5 ways to make the most of your refund

It’s the time of year when we’ve all finished our taxes (hopefully).

Whether you’ve been doing your own taxes for years or have someone run the numbers for you, tax season can be a stressful time. Little mistakes can turn into lower refunds or higher tax bills.

We all want to get the most for our money. God wants that for us, too. Our money is really His money and He wants us to manage it wisely.

It takes self-control not to immediately spend our tax refunds immediately. But rather than spending cash for a good time now, consider the financial legacy you want to have eventually. Wisdom urges us to think big picture, not just there here and now.

Don’t think about the temporary fun you can get out of your tax refund. Think about how it can help you move forward on the path to financial freedom.

Five Ways to Spend Your Tax Refund Wisely

1. Save it.

You will never regret saving money instead of spending it without considering your financial goals (Proverbs 21:20). If there aren’t any pressing expenses to worry about, consider setting it aside for an emergency, a child’s education, or something else down the road. Saving today prepares us for unexpected costs later on.

2. Pay off credit card debt, loans, or car payments.

The longer we wait to get out of debt, the longer we remain enslaved instead of living in freedom (Proverbs 22:7). Debt prevents us from the freedom to do whatever God calls us to do at any time. Why would we want to stay stuck in the chains of debt when we can honor God with our finances and take steps toward debt freedom?

3. Give it.

If you haven’t already started tithing (bringing at least 10 percent of your gross income back to God), there’s no better time to start than right now. Giving to God first leads to being content, which releases us from the grip of materialism (Philippians 4:11-13). If you’re already giving, consider your tax refund as an opportunity to give generously and invest in something that will outlast all of us: the local church.

4. Plan something special.

If you want to take a long trip, make a sizeable purchase or do something big in the future, it will require a plan (Luke 14:28). Financial goals don’t just happen on their own. You’ll have to be intentional about taking steps to make the goal possible. Start saving for your goals using part or all of your tax refund.

5. Help someone.

Find a family in need, sponsor a child’s food and education in a third-world country, or take a college student out to dinner. Maybe even help someone anonymously. God blesses us with joy when we bless others by giving (Proverbs 11:25, Matthew 6:1-4).

Not sure where to start? NewSpring also offers free, one-on-one financial coaching. You can also find budget templates and other helpful resources at newspring.cc/finances

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