Are you getting a tax refund, or not?

Many people believe it is good to get an income tax refund. Is it?

Not if you turn around and spend it … you haven’t gotten ahead spending it. All you have done is shift spending.

But what about those nagging goals you can’t seem to find money for?

What if you didn’t spend that money, but actually put it towards one or two of those goals … such as retirement? Just about everywhere you read you see that people are not saving enough for just about any of their goals.

So … you have two options to capture that over withheld money and put it to good use. First of all though, you are already living monthly without that money … a simple mindset change helps get you one step closer to getting ahead. Concept: Once you are addressing important issues and goals … who really cares how you spend the rest of your money?

Option 1:

When you get your refund … it is NOT to be spent! Immediately deposit it towards one or more of those nagging goals you have had. Do this each year when you get your refund check(s) from both the Federal and State tax agencies.

Option 2:

Change your W-4 with your employer to cut your withholding. Then set up MONTHLY automatic deposits into one or more of those nagging goals you have had … because your monthly take home pay will have gone up … don’t spend it … use it! You can calculate your W-4 using the IRS withholding calculator ( – then in search box type “withholding calculator” if IRS changes the page).

Option 2 is best in my opinion because you set up a habit and stick to it monthly. It is often to easy to cheat yourself when a check comes once a year (when you do that … you only hurt yourself).


About Larry Frank, Sr.

Larry R Frank Sr., MBA, CFP®, is an experienced financial advisor and a published author on Retirement Planning Research. Have a financial question? Click Here to Ask Larry

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