Have you got tunnel vision when it comes to retirement? Eyes on the prize, right? Well, that’s not the only way to live.
If you’re tired of living payday to payday, barely saving enough for a house deposit, why not change your mindset?
In the famous words of Cait Flanders, “You might get 85 years on this planet—don’t spend 65 paying off a lifestyle you can’t afford.”
Keep reading to learn more about how to use money to make you happy.
Experts will tell you to use that money to pay down debt and boost your retirement savings, as those will net you the biggest payoff to your bottom line.
But here’s a different approach: What if you found a way to change your life and get the most happiness out of that money? It’s not just about being responsible—it’s about aligning your lifestyle with your priorities, says Stefanie O’Connell, author of The Broke and Beautiful Life.
First, take the time to consider what you’re really aiming to buy: Is it more flexibility? More time? Less stress? Then, look tactically at what it would take to make them happen with the money you’ve been handed.
Here are a few ways to consider using the cash coming your way.
Pay someone else to do something that stresses you out
Hiring someone to clean your house twice a month could free up time for friends, fitness classes, or even date night if you have young children.
Other time-saving options? Drop off clothes at a wash-and-fold dry cleaner, invest in a meal ingredient delivery service like HelloFresh or Blue Apron, or have your groceries delivered via companies like Peapod or FreshDirect.
And note: If you’re hesitant to put tax refund dollars towards time-saving services, think about what an hour of your own time is worth, then compare it to the cost of hiring out.
Invest in new skills
Looking to switch careers, boost your earning potential, or both? Investing in your own continuing education could be key for a lifetime payoff—and money from your tax refund is a great way to get started.
If you’re looking to pad your resume, consider paid skill-building workshops through companies like General Assembly (design, marketing, coding, data, etc.) or Coursera (data science, computer science, business, machine learning and more).
And if you’ve ever regretted not majoring in computer science when you had the chance? Coding boot camps are offered nationwide to teach basics to those new to the industry; there are about 95 full-time options with an average tuition of $11,400, according to Course Report.
Make mental health a priority
Staying on top of mental health—whether it’s stress, anxiety, depression or something else—can get pretty pricey.
So if you’ve been putting that on the back burner, it’s likely a worthwhile use of your tax refund that could pay off throughout your life.
About one in three adults experiences an anxiety disorder at some point in their lives, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), and about 4.4 percent of the world’s population is estimated to suffer from depression, reports the World Health Organization (WHO). So if you’re feeling anxious, depressed, or out of sorts, you’re not alone.
The good news is, there’s plenty of help out there. Consider seeking out a therapist or other mental health professional
Get up to speed on your physical health
If you’ve been meaning to prioritise your physical health—or it was one of your New Year’s resolutions—your tax refund can be your ticket to a head start.
Depending on your situation, this could look like physical therapy, chiropractic care or even a gym membership. If it’s the latter, ask about discounts, and then ask again. (Many gyms can waive annual membership fees and cut monthly premiums significantly in order to reel in customers.)
Plus, if you’re interested in making your tax refund go the extra mile, ask about the discount you can get for pre-paying for six months or a year in advance (it could be significant). Or, sign up for a personal trainer to hold you accountable and make sure you make the most of your investment.
Plan for the future
Estate planning might not be the most exciting use for your tax refund, but it’s a vital one—especially if you have dependents.
Putting together your healthcare directive, power of attorney, and will (including outlining guardianship for your children) can cost anywhere from $500 to a couple thousand dollars depending on your financial situation.
There are cheaper options available online—but if your financial life is more complicated, hiring an attorney can be a worthwhile investment.How Tax Returns Can Change Your Life Click To Tweet
It’s all well and good making plans such as these for retirement and everyday living, but at the end of the day, you can’t control everything.
If the unexpected occurs and you find yourself in need of a loan to tide you over till payday, get in contact with Quickle today. We may be able to help.
To apply, complete our quick and easy online application and send us your bank statement. Receive money in your account with our same day loans and microloans with manageable repayment options. For details, contact us.
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