how do we say it, what’s the word…stressful for you. There’s less than a week to go until Tax Day (April 17 this year), and chances are, our accountant friends are just a smidge busy right now.
For all the rest of us, the next week is an opportunity to think about the tax refund that (we hope) is just around the corner. As tempting as it is to hit the stores and spend spend spend, our #UHBauer personal finance expert John Lopez is advising otherwise (and you should probably listen to him, since he’s a Certified Financial Planner who created the Personal Financial Planning Track at Bauer College).
Here are his top 2 tips to make the most of your tax refund (that don’t involve a trip to the mall).
Save Now, Spend Later.
Have an emergency savings fund! Emergencies will happen — car repairs, a parking ticket, an unexpected trip, you get the idea. If you don’t have emergency funds available, this kind of thing will put you in debt. For students, having $1,000 in an emergency savings account will take care of most emergency expenditures. After graduation, it’s best to have an emergency fund of at least three months of living expenses. If you do nothing else financially, having an emergency savings fund will make a huge difference in your financial security.
Debt is a Four-Letter Word.
Stay out of debt. Debt is expensive. Make sure to make full payments on your credit cards each month. Don’t carry balances. If you are already in debt, put a plan together to get rid of the debt as soon as possible.
By Jessica Navarro