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We are nearing the end of tax season and if you weren’t procrastinating about getting your taxes done, you might have some extra cash on your hands. While many personal finance experts quip that receiving a tax return means that you were giving the government an interest-free loan, I don’t.

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I know for many of us trying to improve our finances, receiving a lump sum of money can be a real motivator to taking care of financial business; a sizeable tax return can make the difference between making a big financial move quickly and making small steps of progress over time.

If you are getting back a little extra (between $1,000 and $3,000) from Uncle Sam this year, here are few smart moves that you can make.

1. Start a wedding fund (even if you haven’t met him yet.):

People look at me like I’m crazy when I speak about starting a wedding fund even when you are still single. But why not give the same shade to someone that says that they are starting a college fund for a toddler. Same premise. You are planning for something that you want to happen. The Law of Attraction speaks about making room for the things that you want in life by literally creating space for them to come into existence and acting like the thing that you want is already there in your life.

2. Buy your first mutual fund:

If you are afraid of stocks because you think there is too much risk in buying them or you feel that you don’t have enough money to get your foot in the game, why not consider using some or all of your tax return to buy your first mutual funds? Mutual funds can help minimize your risk by spreading your investment across numerous stocks. Then you will be able to lean in over drinks and tell all of your girlfriends how you are “building your portfolio” even if you don’t exactly know that means yet. J

3. Get your side hustle off the ground:

The only windfall that you may see on a yearly basis is your tax return. If you have been dragging your feet or looking for the start-up money for your entrepreneurial endeavor, consider Uncle Sam your first angel investor and get to building your empire.

4. Build your reserve and demolish your debt:

The money that you have coming to you from your taxes may be just what you need to create an emergency fund and eliminate some debt. If you already have $1,500 as an emergency fund, consider earmarking at least 75% of your tax refund to handling those nagging bills. On the other hand, if you don’t have any money saved for a rainy day, consider squirreling away $1,500 of your return and applying the rest to outstanding debt balances.


Connect with Kara @frugalfeminista. Learn more about The Frugal Feminista at


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Before You Buy Those Red Bottoms, Consider Doing These 4 Smart Things With Your Tax Refund  was originally published on