Dear Deborah

0 comments Posted on April 3, 2013

Dear Deborah,
Our family will be getting our tax refund soon. It’s not a huge dollar amount, but it’s not trivial, either. My husband and I are a working couple and we can’t seem to agree whether to spend or save it. One of us wants to spend it. Any suggestions for helping us decide?

artdebtfreelivingIt’s good that you’re thinking now about how you’ll manage your refund. In general, families that don’t do well financially don’t have adequate spending plans.

It can be easy to fritter away money when there is no actual plan. In fact, it’s been reported that 52% of Americans lose $3,000 a year not knowing where their money went.

Set aside some time to look at possible options. This doesn’t need to be an all-or-nothing proposition.

One approach is for both of you to discuss your family’s immediate financial goals. List and prioritize them. Then see how far your tax refund can go toward the top two or three goals.

Here’s another approach: Since both of you are contributing financially, consider having each of you take half of the amount and use it as you’d like. Or you can have a 50/50 plan of saving 50% and spending 50% of the total figure.

livingbalancedWho couldn’t use some extra cash right now? Don’t let a disagreement take away from the fact that there’s a little extra money available. Make it work for you.

Copyright 2013.  All rights reserved. Permission to reprint required.

Deborah Nayrocker is the author of The Art of Debt-Free Living and the 12-lesson Bible study Living a Balanced Financial Life.
Her Web site is www.ArtofDebt-freeLiving.com.

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