Your Tax Refund is Your Money, Spend it Wisely

It is exciting to get a big check each year around tax time.  Think of all the things you have been wanting to buy, but you couldn't or wouldn't spend the money - maybe some needed repairs at home or on your truck, or you want to update to the latest (and expensive) electronic gadgets.  Remember the check you will receive is your money!  Simply put, the government has been holding your money for the past year and not paying you any interest on it.

Since you have proved that you have been able to live without this money for the past year, you could save or invest this money and put it to use later in life.  Do you have a retirement account or an emergency fund that will float you through at least six months of living expenses?  If not, this money could be used for you and your family's security.

Calmness, organization, and filing early

How do you feel when you hear the date April 15th? How many times have you filed for an extension on your taxes? What makes you file extensions?  Does it really help you in the long run?  Is this because of organization problems?  These are all questions that you have to ask yourself to identify why you might have these behaviors.

What thoughts go through your mind when you think of taxes? Fear of the unknown? Fear of owing money? Fear of dealing with the government and all of those forms?  Be sure to educate yourself on filing taxes, record keeping, and anything that worries you.  The more you know, the less worry you will have.

Techniques for Keeping Calm

Put a reminder in your phone to start working on your taxes on the first of January each year.  Tax time is not a surprise and they are not going to change the date on you!

If you are an owner/operator, be sure to have a system for tracking your expenses and income.  Do you shove your receipts into a shoebox and expect to be able to sort them out at tax time?

Hire an accountant or a person to prepare your taxes if you are not comfortable.  Often, a professional will save you more money in taxes than the amount of money you have paid him or her to help you.

Tell family and friends that you will file your taxes early this year. If you tell other people, you are now being held accountable to your words.

Look at stress as a test.  Do you want to fail that test by getting stressed out?

The only person responsible for your stress is you.

Stress is energy.  Are you going to use this energy for something productive or destructive?

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