Tax Refund

Seven ways a tax refund can improve your life

tax.jpgWhen the IRS sends out a tax refund, it's increasingly a nice chunk of change. The average refund in 2011 was $2,913, according to Kiplinger's. Even if you don't expect to receive quite this much, your refund is probably substantial enough to take time thinking of a good use for it.

Some financial experts advise that you earmark 10% of your refund for something fun, and use the rest for a more serious purpose. You might, for example, put the "serious" 90% toward one or more of these goals:

1. Shrink high-cost debt by paying down the balance on your highest-rate credit card or loan.

2. Own your home sooner by making an extra payment against the principal owed on your mortgage.

3. Worry less about the unexpected by opening a club savings account to help cover financial emergencies.

4. Be better prepared for medical needs by creating a savings account dedicated to your health.

5. Give your kids a boost into a good college by contributing to their education fund.

6. Help less fortunate people or animals by donating to a charity you admire.

7. Save yourself a few gray hairs by funding a Roth IRA.

Here at your credit union, we'll give you a hand in any way we can. Our regular savings accounts, CDs, and IRAs usually yield higher interest than you'll find at most banks. If you're aiming to reduce debt, feel free to prepay your loan, credit card account, or mortgage without penalty.

Whatever you do, don't let your refund just dribble away. You worked hard for that money - and we're here to help make sure it will work hard for you.