Integrative Nutrition Blog

How to Spend Your Tax Refund

April 11, 2018

Image via Shutterstock. 

While filing taxes can be a pain in the you-know-what, tax refunds are often a pleasant surprise! If you will be receiving a tax refund this year, it may be tempting to splurge. While there is no right or wrong here, taking time to consciously clarify how you want to invest your money is most satisfying! When you get clear on your intention for taking any action, you channel your energy and the universe supports your decisiveness and focus. Establishing the WHY behind your WANTS for spending or investing your tax refund sets you up for greater joy and synchronicity.

Try this simple exercise to set your intention:

  • Write a “want list.”
    Start by writing down everything you have thought about purchasing over the last year. Take at least 10 minutes and include anything that comes to mind – don’t hold back!
  • How would it feel?
    Once you’ve exhausted your want list, consider how you think having these items in your life would make you feel. Go through each item on your want list and, using only emotional words, write down the answer.
  • Create a “desired-feelings list.”
    Now that you are clear on how you think having each item would make you feel, make a list of desired feelings Scan your list of feelings and choose 10 emotional words that you most want to feel in your life right now. Write them down in a separate list.
  • Set your intention.
    Once you’ve clarified your desired-feelings list, it’s time to write down your intention! Be open and receptive to any inspiration or guidance that comes to you over the course of the week. Pay close attention to anything that excites, uplifts, or lights you up. These are often signs from the universe to take the inspired action!

If writing a want list and setting your intention isn’t your style, consider the following suggestions for how to spend your tax refund in order to create greater financial stability, positively invest in yourself, and/or share your wealth with others.

  1. Start (or add to) an emergency fund. Whether your refund is $5 or $2,000, put some or all of it toward an emergency fund. It is recommended to set aside at least 6–8 months’ worth of income; however, this is simply unrealistic for many. Manisha Thakor, MBA, CFA, recommends putting aside $2,000 in an emergency fund as a great starting point.
  2. Pay off high-interest debt. Take a look at any debt you have accumulated – whether its car loans, credit card debt, or student loans. Choose the one with the highest interest and apply your tax refund toward it.
  3. Invest in yourself. There are countless opportunities to grow, expand, and become more! Choose an area of your life that you wish to improve (the Circle of Life may be useful!) and invest in something that will move you forward in that area. Spend money on yourself in a way that will support you in propelling your dreams forward with momentum.

Remember, there is no correct way to spend your tax refund – however, you can always be more conscious and intentional about it! Whether you choose to invest in yourself, the world, or your future, take the action that feels most inspired, balanced, and soul nourishing.

If you’re wondering how long it will take to get your tax refund or you have a 2018 tax refund delay, here are two resources that can help:

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