Saturday
Sep152018

50 Smart Things To Spend Your Tax Refund On

Here are 50 smart things to do with your tax refund this year.

1. START AN EMERGENCY FUND

Approximately 28% of Americans don't have an emergency fund. If you fall into this group, take some or most or all of your tax refund and start an emergency savings account.

2. GET MARRIED

It can take years to save up for a wedding. Whether it's your own wedding or your child's wedding, a tax refund can cover some of the expenses.

3. TAKE A FEW CLASSES

If you're not happy with your job, use your refund check to take additional courses that can help further your career and result in a bigger paycheck.

4. OPEN AN IRA

For a comfortable retirement, don't rely solely on your 401(k) or Social Security. Use the money from your tax refund to start an individual retirement account.

5. MAKE AN EXTRA MORTGAGE PAYMENT

One extra principal payment a year can reduce your mortgage loan term by years — as much as eight years on a 30-year mortgage. Use a portion of your tax refund to make an extra principal payment and eliminate this debt sooner.

6. PAY OFF CREDIT CARD DEBT

If you're paying a high interest rate, it can take years to pay off your balance. But if you drop a lump sum on your cards after getting your tax refund, you can become debt-free faster.

7. PAY DOWN YOUR CAR LOAN

If you're close to paying off your vehicle loan, use your tax refund to wipe out the balance and free up cash each month. Or use some of your tax money to pay down your balance, which can reduce your auto loan term and eliminate negative equity.

8. TAKE A WEEKEND TRIP

Everyone deserves a break to recharge and relax their mind and body. Use some of your tax refund to enjoy a few days at a relaxing destination of your choice. (See also: Affordable Weekend Getaways)

9. START PREPARING FOR A FAMILY

If you and your partner are thinking about starting a family in the near future, this money can go towards your future nursery. Deposit the refund into a dedicated savings account, and only use these funds to purchase a crib, a dresser, a changing table, and other baby supplies.

10. FURNISH YOUR HOME

Furniture is expensive; and if you've recently moved into your first place or a new place, you might have a few empty rooms. Your tax refund can go toward buying a bedroom set, a living room set, a dining room set, or other furnishings for your home. Many retailers offer discounts around tax time — take advantage of them.

11. TAKE CARE OF MEDICAL NEEDS

Unfortunately, some people defer medical care because they can't afford the cost of certain appointments or procedures. Put your tax refund money to good use and make essential doctor appointments to protect your health.

12. SAVE FOR GIFTS

Set aside a percentage of your tax refund and prepare early for the holiday shopping season.

13. BUY NEW WINDOWS

If your old, drafty windows drive up your home's heating and air conditioning costs, use your cash to buy quality ones, which ultimately reduces your energy bills.

14. SAVE FOR A DOWN PAYMENT

A down payment and closing costs are two of the biggest obstacles to homeownership. If you receive a sizable tax refund each year, save this money, and you might have enough to purchase a place after a few years.

15. DONATE IT

Maybe you already have everything you want and need. Give back to your community or an organization and enjoy the happiness of giving.

16. SAVE UP TO PAY CASH FOR A CAR

If you're hoping to pay cash for your car, save your tax refund for a few years and avoid a car payment.

17. GET A WILL WRITTEN

Some people put off estate planning because of the cost. However, untimely deaths are a reality; and the sooner you prepare, the better.

18. BUY LIFE INSURANCE

If you have a family, a spouse, and debts, you can't afford to go without life insurance. Plus, the death benefit can cover the cost of your burial and funeral.

19. BOOST YOUR HOME'S VALUE

Put the cash toward updating your kitchen or bathroom, or installing new flooring. These increase your home's value, helping boost your profit when you're ready to sell.

20. START A BUSINESS

The money from your tax refund can provide startup capital to get a new venture off the ground. Use the money to purchase supplies, advertise, create a website, and purchase business cards. (See also: How to Start Your Dream Business)

21. BUILD YOUR EMERGENCY FOOD SUPPLY

Increase your supply of canned and other non-perishable foods. A stockpile comes in handy if you experience financial hardship and can't afford to grocery shop, or if you need to reduce your food budget.

22. BUY AN ENGAGEMENT RING

If you've held off proposing because you didn't have cash to buy a ring, now is your opportunity to pop the question and move forward with your life.

23. PURCHASE NEW APPLIANCES

Does your dishwasher, stove, refrigerator, or washing machine give you problems? Home appliances aren't cheap, but a tax refund can provide the funds you need to upgrade to a newer model. Tax time discounts will shave the cost and the energy efficiency of this year's models will show up in lower energy bills.

24. MAINTAIN YOUR CAR

Getting a car repaired is certainly cheaper than buying a new car. Your tax refund can go toward large automobile expenses, such as a new engine, transmission, and other costly repairs.

25. UPDATE YOUR WARDROBE

If you have a closet full of clothes that are in good condition, it doesn't make sense to blow your tax refund on new attire. But if your clothes are old and worn, and you desperately need a few new pieces, use your tax refund to get the items you need.

26. EXPLORE A HOBBY

Do you wish to learn an instrument or perhaps take up a hobby, such as drawing or dancing? Your tax refund can pay for lessons. (See also: Awesome Money-Making Hobbies)

27. REFINANCE YOUR HOUSE

A mortgage refinancing can lower your interest rate and monthly payment, but it also involves closing costs and fees. Use your tax refund to pay these mortgage-related fees.

