Five Dumb Ways To Spend Your Tax Refund


I filed my taxes this weekend, and like the majority of Americans I’ll be getting a refund from Uncle Sam. In 2012 the average tax refund was around $2900. You may remember that I’m not a fan of getting a big tax refund, and my refund this year is well below that average. Even still, I haven’t gotten a tax refund in a few years and it is exciting to consider the possibilities of what can be done with that money. I could drone on and on about how you should pay down your debt, build up an emergency fund or invest your tax refund. But what fun is that?! Instead, let’s look at the dumbest ways to spend your refund check! 1. Throw a Party – Believe it or not, I had a friend who did this. He threw a huge party after getting his check and spent it … Continue reading

Infographic: Avoid Debt & Simplify Your Finances

“I want to save more money this year.” “This year will be the year I finally take control of my finances.” Do either of those statements sound familiar to you? I’m willing to bet they do. The truth is, the majority of us, regardless of our current financial situation still wish we had more control over our financial lives. I’m no different. My posts about automating your finances and my goal of saving half my income stem from the desire to take more control and improve my financial life. My friends at GreenDot have created this awesome infographic that illustrates how we can all get a better hold on our finances by developing some good habits and utilizing the tools and technology at our disposal. Whether your goal was to save more money, budget more effectively, automate your finances, get out of credit card debt or repair a low credit score there’s something here … Continue reading

Lottery Odds – Are They Ever In Your Favor?


Editor’s Note: This post was previously published –  With the Powerball jackpot reaching $550million for Saturday’s drawing, what better time than now to refresh your memory on what the lottery odds actually look like… This week’s Powerball jackpot is set to be a record $425,000,000. This prize is paid as an annuity over 29 years. The cash value is estimated to be $278,300,000 if the lucky winner decides to take a lump sum payment. We all know that the lottery is a sucker’s game, “A tax on people who suck at math.” as I’ve often heard it put. But it seems every few months the Powerball or Mega Millions lottery jackpots reach these astronomical amounts, driving even the most hardened skeptics (read: me.) to run out and buy a ticket. When the lotto jackpots reach these gigantic numbers the question I always wonder is, “How big does the jackpot need … Continue reading

Why I Don’t Want A Big Tax Refund (and Neither Should You!)

tax returns, tax refund, tax preparing, tax return, federal taxes, irs

If you’re like the average American you’ll be getting a tax refund check for just under $3000 this year. For many people getting that big tax refund is the highlight of their year! I can understand where the feeling comes from. Let’s face it, it’s not often we receive money from the government. But what too many people don’t realize is that getting a big tax refund check each year isn’t a good thing. Here’s why… Can I Borrow Some Money? “Please? Just loan me $3000 and I’ll pay you back next April, I promise!” If one of your friends came up to you and asked that question, what would your response be? You’d probably tell them to get lost, in no uncertain terms. But by getting that big tax refund check from Uncle Sam each spring, that’s exactly what you’re doing. You’re giving the federal (and/or state) government an interest free 12 month … Continue reading