Folks, you just got a tax refund windfall! Celebrate! And lighten up, a little.
Some of you are so serious. Squirreling away the whole bundle in paying down the mortgage, Emergency Fund infusions, or debt repayment. Sheesh.
Others are giddily zooming off in all directions, buying big screen TV’s, new couches, or new wardrobes. Gulp.
Who’s right? Well, who will be the happiest in the long run is more the question. It may not be who you think. Let’s consider this:
Didn’t you toil long and hard last year? Doesn’t that little kid inside you want to have some fun??? But, since you are not a little kid, doesn’t the adult in you want to have a little money salted away for important future things?
Instead of black and white, either/or thinking about which of those two paths to take, how about this:Distribute the tax refund by splitting it up for different purposes.
One-third goes to debt repayment. Love to see that number go down. If you don’t have any debts left, first of all, yay! And so, you can put that third into any category which has been underfunded for too long.
One-third goes to a present need or want, like a couch or TV or clothes. If it’s not enough money to buy the item, that’s o.k. The lump will move you closer to getting the one you really want that much sooner. Remember that virtue called Patience? You know the joke:
A guy is praying. “Dear God, last night I prayed for patience. Well???”
And the last one-third goes to something in the future, like maybe Emergency Fund top up, Vacation, or investments. Or, all three, subdivided that much more. It goes into any fund you won’t be using for a year or more.
Now, doesn’t that feel good? See, the balanced life you’re trying to live requires a little fun, a little common sense, and a little forethought. If you divide your tax refund into thirds, you can address many areas of your life at the same time. No dumping everything into one pot. What an empty feeling. No fun, either.
But, are you afraid to enjoy your life? Or are you afraid that if you don’t spend it all, it will melt away? Common fears, especially if you were raised in a low income environment. Here’s the gift: there is a Higher Guidance watching you and hoping you are enjoying this life. And this same Higher Guidance wants you to protect yourself from future emergencies, and also to get that load of debt off your back. All three can be done at the same time in parallel saving– a little going into several categories at the same time.
This way, debt repayment isn’t so painful. You will be enjoying your life as you pay down debt, and creating a stable platform of financial security.