NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — As we get closer to spring, we also get closer to tax day – April 15. Just like spring cleaning your home, now can be a good time to tidy up your household budget.
Especially for those who have received a refund.
“The average tax refund is pretty high — its 2,800 bucks — and what you should be thinking about is – you just gave an interest free loan to Uncle Sam so you really don’t want that to happen again,” CBS New Business Analyst Jill Schlesinger said. “It’s really better to have that money throughout the year so you can maybe pay down your debt or put some money in savings along the way.”
But if you do find yourself with a bunch of money, there are some things you should do, CBS2’s Cindy Hsu reports.
“You could potentially fund a retirement contribution for the following year,” Schlesinger said.
If you’re a small business owner and you get a refund, you might want to set up a retirement plan against your self-employment income, experts say.
Also be sure to review your current budget plan to make sure it still fits your needs. Credit.com recommends evaluating all income, calculating expenses, identifying the places where you can cut back and making sure there’s enough left over to stash in an emergency fund.
Consumer Federation of America campaign America Saves recommends using a digital tool, like an app or spreadsheet to keep track of spending over the course of a few months to see exactly where your money is going before locking in a new plan.
“If you’re a worker one of the best things you can do is to increase your contribution to your 401k or your 403b, “Schlesinger said.
But if you are looking to spend, don’t worry — it’s okay to spend a little of your hard-earned money too, if you spend it wisely.
“Think forward and try to be smart about this because some of the money you can blow, Schlesinger said. “But really think of this as the opportunity to say ‘what did I do wrong that i got this money back.'”