This post might be a little bit late to catch some of you but I do believe that with the various delays the IRS has had this year, there may be many who haven’t gotten their tax refunds yet. If you have, maybe you haven’t spent it and you are trying to think of sensible ways to spend it. Here are a few of the things that we are using ours on:
Groceries/Stocking up on essentials
This is probably our number one priority right now as prices just seem to keep rising. Hopefully we can get stocked up on some of the essentials and save a little money to watch for some good sales and grab a few extras to put back. We have bought some buckets and containers** to store some of the bulk food purchase and I may need to use a little money to buy some more.
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We will be stocking up on canned/dry goods as well as some of the basic hygeine products. After the toilet paper shortage last year we definitely know that is something we’d rather not be caught without again!
Thankfully we have a good supply of disposable diapers that people have gifted us. We haven’t bought any diapers in over a year since we switched to cloth diapers last years. I spent around $100 to get started and have saved well over that amount since making the change. Even if you don’t like the idea of cloth diapers it doesn’t hurt to keep a few on hand in emergencies.
We don’t use baby formula but this might also be a good thing to get stocked up on as well. By stocking your pantry you may even save time and money because you won’t need to go to the grocery store as frequently!
Planting a garden/Buying meat in bulk
I know I already mentioned stocking up on food but its worth mentioning again.
With the prices of groceries going up, it is a good idea to grow some veggies to help offset the costs. You don’t have to have a massive garden or grow massive quantities of food to save money. I’m going to be using some container gardening to start with although I do have hopes to build a couple of raised beds and maybe a small greenhouse this year.
We also plan to shop our local butcher and buy some meat in bulk for better prices as well. I’m just waiting to get the utility room fixed so that I can get that freezer filled up!
You definitely want to keep the roof over your head in good shape because repairs left undone will only get worse. Unfortunately, we have had more than our fair share with this house and there is no end in sight right now. We have some neccesary repairs that will be taking a good chunk of our money… if we don’t do them we won’t have floor in part of the house for much longer!
I also have PLENTY of remodeling ideas but those will have to wait for a bit until the necessary items are taken care of. We do have a few easy projects that we could probably do with materials around the house so we might be able to cross a few of those of off our ‘To-Do list’.
The wheels that get you from point A to point B are equally as important and you need to make sure that the maintenance is up to date or you may find yourself stranded with a HUGE mechanic bill to pay. I know we had to get the oil changed in both vehicles and our van needs three tires (I got one last month) and an alignment… that’s gonna be a pretty penny. We will be shopping around and watching for some deals so that we can get the best deal!
This is always a good idea as well as you don’t want the bill collector’s to come knocking you to be pestering you with constant collection calls. If you have the money, it might also be a good idea to pay ahead on some bills and you may even save money paying a six month premium on your insurance, if possible. Some creditors will even offer a reasonable ‘payoff’ on past due accounts, if you ask. You could possibly avoid a lot of late fees and interest by getting your bills paid ahead.
Homeschool/School Supplies/Tax Holiday Shopping
This is a biggie for us. I’ve managed to get the biggest majority of our books and supplies ordered for our next year. I’ll also try to set aside a little money for the Tax Holidays when we can save money and stock up on much needed school supplies.
Our state also has some other Tax Holidays for Emergency Preparedness and such when we can save money on numerous items and replenish our emergency supplies at the same time. Speaking of emergency preparedness, this may be a good time to check out the Berkey Water Filter Systems. We’ve had ours for quite some time and we absolutely love it!
Zoo or Museum Memberships/Subscriptions
We usually try to set aside a small portion to buy annual memberships to the zoo and/or the museum. The memberships save us so much money on admissions and most places offer a member discount on foods and gifts as well as offereing special ‘members only’ events. This allows the whole family to enjoy activities throughout the year and is probably my favorite way to spend the refund!
We also try to get the Family Memberships which usually allow us to bring one or two guests with us so we can take family who may be visiting or the grandparents, if they dare to travel with our crazy bunch!
Some of the money will also go towards our annual subscriptions/memberships to things like Amazon Prime, Cozi, Sam’s Club, etc. I am still debating on whether I want to purchase a Walmart+ membership, the delivery service is pretty amazing though!
Classes for you/Hobbies
I know Mr. Awesome has gotten interested in making the popular epoxy tumblers so a portion of the money has went to buy supplies for that. He and the kids will have lots of quality time and it will encourage their creativity as they come up with ideas for their own tumblers. Who knows, maybe they’ll even get good enough to make a little money off of them?
It’s always a good idea to put a little bit back for a rainy day. You never know when an emergency will strike and Christmas always seems to sneak up on us before we know it. Maybe I can actually try to catch some items on clearance this year and get ahead with Christmas and birthday gifts?
I know last year we were very thankful that I had save a portion of our refund and stimulus as we had the unexpected expense with the electrical panel in the house. I don’t know what we would have done if I hadn’t had the money set aside. The remainder of our savings and stimulus payments helped to carry us through last year during Shyanne’s chemo treatments.
We would love to take a vacation put there are other things that are way more important this year. We may not be able to make the money stretch for a ‘true’ vacation but maybe we can take a day or a weekend to go to the beach or somewhere to have a little fun when the weather and time allow. A vacation would be very nice considering we’ve been cooped up for a little over two years now!
Bonus: Start your own business!
I know the title says 10 but I couldn’t help but throw this one in here. There have been so many succesful stories of people who got creative during this pandemic and invested their stimulus money/tax refunds to start their own businesses.
We don’t plan to start any new business but Mr. Awesome will probably use some of the money to take care of the necessary things like insurance and such for his business. He may also need to make some equipment purchases for his business because you really can’t make money without spending money.
Hopefully, this list will inspire you to spend your money as carefully as possible and make it stretch as far as it can! We hope you all have a very blessed weekend!