Your tax return: Use it or lose it - KMSP-TV

Money Monday

Your tax return: Use it or lose it

Posted: Updated:
Fox 2 Money Monday - With federal tax refunds up 3 percent over last year - averaging $3,034 as of the end of February - many taxpayers are getting access to more discretionary dollars as spring arrives.

It can be tempting to use tax refunds for impulse purchases with no long-term impact, like a tropical vacation or a shopping spree. But while it's natural to set aside a portion of tax refunds for short-term enjoyment, Huntington Bank suggests five practical uses for your refund that could also improve your overall long-term financial health and well-being.

Save for a rainy day
. Everyone should have a rainy day fund that totals at least three months of his or her yearly salary. If you don't have emergency money set aside, a portion of your refund could go toward a savings account, money market or short-term certificate of deposit.

Save for retirement. Consider putting your tax refund in a Roth IRA for the 2014 tax year. A 35-year-old who invested $2,500 in a Roth IRA in 2014 and every year thereafter would have access to approximately $210,000 by age 65, if the annual compounded rate of return equaled 6 percent.

Pay off a portion of college debt. According to the Project on Student Debt from the Institute for College Access and Success, seven out of 10 seniors graduated in 2012 with debt, with average debt of $29,400.

Contribute to an education fund. While the College Board reports that tuition in the current academic year of 2013-2014 is rising more slowly than in previous years, the costs of higher education continue to climb. Average in-state tuition now totals $8,900, while average private school tuition tops $30,000.

Make extra mortgage payments. If you use your tax refund to help pay down your fixed-rate mortgage, you could save thousands of dollars in interest and significantly shorten the term of your loan. Setting aside just $1,200 of your annual refund to pay an extra $100 every month on a 30-year, $100,000 mortgage at a 4.5 percent annual interest rate would result in more than $26,000 in total savings and pay off the loan in less than 22 years. Or, if you have not already taken advantage of historic low interest rates by refinancing your mortgage, your tax refund could help pay for one-time refinancing fees. A refund can also help pay for a down-payment on a mortgage for would-be homebuyers.

  • MorningsMorningsMore>>

  • Chef Kelli's Grilled Corn Party!

    Chef Kelli's Grilled Corn Party!

    Thursday, July 31 2014 11:59 AM EDT2014-07-31 15:59:21 GMT
    Chef Kelli's Grilled Corn Party! 
    Chef Kelli's Grilled Corn Party! 
  • Out & About: Flyboarding

    Out & About: Flyboarding

    Thursday, July 31 2014 11:21 AM EDT2014-07-31 15:21:46 GMT

    It's a new extreme water sport called flyboarding where a jet ski propels a board into the air.  Derek Kevra says it was amazing.

    It's a new extreme water sport called flyboarding where a jet ski propels a board into the air.  Derek Kevra says it was amazing.

  • City of Detroit posts improvement updates online

    City of Detroit posts improvement updates online

    Thursday, July 31 2014 7:18 AM EDT2014-07-31 11:18:29 GMT
    Residents will be able to view the number of new streetlights installed in their Detroit neighborhood, how many lots were mown and the number of vacant houses demolished by going to the city's website.
    Residents will be able to view the number of new streetlights installed in their Detroit neighborhood, how many lots were mown and the number of vacant houses demolished by going to the city's website.
Powered by WorldNow

KMSP-TV
11358 Viking Drive
Eden Prairie, MN 55344

Phone: (952) 944-9999
Fax: (952) 942-0455

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices