Ask the Readers: What will You Buy with Your Tax Refund? (Win Turbo Tax Prizes!)

by Linsey Knerl on 23 February 2010 81 comments
Photo: Turbo Tax

We've already asked whether you look forward to tax time, and people are just now starting to see their refunds (or bills) filtering through their home offices. We want to know what you plan on doing with that refund -- if you get one. OR what you believe people should be doing with their refunds. (Now's your time to preach!)

  • Do you use it for something special, like a big screen TV or computer?
  • Do you save it for a long-term investment?
  • Are you likely to use every penny for bills (like that enormous heating charge you received last month?)
  • Do you work really hard to make sure you don't even get a refund back -- you use it throughout the year for groceries and gas?

Give us your tax purchasing tips, behaviors, or observations. We want to know what you'll be doing once that refund check hits your mailbox (or checking account). In return for sharing your heart on the matter, you'll be entered to win one of two gifts from Turbo Tax -- good for Tax preparation and filing.

See more about Turbo Tax and their tips for getting the most on your return at their blog!

Win a Tax Filing prize from Turbo Tax!

We're doing two giveaways — one for random comments, and another one for a random tweets.

How to Enter:

  1. Post your answer in the comments below, or
  2. Tweet your answer. Include both "@wisebread" and "#WBAsk" in your tweet so we'll see it and count it.

If you're inspired to write a whole blog post, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.

At the end of the drawing, we'll update this post to include (and link to) all of your helpful responses.

Giveaway Rules:

  • Contest ends Friday, February 26th at 11:59 am CST. Winners will be announced after February 26th on the original post and via Twitter. Winners will also be contacted via email and Twitter Direct Message.
  • You can enter both drawings — once by leaving a comment and once by tweeting.
  • Only tweets that contain both "@wisebread" and "#WBAsk" will be entered. (Otherwise, we won't see it.)

Good luck!

0
No votes yet
Your rating: None
ShareThis

comments

81 discussions

Add New Comment

CAPTCHA
This test helps prevent automated spam submissions.
Guest's picture
Michelle Murphy

I plan on stocking up on necessary items around the house and paying on debt.

Guest's picture
Nicholas

Everyone should do what makes them happy with their return but I will be saving mine. I just recently bought a replacement HDTV for my other one that went out and I have to get my car repaired. So the money I get from my return is going straight into my savings.

Guest's picture
Heather

I don't tend to get much of a refund back, but if I do, I'm saving it towards FINALLY moving out of my parents' place and getting married!!

Guest's picture
Kate

Not sure if I'll be getting a refund, but if I do it will go straight towards our car loan.

Guest's picture
ladytr0uble

I'd spent a lot of time to tweak my allowances to get it just right. I don't expect anymore than $5 back this year. My tax savings in each paycheck goes straight to a savings account -- I will be spending this money on a house some time in the future.

Guest's picture
Luke

Its going against my auto bill. I plan on getting that bill paid off. Its the bill with the highest interest rate that I have right now, and would be the most beneficial to pay off.

Guest's picture

If I get a refund I will buy myself more time by applying it to what I owe from last year :)

Guest's picture
Chris

Paying down debt. Almost completely debt free!!! Yeah!

Guest's picture
Karen

Our refund will go straight to our car payment. It is the last debt we have (besides the mortgage) and we want it gone-gone-gone! The refund should clear it out and put us on the path to increasing our retirment savings as well. I can't think of a better way to start the year!

Guest's picture
Scott

Our $2600 tax refund is currently earmarked for buying stuff to landscape our backyard, which is mostly dirt right now. Plan on expanding our patio and putting in a fountain, shed, small lawn, dog kennel, some bushes, and maybe an herb garden.

Guest's picture
Min

I try to make it so that I get no refund, but if I do, I put the money to pay off a chunk of my student loan debt. Always feels good to take off several months' worth of payments at once.

Guest's picture
Eric

I am using 100% of my extra money to pay down student loans until they are gone.

Guest's picture
bhleigh

I plan on using 70% to pay off credit cards, 20% to be put into an emergency fund, and 10% on buying some things for my new apartment. I figure this way I can make a good dent in my debt, prepare for the future, and still enjoy a bit of the money.

