Thursday, April 14, 2016

11 Smart Uses For Your Tax Refund

It's refund season! Since the deadline to file taxes is upon us, most of you have hopefully already submitted your taxes for 2016. Some of you may have even already received your refunds. This sudden influx of cash is incredibly exciting, and it's also an excellent opportunity to improve your overall financial standing. Don't waste this opportunity on a spur-of-the-moment purchase! First Bank of the Lake is here to help you brainstorm some better uses for your tax refund.

Smart Ways To Use Your Tax Refund:

11. Fund Your Retirement
Investing your tax return in your retirement accounts can be a great way to maximize its value. If you have an IRA at the Lake of the Ozarks, you can contribute up to $5,500 to it in a single year (or $6,500 if you are over the age of fifty).

2. Apply It Towards Your Mortgage
By putting additional funds towards your mortgage principal, you can significantly reduce the total amount of interest you will pay on the loan. It also builds equity in your property, which is a valuable financial resource.

3. Improve Your Property
While your refund won't be big enough to cover an entire bathroom or kitchen remodel, you can use it to perform other home improvements. A fresh coat of paint or a new backsplash in the kitchen can be a great way to improve your property's value a little bit at a time.

4. Pay Off Your Car Faster
Putting the funds from your tax return towards the principal on your auto loan can reduce your total amount of interest paid and help you pay off the loan more quickly. Once your loan is paid off completely, you'll have much more room in your monthly budget.

5. Improve Your Insurance Coverage
When is the last time you took a critical look at your current insurance coverage? There may be gaps in your policies that could result in significantly more money out of pocket in the event of a claim. Now could be a good time to fill in these gaps.

6. Pay Off Your Credit Card Debt
If you aren't careful, credit card debt has a way of racking up very quickly. If you've been struggling to catch up with your credit card debt, your tax refund may finally offer the chance you need to overcome it.

7. Build Your College Savings
If you have children, saving for their higher educations may be a big concern. This sudden influx of cash could be a great way to boost your savings account for your children's college educations.

8. Upgrade An Appliance
Older appliances tend to use significantly more electricity than newer models do. If you have old appliances in your kitchen that may be contributing to your high electric bill, this could be a good opportunity to upgrade to a more recent model.

9. Grow Your Emergency Fund
We have talked at length about the importance of building a strong emergency fund. Most experts recommend keeping enough saved aside to survive for three to six months without income, but very few Americans meet this goal. Consider using your tax refund to boost your emergency savings.

10. Save For A Big Purchase
What are you saving for? A family vacation? A bathroom remodel? A new car? Whatever it is, big purchases often require a significant amount of planning and diligent saving ahead of time. Your refund may be a great way to gain some ground towards your savings goal.

11. Donate To A Charity
Perhaps you're in a comfortable financial position already and don't need to use your refund for yourself. If that's the case, you may wish to consider donating your refund dollars to your favorite charity. (Don't forget that you can deduct this donation from next year's taxes!)

First Bank Of The Lake Offers A Safe Place To Keep Your Refund!
It's up to you to decide how to spend your tax refund, but these ideas should get your creative juices flowing. If you are in need of a safe place to secure your refund in the meantime (or a new place to set up an emergency fund), consider setting up a checking or savings account at our Lake of the Ozarks bank. We offer a great range of financial services in Osage Beach MO, and we would be honored to help you in your financial endeavors. Visit our website to learn more about First Bank of the Lake:

First Bank of the Lake - Striving For Excellence
Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.

Located at the entrance to the Osage Beach Premium Outlets!
4558 Osage Beach Parkway
Suite 100

Osage Beach, MO 65065
(573) 348-2265

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