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There are a million ways to spend unexpected cash, but you might want to know the BEST ways to put your tax refund to good use.

Here are 10 smart tax refund moves that will improve your financial situation.

1. PAY OFF DEBT

If you have any credit card debt, car loans, school loans or any other owed money, your tax refund would make the most impact my going towards paying that down first.

2. EMERGENCY FUNDS.

Whether it be your short-term, which you should have first – at least 1-2K in cash, or your long-term (3-6 months living expenses), this is another great idea for boosting your assets.

3. RETIREMENT ACCOUNT.

The earlier you start, the less you have to contribute. If you put that $1000 in an IRA and didn’t touch it and didn’t add to it, at a very conservative 8% interest rate, you’d have $5000 in 20 years.  Congratulations, time has just earned you $4000.00 without lifting a finger.

4. COLLEGE SAVINGS.

Your child may or may not go to college, but better to plan ahead and give yourself some leeway. If you don’t already have a Upromise Account, you should sign up today. It’s a free and painless way to start TODAY to put college money aside.  You get money back for stuff you’re already buying.

Upromise turns shopping into cash back for college

How to Put Your Tax Refund to Good Use

5. GIVE BACK.

Take 10% of that refund and give it away.  You won’t miss it.  Someone else needs it more than you do.

Get The Most Money Back On Your Tax Return

6. REPLACEMENT CAR FUND.

Cars can be a money pit, and you will need to fix and/or replace yours sooner than you’d like.  Put this away and keep adding to it for your next vehicle.

7. VACATION FUND.

Sometimes we just need a break.  Set this aside so you don’t go into debt for vacation.  Borrowing money is not a good way to relax.  Breathe deep and know you’ve got it covered. Then enjoy!  Try an all-inclusive someplace wonderful – no worries, no need to spend extra on food, you’ll know exactly what you’re spending ahead of time.  Priceline has GREAT prices on all vacation packages!

no one deals like we do!

8. OPEN AN ACCOUNT FOR YOUR CHILDREN.

Most banks offer a no-fee savings account option for children.  The interest rates are less than 1%, but the act of opening an account with them and discussing the best way to make money work for us instead of us of working for it is a great bonding experience.

9. BURIAL PLOT.

I hate to add to this list with such a downer, but funeral expenses can be exorbitant.  It’s best to not grieve over lack of planning when the time comes, so be prepared when you are healthy and able to make a wise decision.

10. LEARN SOMETHING NEW.

Take an Udemy course and broaden your skills and knowledge on specific topics Want to learn how to start an online business from scratch and build it so you can work from anywhere? The Making It Pay Lifestyle Course will show you how.

If you got a tax refund this year, what are you going to do with it?

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