Guest's picture
Ayala

some for travelling and the rest for home repairs and savings

Guest's picture
Guest101

I plan to make a monthly mortgage payment, so that I will be somewhat ahead. The rest I will try to get a new TV, since mine died a couple of weeks ago. But I am waiting for the good deals!! Also, I did some stocking of the food pantry, it was getting kind of bare!!

Guest's picture
Hugh

I make it a point to never count on a tax refund. It's usually a couple grand, so this year my fiance and I are putting it toward our wedding and honeymoon in May. We haven't factored it into our wedding budget, so anything we get will be a bonus. Perfect timing!

Guest's picture
jill

my husband and i will be getting back just over $12,000 and it will be going directly to the savings account. with the economy the way it is you never know what will happen with jobs so we are saving in case of a rainy day.

Guest's picture
DEE

I AM USING IT TO BUY A WASHER/DRYER. I HAVE BEEN WALKING 6 BLOCKS EACH WAY THE NEAREST LAUNDROMAT AND I THINK I DESERVE A BREAK.

Guest's picture
Tyg

3 years ago our refund was used to pay off the last of our debt. For the last 2 years the refund built up our emergency fund and padded our son's college fund. This year it is time to celebrate - with a 3 week European vacation. I can't wait!

Guest's picture
Kimberly

But I have noticed that I spend more when I know it's coming, so it's probably a wash

Guest's picture
frugalinflorida

We received our refund the week after my husband's truck - which was paid for - was totaled. So, we took what the jerk's insurance company gave us for the truck and put our refund with it and paid cash for another truck. We already have one car payment and couldn't afford another one, so it all worked out.

Guest's picture
Imran

Doors, I need doors. The inside of my house has no doors. As liberating as it is, I could use one for shy visitors on the bathroom at least.

Guest's picture
Erin

We had to replace our AC unit this year. The poor 29 year old unit just died. Luckily we knew it was old when we bought the house 3 years ago and started saving then. Most of our refund (the $1500 for buying an energy efficient unit) will be going back into our Emergency Fund.

Guest's picture
Emily

It's going straight into my savings. Maybe I'll treat myself to a new pair of shoes or something, but I'm not going to be overly extravagant.

Guest's picture
AlsoEmily

We're taking that money and using it to dig a tiny hole in our giant mound of debt.

Guest's picture
M. Graham Bell

I have a few specific plans, large scale, for 2010. The majority of my refund is going toward a larger purpose, i.e. savings toward the purchase of my first home and taking a chunk out of my current car loan.

I don't have the need to use this money for bills because of how I budget and live already. Nonetheless, it is nice to be able to put some more away.

Guest's picture
Pam Munro

What refund?

Guest's picture
Angela

No refund this year. I'm just glad we won't owe again, like we did last year.

Guest's picture
Gil

We'll put the majority of it in our daughters college funds. Only fair since they're the reason we're getting a refund (Child Tax Credit). Plus it's something we want to do, but can't on a normal month to month basis. Oh and maybe some to go in the new car fund (which is also funny enough related to our kids - because we're about to outgrow our current car).

Guest's picture
Barbara

And it's all going to credit card debt. :(

Guest's picture
Michael

Tithing: $902.80
Pay for a Baby's C-section (the part not covered by insurance): $3,000.00
Spending money for my wife (she's been EXTREMELY patient during this last year of unemployment, moving and getting a new job): $1,000.00
Two 1Tb hard drives for backup and to rip home VHS tapes: $200.00
Garden (renting a tiller, manure, some big plants, seeds and bordering): $500.00
Put towards student loan: $3,425.20

Guest's picture
Sarah

I just graduated from college in June, so this is the first significant refund I've had. I had some credit card debt when I finished college, but that's been paid off at this point. I'm really lacking an emergency fund right now (only have $1000, not even one full month's expenses) so I'm going to be throwing the entire refund into my emergency fund.

Guest's picture
Jennifer

Sadly, I'll have to save it for COBRA payments...

Newly without a job.

Guest's picture
Kelli

is going toward the amount I owe on federal taxes! So no fun purchases here.

Guest's picture
Francene

We don't get a large refund since we have our withholdings pretty well worked out. But we need a new toilet so we'll be buying one of those with the money and the rest will go into our emergency fund.

