Springboard Offers Tips for Getting More From a Tax Refund

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There's a lot that can be done with a tax refund; the temptation to spend the money unwisely is ever-present. Springboard Nonprofit Consumer Credit Management offers tips on what to do to maximize returns on your refund.

Springboard, a non-profit consumer credit management organization, wants consumers to stop for a minute and think before spending their tax refund.

"There is a lot that can be done with a tax refund, the temptation to spend the money unwisely is ever-present" said Todd Emerson, CEO of Springboard, "Instead of putting their money to good use, some consumers will unfortunately put themselves into further debt by purchasing high ticket items."

Understanding how to better manage money is essential for consumers to achieve long-term financial health. Springboard has compiled some easy tips on how consumers can put their tax refunds to work. They are:

  •     Spread your wealth around. Consumers can get their income tax refund faster with direct deposit. Take advantage of the new IRS Form 8888 and "spend some and save some". This form allows consumers to split their refund and electronically deposit their money in up to three accounts (savings, checking, and IRA are all eligible). You can deposit however much you like into each account.
  •     Repay existing debt. Use this money to pay off high interest credit cards, or to pay down car loans. The sooner these obligations are taken care of, the less interest you will pay on the money you borrowed.
  •     Open or add to your savings account for a rainy day. Nothing in this world is predictable, we all have unexpected spending that occurs each year, due to emergencies. It is wise to have an "emergency fund" and a good rule of thumb is to save enough to cover three to six months of living expenses. This may seem like a lot, but consumers can start saving a little at a time and build up their nest egg slowly. A healthy savings account prevents you from having to borrow money when emergencies happen.
  •     Invest your money. If you do not have much debt, and have disposable income, you should consider investing in an IRA, mutual funds, or stocks. The money you invest can increase over the years, and you can potentially end up creating a sizeable investment for your future.

Remember, gaining ground on your finances and reducing debt can be far more satisfying than unplanned purchases that may cause additional debt burdens. Springboard offers free confidential counseling and education to consumers nationwide. For more information on their services, or to talk to a certified consumer credit counselor, call 800-WISE PLAN (800-947-3752).

About Springboard Nonprofit Consumer Credit Management

Springboard is a nonprofit credit education and financial counseling organization founded in 1974. The agency offers personal financial education and assistance with money, credit and debt management through confidential counseling. Springboard is accredited by the Council on Accreditation, signifying high standards for agency governance, fiscal integrity, counselor certification and service delivery policies. The agency provides pre-bankruptcy counseling and debtor education as mandated by the Bankruptcy reform law. Springboard is a HUD approved housing counseling agency and a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, a national organization of nonprofit credit counseling agencies. The agency has several locations in California and offers face-to-face and nationwide phone counseling services. For more information on Springboard, call 1-800 WISE PLAN (1-800-947-3752) ext. 750 or visit their web site at http://www.credit.org

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