by the Cheap Chick
Today is the dreaded April 15th – Tax Day. But for many Minnesotans, the pain of doing taxes is sweetened by the thought of a nice tax return. Here are some ideas of what to do with those checks from the government, along with the discounts you can enjoy today as a reward for finishing your taxes.
TAX DAY DISCOUNTS
Schlotsky's – get a free sandwich with the purchase of a drink and chips
Olive Garden – buy an entrée to eat in, and get another entrée free to take home
Sonic Drive In – stop by for all day happy hour, when drinks and slushies are half price
Boston Market – 2 Half-Chicken Meals for just $10.40 (get it???)
Pizza Hut - Order a large pizza and one of three sides for $10.99. You must enter the promo code TAXDAY to get the deal.
Arby's – Free Curly Fries (coupon required)
Bruegger's - At 300 locations, guests save $3.50 and pay $10.40 for a Big Bagel Bundle: Choice of 13 bagels and two tubs of cream cheese
NOTE: The Cheap Chick mentioned a McDonald's deal offering a Big Mac or Quarter Pounder for one cent with one full-price purchase, but McDonald's confirmed this deal does not exist in the Twin Cities -- only one market in Florida and one market in Ohio. The segment also mentioned a Culver's deal for a $2 turtle sundae, which is also not being offered in the Twin Cities.
WHAT TO DO WITH YOUR REFUND
1. Use the refund to pay off or pay down a high-interest credit card. You'll save 18% or more on credit card interest on the amount you pay off – which adds up fast.
2. Set up an emergency fund. Talk to your bank about creating a separate savings account to only be used if you lose your job or other big life expense. Most experts recommend 6 -9 months' worth of your current salary in savings. BONUS: Often you'll receive a discount on other banking fees if you open up another account.
If you already have an emergency fund, set up a Vacation Fund. Once again, open up a separate savings account, one solely dedicated to saving up for you and your family's dream vacation.
3. Put it into your child's 529 account for college. Your kid will be able to use that money tax-free for college bills AND you could receive a state income tax deduction for your contribution to the 529 account. Yes, that means you'll get a deduction for spending your refund!
4. Make your day to day life better. Like to cook? Invest in new, high-end equipment like pots and knives, sign up for cooking classes, or freshen the look of your kitchen with a coat of paint and a new sink. Travel a lot for work? Treat yourself to noise-canceling headphones or an e-reader to make the plane rides more bearable. Want to improve your fitness? Spend your refund on a gym membership, fitness classes, or even sessions with a personal trainer.