It’s that time of year again—spring has sprung and it’s time to do your taxes (if you haven’t already). Paperwork and crunching numbers can be a headache, but for some people, tax season has a silver lining—getting a tax return.
If you’re expecting a tax return or have already received one, what do you do with the extra cash? Do you save it? Spend it? Invest it?
Before you decide, it’s important to remember that your refund isn’t just extra, bonus money. It’s money you worked hard for an earned throughout the year, so you want to be smart with how you spend it.
Now, we’re not saying you’re going to get enough money in your tax refund to take a European vacation (wouldn’t that be nice, though?!) or retire early (hey, we can dream), but there are some things you will be able to spend it on. From saving it to treating yourself, we’re sharing 4 smart ways you can use your tax return this year.
1. Save, Save, Save
Of course, saving your tax refund is always a good idea. By putting the funds in savings (even if you only save part of your return), you’re better preparing yourself for the future. Maybe you’re saving up to buy a home or a new car. Your tax return may be the last bit of funds you needed to make your purchase or get you closer to your goal.
By putting your tax refund cash away, you’re also preparing yourself for any unexpected events or emergencies. What if your refrigerator stops working? What if your car breaks down? What if you lose your job? While we hope none of these things happen, the truth is that life happens. Having an emergency fund can be a huge life-saver and give you peace of mind in the meantime.
You can also put your tax refund into your retirement account. Disclaimer: at Leesa, we're not financial planners—sleep is more our thing, so we recommend talking to a professional for advice on finances and savings. They can point you in the right direction and help you make smart decisions with your tax refund.
2. Pay Down Debt
Put your tax refund toward paying down your debt. While this isn't necessarily a fun way to spend your return, it is a smart way to use your return. If you have multiple credit cards with debt, consider paying down the one with the highest interest rate first. Can you pay one (or two) cards off in full? That’s even better.
Another good use for your tax return is putting it toward your mortgage loan. You may be able to pay off a chunk of your mortgage loan with your tax return money. Again, we're not experts in this, so talk with a professional to see what your options are.
Do you have student or car loans? Yep, you guessed it. You can put your tax refund toward paying these off, too.
3. Invest in Your Home or Car
Do you have a faucet that always drips or a toilet that always runs? Using your tax returns to fix things around the house is another smart option. Not only will these improvements fix immediate, short-term problems, they can save you on utility bills in the long-term, too.
Invest your tax refund in home updates and renovations. Many updates will add to the value of your home (and help you build equity!). Maybe it's finally time to update your master bathroom or upgrade old appliances to new, energy efficient models. This is great for you, as the homeowner, and can also benefit you when it comes time to sell.
The same thing goes for your car. If you never got your bumper repaired after your fender bender or need new tires, invest you tax refund in your car. Again, this fixes the immediate problem and can benefit you down the line. When it’s time to sell your car, having a smooth, dent-free bumper and new tires can add to your car’s value.
4. Treat Yourself
You work really hard all year, so treat yourself with your tax refund (just don’t go crazy!). Put your tax return toward… you! It’s OK to spoil yourself a little from time to time.
Pro tip: if you’re splurging on a new TV or the latest smartphone, you can still be smart about it. Do your research to find the best sale or deal so that you get the most bang for your tax-refund buck.
Reinvest in Your Rest
Depending on the size of your tax refund, you may be able to make a bigger purchase or investment (like the renovations and upgrades we talked about before!). When we say "big purchases," your mind most likely goes to appliances, furniture or a new car, but what about reinvesting in your rest?
It's Time for a New Mattress
You spend about one third of your life in bed (more if you’re lucky), so you should love your bed and your bedroom. That all starts with the right mattress. When was the last time you replaced your mattress? If you can’t remember or it’s been more than 10 years, it may be time for an upgrade. There are a few ways to tell if your mattress has seen better days:
- Are you waking up with aches or pain?
- Are there lumps or body imprints in your bed?
- Does it smell? Are there stains?
- Do you and your partner (or pet) wake each other up when you move?
If you answered yes to any (or all) of these questions, it’s probably time for a new mattress. We get it—mattress shopping can be stressful. Don't worry, that's where we come in.
Because not every body is the same (see what we did there?!), we offer a few different mattress options:
- Our fan-favorite Leesa mattress is made with premium, top layer foam for a cooling sleep experience. It was designed to provide pressure relief while you sleep, so you can say goodbye to those aches and pains you're waking up with on your current mattress (and the smell and stains, too!).
- Our Leesa hybrid mattress gives you all the benefits of of a foam mattress with the added bonus of individually-wrapped pocket springs for enhanced edge-to-edge support. No more waking up in the middle of the night to your restless pet!
We know that ordering a mattress online may seem a little crazy. How are you supposed to know if a mattress is comfortable if you can't test it out? That's why we offer a 100-night, risk-free trial on all of our beds. That's right—try Leesa in the comfort of your own home for 100 nights. If you don't love it (which we think you will), send it back for a full refund. If you'd rather try a mattress before you buy it (understandably), head over to one of our Dream Galleries or your local West Elm or Pottery Barn store to fall in love with Leesa in person.
Update Your Bedding
Better rest comes from more than a great mattress. If your pillow is old, lumpy or heavy (the extra weight is dead skin cells and dirt, by the way!), and your sheets are pilling or torn, it's time treat yourself to fresh bedding. Use your tax refund to update your pillows, sheets and blankets to create a bedroom sanctuary.
When you're shopping for bedding, you want to choose cozy bedding that you can’t wait to crawl into at night. That means breathable, soft, durable fabrics and picture-perfect layers.
Pro tip: When it comes to shopping for sheets, consider thread count, price and how they feel to the touch. If your sheet are still in good shape, you may just benefit from creating a sheet cleaning schedule.
Refresh Your Bedroom Sanctuary
If your bedroom isn’t a clean, inviting space, tax refund season may be your chance to refresh your space. Create a relaxing space you love to spend time in and most importantly, rest in. You may even be able to complete a few small bedroom projects with your refund.
Here are some of our favorite, affordable ways you can spruce up your space:
- Jazz up the walls with paint, wallpaper, a tapestry or new art.
- Refresh your décor (and dust what's already there!).
- Organize and clear clutter. This will help calm your mind and create a relaxing space.
- Spring clean your room (and don't forget to deep clean your mattress, too!).
Reinvesting in your rest can help you sleep better, so you're recharged and ready to work hard. Tax refund or not, if you're ready for a bedroom upgrade, let Leesa help you create a space you love.