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Tips on using your tax refund wisely

Deciding what to do with a tax refund is an important decision, especially in today’s economy. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) advises consumers to consider a few options that can provide long-term financial benefits.

“Many people receive a large sum of money from their tax returns,” says Steve J. Bernas, president/CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “It is important to spend your tax return money wisely to have a financially stable year.”

Here are some tips for tax refund recipients:

• Pay down your debt. Use your refund toward debt relief such as paying off a credit card. You can also apply the refund toward other debts, like a car loan or a home equity loan.

• Consider savings options. It may be beneficial to put the money into a savings account, CD or retirement fund and allow it to grow. It’s always helpful to have a savings account to draw from if a major car repair bill, medical emergency or other unexpected expense comes along. That way, you won’t have to borrow money and add to your debt-load.

• Consider investing in your home. Using the money to spruce up your house may add to its property value. For home improvement estimates and other services, consumers can use the free “Request A Quote” from BBB Accredited Businesses at www.bbb.org.

• If debt is a problem, consider a credit counselor. Certified consumer credit counseling agencies can assist people who are facing financial challenges and are looking for debt relief. The BBB has free Business Reviews on credit and debt counseling firms in Northern Illinois at www.bbb.org.

Bernas noted that if debt is a problem, consider a credit counselor. Certified consumer credit counseling agencies can assist people who are facing financial challenges and are looking for debt relief. The BBB has free Business Reviews on Credit and Debt Counseling firms in Northern Illinois at www.bbb.org.

“Consumers need to keep their financial goals in mind,” Bernas stated. “Consider using your tax refund toward these. Put a set of long-term and short-term goals together. You’ll be more conscientious about how you spend your refund and how to use any other extra money that comes your way,” he explained.

For more consumer tips you can trust, visit www.bbb.org. 

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