Guest's picture
kasey

I usually use the refund on something I should have saved up for but didn't - and then the rest I try to save

Guest's picture
kasey

I usually use the refund on something I should have saved up for but didn't - and then the rest I try to save

Guest's picture
L. Michelle

We don't get a big refund - just a couple hundred dollars. We'll set that aside for my daughter's driver's education sessions - look out!

Guest's picture
Kat

I will buy a piece of mind by putting my returns into my savings account, which will help me to go graduate school.

Guest's picture
Therese

We are saving to go to Australia to visit our daughter when she spends a semester studying abroad.

Guest's picture
Laura

I need to use it to pay my credit card bill from last month!

Guest's picture

I'm putting my return straight into my Roth IRA

Guest's picture
Lily

Sadly mine is going to be going towards my dentist bills. :(

Guest's picture

I'm spending my tax refund on Redskins season tickets.

Guest's picture
Pam

If I get a tax refund this year I hope to use a little bit for something fun - maybe go out to eat. The rest I would like to put towards our mortgage. Whenever I come by extra money I try to invest some and use the rest to pay down our mortgage debt.

Guest's picture
Jonathan

We're getting the $8000 homebuyer credit and using about half of it to fix up our new house and half of it to pay down student loans! Hooray!

Guest's picture
Guest

I keep my W4 dependent counts (and therefore deductions) adjusted so that I end up with more money in my paychecks and almost no refund. Why would you give the government an interest free loan all year?

Guest's picture
Gretchen

My $1200 refund is going right into savings to help build that 6-month living expenses cushion all the experts seem to recommend for singles!

Guest's picture
skywind

I can't seem to avoid getting a refund because I have massive amounts of uncovered medical expenses every year. I was planning on putting this year's refund toward rebuilding the emergency fund which was depleted when I was hospitalized last summer, but alas, I need a new air conditioning unit. Oh well...

Guest's picture
Kristin

I'm going to Ireland in May with a friend. I could save the refund, but right now I have a good travel partner, good health, and time between spring and summer teaching.

Guest's picture
IC

The refund we received went straight to paying off my car!!! Woohoo! :)

Guest's picture
Rachel Crockett

It's funding my move to a different city for my new job.

Guest's picture
Amber

My tax return this year is 7k. 5k is going towards our down payment on our home that we will be closing on in two weeks (yeah, we will be able to get the 8k tax credit-which will go to doing repairs and upgrades). I will be using $800 of my return to pay off a auto repair that happened while I was on maternity leave and the last of it will be going towards rebuilding our emergency fund which was nearly depleted last year (so glad I had it so that I could spend some quality time with my now 4 month old). My fiance is a stay at home dad and so we have to make sure that if I get laid off from my job (which is not as secure as i would like)that we would still be okay. This year I am claiming more deductions and trying to have our emergency fund fully funded by July. Here is to a new year of wise choices.

Guest's picture
David

I get about $1500 back this year. I plan to put a small part of it into a vacation fund and put the rest into my 401k, I'm 25 so the more the sooner the better!

Guest's picture
Peg

Ha, I thought I was going to put my refund towards my Roth IRA, but then I remembered I was planning to replace my nearly 30-year old HVAC system (still works!) while the energy credit was still valid.

Guest's picture

I would say to pay down debt, save, spend a little on yourself.

Not necessairly in that order

Guest's picture
Molly

I try not to get a refund by remembering to change my withholding when necessary. Now I'm wondering if I did that correctly with my new job... hmm...
But if I do get a refund, a little bit will probably be spent going out for brunch, and the rest will go into the house saving fund.

Guest's picture
Kris

will provide me much needed living expenses for the next few months since I am currently unemployed. I did put a deposit down on a new puppy though with a very small part of it :)

Guest's picture
Laura

I normally do not get a refund, since we try to make our tax break even. This year we started a business and had a lot of expenses and not a lot of income yet. So, we are getting a refund. I am using it to pay off that last $3000 of credit card debt that was impossible to pay off when my husband lost his job!

Guest's picture
Christie

This year our tax reFUNd is going to several things. First, we bought a water softener to take care of hard water problems and make other appliances last longer. We are also doing our part to stimulate the economy by buying a new blender and a new 8" pan. We are planning a trip to Disney this year and a portion of our refund will go towards that as well. And last, but not least, our emergency fund will get a boost. Taking care of our home, increasing our emergency fund, a fun family trip, capped off with a few great smoothies--that's FUN packed into a reFUNd!

