Money Talks: Smart Things To Do With a Tax Refund

According to the IRS, the average tax return last year was a little more than three grand. If you're expecting a big check this year, the temptation will be great to blow it.

But if you're determined to use that refund wisely this year, what exactly can you do with it? Here are some ideas in no particular order.

First? Pay down high interest debt. Don't even think of spending that refund if you're carrying a balance on your credit card.

Next? Start or beef up an emergency fund - with at least 3 months of living expenses.

Tip number three... If you're going to blow the money anyway, at least try to buy a memory. Don't just fritter it away. Do something spectacular.

Number 4... Help someone else. Donate to your favorite cause and get a deduction for next year. Or use a loan website to help entrepreneurs around the globe.

Number 5... Invest in yourself. Take a class or learn something that will make you more valuable or more productive.

And a final idea... Start a side business. Find something that generates income and use your refund to get it up and running.

And remember: While it's nice to get a refund, it could mean you're having too much withheld from your paycheck.

You could get a W-4, raise your exemptions and get more take-home pay with every paycheck. Just remember if you do that, save that extra money.If you need more ideas on what to do with your tax refund, go to and search for "Tax Refund." For Money Talks News, I'm Stacy Johnson.

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