Monday, February 28, 2011

8 Things We Will Do With Our Tax Refund

Yep...we're expecting a refund this year. Like always. I know people will argue that getting a refund is like loaning money to the government interest free. And they are right. But I still like my refund. And frankly, the last few years have each been so different from the last, I'm afraid to make adjustments to try to balance it up so we're closer to the actual amount we owe for the year. So for now, I'll take the refund. This year it is for just over $4300.

This is what we're doing with it.

  1. Replenishing the Emergency Fund. Our e-fund was knocked down from $1500 to $500 during a few rough months of having to pay for things with seriously reduced income. That's what the fund is for, but now it is time to restock it. -$1000
  2. Getting the dog groomed. The dog is a shih-tzu and needs to be groomed. We are not capable. She needs trimming, shampooing, special skin treatment stuff, and nails clipped. This total package costs about $70 and hasn't been done since like November. -$70
  3. Getting the wife groomed. Okay...not really groomed, but I needed a haircut and this was be my chance. -$30 (with tip) Is it just me or is it depressing that the dog requires more care than I do?
  4. Paying for the tax filing. We use TurboTax Deluxe and this year it cost $103 because we had to file in three states (while Chip was working last year he had to fill in at a store in South Carolina for a little while causing us to pay SC state taxes). -$103
  5. Date night. Chip and I have agreed that we are going on a real date when the entire refund gets in. The works...full night out, dinner, dessert maybe, paying for a sitter, the whole deal. It's been over a year since we've done this and we need it desperately. estimated -$150 (counting sitter)
  6. Horde in the Emergency Fund. Chip is still not in the Army yet (he has to go back to MEPS), so we are still without income on one side of the equation. I really just want to sock the remainder away until we KNOW we can move it to the credit card balance.
  7. Buy canvas photos. Back in October 2010 we had some beautiful pictures taken by a professional photographer who happens to be a neighbor and friend as well. She did a fantastic job. There were a few prints that I wanted to buy and at least 2 (maybe 3) that I wanted to have turned into framed canvas prints. But just when I was about to order, Chip lost his job. The order was put on hold. Our photographer friend did a WONDERFUL thing and gave us some of my favorites in 8 x 10 and smaller for us to enjoy. It brought me to tears. But I still want to order those canvas prints from her. After we're all clear on the Chip has a job deal, I want to order these and have them framed. Estimated damaged -$600
  8. Pay off Debt! When Chip is getting an income again and we feel comfortable enough to do it, we will pay off debt with the remaining money. If we do not have to use any of it out of the temporarily fat emergency fund, this will leave $2337 to send to the credit card. I wish the whole $4300 could go, but this is what is more realistic.

I know...many of these are unnecessary and the money is best spent sending it all to debt. But we've been doing a pretty good job of paying off that beast, and we'd just like to splurge on a bit of it.

What do you think of our spending? Are you getting a refund? If so, what will you do with it?


  1. Sounds great. If you can buy the digital images from the photographer, you can get great canvas prints for less. I bought a 16x24 inch family picture on canvas with the 1.5" frame wrapped for $40 and it turned out great.

    You definitely deserve an awesome date night! You've inspired me to start working on my taxes. I hope we get a refund this year. Last year I had to write out a check for $5000. Ouch! Hopefully we fixed the problem and I won't owe again.

  2. @Hifam--That is a great suggestion about buying the digital images. I also hope you got your tax issues worked out so you do not owe so much. OUCH is right! Best of luck!