You’ve just got a big tax refund. What should you do with it? Here are 10 smart money moves that will help make this year one of the best years ever for your wallet.

The “what to do with tax-free money” is a question that has been asked by many people. Here are 10 smart moves that you can make with your tax refund.

You anticipate receiving your tax refund each year after filing. Generally, depending on the state you live in, the average return is approximately $3,000.

In 2019, residents of Texas got an average return of $3,191 while those of New Jersey received an average refund of $2,848.

Regardless of where you reside, a tax refund might be a sizable sum of money. You could purchase a brand-new entertainment system or go on a shopping spree with that money to watch Netflix in its entirety. The best approach to use your tax return, meanwhile, may not be to spend it all at once or to buy things you desire.

What should you spend your tax return on instead now that you know very well how not to spend it? Here are a few of the greatest ways to spend your tax return from 2020 in 2021.

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1. Contribute it to your retirement account


Starting when you start working, you should set aside 10 to 15 percent of your income for retirement. You may deposit your return into your retirement account if you haven’t been saving much and want to kickstart your retirement or if you’ve always been savvy about saving money. It is best to start as soon as possible so that it has time to garner as much attention as feasible.

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2. Eliminate Credit Card Debt


When deciding how to spend your tax return, clearing out credit card debt is an excellent choice. The typical American owes $6,194 or less on their credit cards. But many Americans have far larger credit card debt burdens.

Since the interest rates may be as high as 17% or more, you would be paying largely interest each month. Since you’re reducing your credit usage ratio, paying off your debt with a sizable portion of your tax return may decrease your balance and raise your credit score at the same time.

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Pay back your student loan debt.


The interest rate on your student loans might be exorbitant, just as it is on credit cards. Again, you might improve your credit score and feel much more confident about your finances if you can use part or all of your tax return toward this obligation.

Damir Khabirov/Istockphoto is the source of the image.

4. Contribute It to a Down Payment


If you’re unsure of what to do with your tax return, you can consider making a small deposit into an account that will be used to save funds for a down payment on a house. You may only need to put down 3.5 percent on a property to acquire a mortgage loan if you can get a Federal Housing Administration loan. If you reside in a place where houses can be purchased for approximately $100,000, you may just need to have about $3,000 saved up.

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5. Increase Your Insurance Protection


Better homeowners or auto insurance might be purchased with your tax return to safeguard you and your valuables.

For instance, suppose you had automobile insurance with a minimum bodily injury limit, or liability, coverage of $15,000 per person. But given how expensive medical costs are now, you’ve never felt at ease driving about with such a low minimum. You could always use your tax return to get extra insurance.

If you rent or own a property, you could be hosting guests once again now that the globe is starting to open up. You should make sure you have quality renters insurance or homeowners insurance to protect both you and your belongings. With your tax return, you may cover the cost of that additional insurance.

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6. Make a donation to your emergency fund.


In case of an unforeseen medical emergency or job loss, it’s usually a good idea to have at least six months’ worth of expenditures saved in an emergency fund. Consider adding to your emergency fund while determining what to do with your tax return. Your emergency fund may earn money while you sleep if it is kept in a high-interest savings account.

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7. Put it toward your company.


You might use your tax return to reinvest in your own company if you own one. You may buy the new office supplies you need, engage a contractor to do a few little tasks, or settle a debt for your company. You may thus accomplish your company objectives significantly more quickly.

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8. Put the Cash to Work


From your tax return, you may invest a few thousand dollars and see it increase over the next years. Just bear in mind that certain investments are riskier than others, and that if you don’t take the appropriate steps, you might lose the money.

You may invest in stocks, mutual funds, bonds, or real estate, for instance. You take considerably less of a risk if you buy in blue-chip stocks from established firms that are almost certain to succeed than if you were to do the same with a startup that hasn’t yet shown itself. Blue-chip firms may have higher share prices; Amazon is now trading at $3,110.87 per share, for example, but there is a considerably greater likelihood that you will profit.

A little sum invested in a real estate investment trust, or REIT, is another option to take on less risk when it comes to real estate. These businesses hold and manage properties that generate money. You may invest in real estate using websites like Fundrise and DiversyFund with as little as $500.

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9. Invest in life insurance.


The best use of your tax return may be to get life insurance if you don’t already have it. Your family may use the life insurance proceeds to settle debts you have, pay their bills, the mortgage, and other expenses after your death. When you buy it, you’re defending your family and guaranteeing that they won’t have to worry when you pass away, no matter what happens.

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10. Pay Your Car Off


Do you spend a lot each month for your car? For a new automobile, the average monthly payment is $568, while the average for a used car is $397. You will save interest by using your tax return toward your auto payment, and you’ll feel more safe knowing that you now really own your car.

Srdjan Pav is the photographer.

Obtaining a Tax Refund


Remember: File your taxes online and use the direct deposit option if you want your return as soon as possible. If you file online with the IRS, you should get your refund in less time than three weeks. Once you have it, you are free to use it anyway you choose and may begin protecting your future finances.

Related: syndicated this piece after it first published on

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The “all of the following are smart ways to use your tax refund except” is a list of 10 money moves that you can make with your tax refund.

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