An income tax refund check can feel like free money, when in fact, it is your money.
So make the most of it and use your refund to start a savings account or pay down debt.
As a financial educator, I often tell people that money is a tool to help them achieve goals, such as saving for a home, a down payment for a reliable car, repairs to an existing car or college for their children.
When you receive an income tax refund, consider writing down your goals before spending the money.
If you use your income tax refund to purchase an expensive item, for example a 46’’ flat screen TV, check the price of that item in three places for the best deal. If you buy a car, avoid the “Buy Here Pay Here” lots to get a better price.
When paying off credit card debt with your tax refund, first review your credit report by going
Inside the KeyBank Financial Education Center on Buckeye.
to www.annualcreditreport.com. You’ll get a free credit report from all three credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.
Another way to stretch your refund is to set aside 10 percent of the money for an emergency.
Often times, people spend their income tax refund before they receive it. Then, when an emergency occurs, they have to borrow money from family and friends or open a payday loan account. The best way to avoid this is to start a savings account, which can create a financial safety net.
If you already have a savings account and you want to grow your money in other ways, such as starting a business, your refund can help. You can also attend free business plan writing classes held at KeyBank’s Financial Education Center.
Remember, a tax refund is your money and the best way to stretch your dollar is to make sure you use it wisely
By Beverly Davis NV contributing writer
Beverly Davis is a financial education instructor at KeyBank’s Financial Education Center.