Erica is the Local Perspectives editor for TodaysMama.com. She is the mama of 2 boys and a punk dog and the wife to her best friend. Work experiences include writing, editing, teaching, project management, and designing PEZ dispensers. She likes thunderstorms, old barns, and driving at night in the summertime, and dislikes arrogance and pickles.

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I Wish I Had A Million Dollars — Tax Refund Advice

George Bailey said it each time he walked into the Bedford Falls pharmacy: I wish I had a million dollars… Hot dog!

 George Bailey I wish I had a million dollars Hotdog!

The Barenaked Ladies would buy you a house, furniture for your house, a K-car, and your love.

My husband and I often talk about what we’d do with a million dollars.  We’d…

Pay for strangers’ dinner – Pay off friends’ debts – Send our kids to the best schools, camps, experiences – Take our extended family on vacation – Take my girlfriends to an overnight spa – Start a business – Finance initiatives at our church – Support all kinds of charities – Go to Maine every summer – Refurbish an old Ford truck – Build a barn house in the country – Take a wine & bicycle trip in France – Combine world travel and mission trips – Leave bigger tips – Get a monthly massage – Have a teacup pig – Get those overexposed family photos where we just happen to be walking down an industrial alleyway.

It was with some surprise that we received word about the size of this year’s tax refund.  It was a nice return.  Then we sat down and made a list of everything we wanted to do with that return.  You might remember that we’re in the midst of a major master bed/bath overhaul, which isn’t cheap.

The list started something like:  My husband would like a shotgun for turkey hunting.  He needs some new work clothes.  We have some credit card debt to dash away.  We want to tithe our return.  Wait, shouldn’t tithing be first on our list?  That means saving should be second.  Let’s go back and  tithe and put some in savings, then pay off the debt, then continue with the spending.  Oh my gosh, bathroom tile is how much?  Nix the shotgun.

The tax refund is nearly spent.  When I think about what we make in a year and what a refund for us is, it’s not close to a million bucks, but watching it slip through our fingers was shocking.

Tax Refund Advice

WWDRD? (What Would Dave Ramsey Do?)  You don’t have to subscribe to all of Dave Ramsey’s ideas to consider his advice pertinent, though I do think my family would do well to adhere to his philosophies. Here are some tax refund tips from the pros:

Dave Ramsey’s Life & Money – Taxes

How Do American’s Spend Their Tax Refunds? - Mint Life

How to Spend, Save, or Stretch Your Tax Refund – Turbo Tax

The Best Way to Spend (or Not) Your Tax Refund – Fox Business

Don’t forget to file your taxes by April 15th, or file an extension to avoid a 5% late penalty!

The IRS is returning around $337 billion as tax refunds.  What would you do with a million dollars?  What will you more realistically do with a refund?

 

More…

5 Tax Tips All Parents Should Know

How to Organize A Desk

Tips to Control Holiday Spending

 

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Comments (3)

  1. Rachael Herrscher 03/26/2013 at 2:49 pm

    lol! I want to just happen to be walking down an industrial alley way getting my pictures taken too!

  2. Lady of Perpetual Chaos 03/26/2013 at 9:49 am

    This year ours goes straight to savings since we’re saving for a new car for my husband. Actually, every year it goes straight to savings for something. We’re kind of boring like that.

  3. Carina 03/26/2013 at 8:35 am

    So true! Getting a lump sum seems like such a big deal, until you realize how fast it gets spent.