Guest's picture
Bryan

The same thing we have always done. Refunds go into the rainy day fundage!

Guest's picture
Trang

I'll be spending it on paying off my student loans.

Guest's picture
Diane

I'm nearly debt-free - only a small amount of debt at 0% interest. So most of it will go to my emergency fund and some will be used for household work - replacing 1 side of a fence & putting in some patio stones. We'll do the work ourselves & only pay for the materials.

Guest's picture
Tessa

All but a hundred of it went directly into the wedding fund with that hundred going towards a new membership for the fiancé and I at the local Y.

Guest's picture
WendL

My refund is a bit larger this year thanks to the $1500 Energy credit I received for my new windows. The refund is expected to come through about a week before I must pay off a 6 month no payment/no interest loan I took to pay for those windows.

Guest's picture
Amanda

Most of ours will go into the savings account, but first we have a car with brake issues that need fixed...

Guest's picture
Elizabeth

We get to pay off debt but this is exciting and may put some into savings to. Just happy to be getting money back.

Guest's picture
Michelle

My husband bought a new DSLR and I got a pair of new boots with part of our refund. The rest went to savings.

Guest's picture
Janbee

I paid my property taxes for the year with my income tax refund. I save throughout the year for this expense, but because my refund was bigger than expected,I was able to leave that money in my savings account.

Guest's picture
Lenhi

Definitely paying off debts!!!

Guest's picture
shrewgirl2020

I plan on putting half of my refund towards a $5,000 hospital bill that I have been paying on since November and the other half to help replenish my emergency fund. I exhausted my emergency fund this summer when I was out of work three months due to illness. You never know what is going to happen, so it is always good to keep money back for an emergency. I love Wisebread and related blogs, you have really helped me to begin to live within my means. God bless you all.

Guest's picture
shrewgirl2020

I plan on putting half of my refund towards a $5,000 hospital bill that I have been paying on since November and the other half to help replenish my emergency fund. I exhausted my emergency fund this summer when I was out of work three months due to illness. You never know what is going to happen, so it is always good to keep money back for an emergency. I love Wisebread and related blogs, you have really helped me to begin to live within my means. God bless you all.

Guest's picture
Ernest S.

My tax return is going straight to my emergency savings fund. I was thinking of using it to pay down my student loan debt, but with the economy, I think it would be better used building my emergency fund.

Guest's picture
PottedPlant

Our refund will finish off our last credit card (0% APR, but we want it gone) and kill most of the car loan. Two more months after that and we're debt free but the house!

Guest's picture

Pay off bills of course. That is always the goal. Just hope that my wife doesn't spend it.

Guest's picture
LooptyLoo

I got the 8k + a couple hundred this year. Without the tax credit though I would have only gotten about $250. Next year, I'm expecting about $25 because I got a higher paying job, and I claimed an extra exemption for a total of 2. Just buying a house and starting to get more aggressive in funding my Roth and 401K I could get more and make more out of my money NOW than in a lump sum at the end of the year. I won't lie, I used to love getting a large return, and being that this is the last year of my life I expect to get a large return I'd be lying if I said I won't be jealous when I see everyone celebrating their goods.

Guest's picture
RMC1981

Ok I filed my taxs on tact act, my girlfriend seen that i was getting back 1100 bucks and im suppose 2 buy her a ring with it so what can i say to make her think it was wrong and im not gettin back that much so i can make her t hink we cant get it ? I claimed a move which was 2700 miles so thats why im gettin that much back. I need to come up with something to make her think it wasnt right and im not gettin back that much now ??????

Guest's picture
Naomi

New tires for the car. I'd love to splurge and get a new front-loading washing machine!

Guest's picture
Emina

I won't be spending my refund, but saving it and either investing it in a nice mutual fund or starting up a ROTH.

Guest's picture
Candi

I will use it to make the final payment on my car! Then I will be debt free except for my house. Dave Ramsey will be so pleased!

Guest's picture
Guest

I plan off paying off some bills, put some in saving and taking my grandkids on a mini outing.