20 Best Things to Buy With Your Tax Refund
Tax time can cause headaches, but the strain usually pays off. The Internal Revenue Service estimates that more than 7 out of 10 taxpayers will get a refund in 2017. The average refund, as of March 31, is $2,878. That's a lot of money, and it's tempting to blow it all on the spot. But stop and count to 10. You worked hard to earn that amount, and prudence calls for a thoughtful spending plan.
A programmable thermostat is unlikely to eat up an entire refund, and it can more than pay for itself in relatively short order. The federal government's Energy Star program estimates that you can save more than $180 a year by setting the thermostat to automatically raise or lower the temperature while you're sleeping or away from home.
You spend hours every day lying in bed, so it's worth every penny to have a mattress that's comfortable. A tax refund is an opportunity to invest in something that will pay dividends every night.
If a vacation isn't in the cards right now, set your sights on a pleasurable or fun-filled local experience. Spend some of that wad on a "staycation" and enjoy a spa day, an overnight at a cozy bed and breakfast, or a weekend camping trip.
LED technology has advanced over the past few years, and today's LED light bulbs offer the same warm glow of incandescent bulbs but use a fraction of the energy. Many LED bulbs pay for themselves within 18 months and go on to save money for decades more. Some are even remote controlled and dimmable, or can change colors.
Get ready for fun in the sun with a new picnic basket, blanket, and cooler. Free concerts and activities run throughout the summer, and buying supplies now leaves one less expense to worry about later.
A bathroom remodel can cost a lot -- but replacing one or two pieces instead is an affordable way to give the space a facelift. Buy a new toilet or sink, or replace or cover up the floor and shower surfaces to get the most bang for your buck.
A bit of greenery in the home has numerous benefits. If you don't have a green thumb, start simple with succulents or air plants and make your way up to more traditional houseplants. They improve air quality, happiness, sense of satisfaction, and overall emotional health. In the office, plants have a positive effect on employee productivity.
If the garage or closet, or both, are a mess, spend some money and time to get things organized. Buy shelving units, storage boxes, and whatever else is needed to keep everything in its place.