The trouble with Tax refunds is that everyone wants to spend them for us. Listen, laugh and if you are over-pressured, ask if the speaker is even getting a tax refund or owes money. If the speaker owes money and is using his/her refund to pay of debt, forget the proffered advice. Even worse if the speaker has debt and is not expecting a tax refund, walk away. That is a case of bad operator, bad advice.
Some time ago I invested in a business that is undergoing dramatic changes. My first statement was “My liability is limited to the amount I have investors.” Then if the business goes under or suffers reverses, any losses are limited and cannot spill over into other areas of my financial existence. There are other clauses, but the next was “Get a good health plan.” This caused more controversy, but an valued employee is more likely to hang in with an employer that provides health care in tough times than not. It is in the tough financial times that an experienced proven employee is of the greatest value to the business. Bonuses may be missing, but basic pay and health care, removes basic concerns and keeps the employee motivated and loyal. This is because the first step to loyalty has been the employer caring for the employee.
In another business I found my partner completely disregarded my instructions. That is not uncommon. Unfortunately said partner decided to disregard my lawyer and accountant. He improperly confused our business relationship with another business he had and relied on a local ethical system, unlike any other known, to see him through.
These ethical systems seldom work for the unlicensed complainant. They are designed to uphold the public perception of these who pay their fees and hold licenses from them. Not to worry, our shared interest lay in a different geographical area. There I already had legal counsel. Situation saved. In other words investment requires enormous caution, unless you invest from knowledge. Advice alone is ofter given from a skewed viewpoint. Undue influence the law considers to be unavoidable.
However, despite all life’s difficulties, you have a tax refund. If you have debts will there be a penalty if they are paid down early? If there is no penalty will there be a reduction in the debt? It may be better to bank the money on low or moderate interest and continue regular payments. Look before you jump.
Even with your financial life under control the shoe may still pinch. What is going to improve your life for you? Is it filling the freezer with food, improving your wardrobe for those essential seasonal items that are wearing out? Do you really need to get away from it all and the Prozac that is lurking and threatening as your stress level rises? Equally has your whole family been facing a stressful situation? If so, take a family break. A weekend or a week or a day of laughter and fun will remove much of the past stress, and diminish the appearance of its future threat. No situation is perfect, but breaking out is essential in self-disciplined and pressured lives.
Perhaps you want to fix up the basement as a rumpus room for growing kids, while you reclaim a quiet area for yourself, or create a better outdoor room for adults and children alike. Whatever you do with your tax bonus, make it work for you.If it goes in one splash on the whole family, warn them “This is a one off. Lets be sure we all agree that this is the best thing for all of us.” Of course if no one will agree, it is time to take a solitary break from them and re-think your overall situation.
Only the recipient of the tax refund can determine what is good or bad, but make it a happy time. Tax refunds don’t happen every day and happiness helps to keep us healthy.