Monday, March 2, 2015

Invest In Yourself: Smart Ways to Spend Your 2015 Tax Refund

If you're among the millions of Americans who qualify for a tax refund this year, you'll want to be smart with that money you're getting back. At Outski, we believe that the smartest way to invest this money is to spend it on improving your physical and mental health. Below are ideas for spending your tax refund that we believe are the top ways to stay healthy, outside and in.



Take steps toward financial wellness by starting an emergency savings fund and paying down debt.
Ideally, you will have three month's worth of fixed expenses set aside in an emergency savings account. If you don't, putting even 20% of your tax return into such an account is a good idea. If you were unemployed at any point during the recession, you know how important this emergency fund can be. Remember, Rome wasn't built in a day. Even setting aside small amounts will add up over time. Ultimately, having that emergency fund will provide peace of mind, which helps to improve mental health by lowering stress.

Tax season is also a great time to pay off or down debt when you get that much-needed refund. If April 15th comes and goes and your wallet is temporarily fatter because of tax day, don't miss out on the opportunity to free yourself from these shackles. Getting out of debt is another part of the road to financial wellness and feeling a sense of contentment.


Continue your education.
Whether it's getting started on a college degree or just taking continuing education courses and attending workshops, using your tax refund towards enhancing your skills in the workplace is a great investment into your future earning potential. Even if you are a stay at home parent and your spouse works, it is always a good idea to have something to fall back on. Having a plan B is just another way to help keep stress at bay.

Purchase a new mattress.
The experts at bettersleep.org say that mattresses play a huge role in how well you sleep. In fact, one study found that people who slept in new beds reported a "significant decrease" in stress. Getting proper sleep plays a huge role in physical and mental health, as well as quality of life and safety, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Pre-pay for one massage a month for the next year.
Regular massage therapy has proven to relieve a number of ailments from back pain to anxiety. 

Hire a Personal Trainer
Many of you out there might say that you don't need a fitness trainer, because you already know proper form and how to train your body. Maybe you do, but how often do you put that knowledge into practice. The majority of us are not disciplined enough to push ourselves as hard as we would if we had someone else putting us to work. Being held accountable by having a session to attend once or twice a week is great way to ensure that you will get it done. 

Take a vacation.
Here in America, we tend to see vacation as a luxury, rather than a necessity to maintaining our health and happiness. Intuitively, we understand it, so why not just do it? Putting a portion of your tax refund towards a vacation may not cover the entire cost, but at least it's a great head-start. Then, you can continue having money deposited into your Vacation Savings Account every week until you reach your budget goal. Research has proven that people who don't take vacations regularly are up to 8 times more likely to suffer a heart attack. Tax season is a great time to start making vacations a part of your overall personal health and wellness goals. 

Investing in yourself is the best way to go when considering how to spend your tax refund. Your mind and body will be thanking you for this one smart financial / health decision for years to come. 


images, from top:
© devisu / dollar photo club
© www.doglikehorse.com / dollar photo club

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