28. PREPAY YOUR SUMMER VACATION

Get a jump start planning your summer or dream vacation. The earlier you book airfare, hotels, and ground transportation, the more you can save.

29. HELP YOUR FAMILY

If a relative needs financial assistance, give or lend some of your refund.

30. BUY A SAFE FOR YOUR HOME

Filing important papers in a cabinet or drawer is risky, as they can be stolen or damaged in a fire. Purchase a fire and waterproof safe for your home and protect your documents.

31. PAY OFF A 401(K) LOAN

Funds in your 401(k) can come in handy if you buy a house or experience economic hardship. Since you have to repay a 401(k) loan, use cash from your tax refund to replenish your retirement account sooner.

32. HELP YOUR KIDS START SAVING

Get your children into the habit of saving money at an early age. Open a savings account or a certificate of deposit for your child. (See also:How to Raise Financially Independent Kids)

33. VISIT A FAMILY MEMBER

Not everyone can live within close vicinity of their relatives. If your family lives in another part of the world or country, your tax refund can allow for more frequent visits.

34. HIRE A FINANCIAL PLANNER

If you don't know much about personal finance, working with a financial planner can get your money on track. These professionals can assist with various aspects of financing planning, from retirement planning to investment planning.

35. THROW A SURPRISE PARTY

Do something special for someone you love. For example, give your grandparents or parents a 50th wedding anniversary party, or throw your child a graduation party.

36. SAVE FOR DAYCARE EXPENSES

Once you receive your tax refund, deposit this money into a special account and only use it to pay your child's daycare expense over the next year.

37. IMPROVE YOUR HEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGE

If you don't have the best health insurance plan, use your tax refund to acquire better health insurance — perhaps a plan with a lower deductible and copay, or more coverage.

38. GO TO A SPA

There is nothing wrong with having a little fun with your tax refund. Spend the day at a spa getting a relaxing massage, manicure, or pedicure.

39. BUY A BIKE

If you're looking to add more activity to your life, and possibly reduce your transportation costs, buy a bike.

40. MAKE YOUR HOME MORE ENERGY-EFFICIENT

An energy-efficient home translates into big savings down the road. Your tax refund can go toward the purchase of solar panels, a new roof, a programmable thermostat, and LED light bulbs. (See also: Best Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs)

41. PREPARE FOR AN EMERGENCY

If you live in an area prone to hurricanes, earthquakes, and other natural disasters, the money you receive from the government can go towards a disaster kit. Purchase a generator for your house, and other supplies like a hand crank radio, a first aid kit, emergency blankets, extra chargers, multi-purpose tools, and flashlights. (See also: Items You Might've Forgotten in Your Emergency Kit)

42. HIRE A PERSONAL ASSISTANT

Between work, family, and life, there isn't always enough time in the day. If you're running on empty and you need help throughout the day, use your tax refund to hire a personal assistant.

43. UPGRADE YOUR CELLPHONE

An unreliable cellphone won't help you in an emergency, and it doesn't project a professional image if you run a business. Upgrade to a phone with features you need, such as calendars, email, etc.

44. PAY OTHER TAXES

If you receive a federal tax refund, use this money to pay any state taxes you might owe, or personal property taxes.

45. PREPAY A GYM MEMBERSHIP

The initial cost of joining a gym isn't always cheap. Not only is there the monthly fee, there's a startup fee or down payment. Get a membership with part of your tax refund and start a healthy routine. Use a bigger part of your refund to pay for an entire year — and ask for a prepay discount.

46. RENT AN APARTMENT

Are you ready to move out on your own? Use your tax refund to pay a security deposit.

47. GET ORGANIZED

If clutter dominates your home or office, work with a personal organizer to get your life in order.

48. ENJOY AN ELEGANT EVENING OUT

Some people never have the opportunity to enjoy a night out on the town. Grab your significant other or a best friend, and treat yourself to fine dining and maybe a bottle of champagne.

49. SAVE FOR YOUR KID'S COLLEGE EDUCATION

Whether your kids are young or teenagers, it's never too early or too late to start saving for their college education. Depending on how much you receive from the government, one refund check might pay for a semester of school.

50. START A GARDEN

Organic fruits and vegetables purchased at the grocery store can break your budget. Start a garden in your backyard and eat healthier for less.

What smart things do you plan to do with your income tax refund? Please share in comments.

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Saturday
Aug182018

21 Uses for Bounce Dryer Sheets

I love the smell of Bounce dryer sheets. Besides popping them in the dryer, did you know you can also use it these 21 other ways??

1. It will chase ants away when you lay a sheet near them. It also repels mice.
2. Put Bounce around foundation areas, or in trailers, or cars that are parked for a time. Will keep mice from getting in.
3. It takes the odor out of books and photo albums that don’t get opened too often.
4. It repels mosquitoes! Tie a sheet of Bounce through a belt loop when outdoors during mosquito season.
5. Eliminate static electricity from your television (or computer) screen.
6. Since Bounce is designed to help eliminate static cling, wipe your television screen with a used sheet of Bounce to keep dust from resettling.
7. Dissolve soap scum from shower doors. Clean with a sheet of Bounce.
8. To freshen the air in your home, place an individual sheet of Bounce in a drawer or hang in the closet.
9. Put a Bounce sheet in vacuum cleaner.
10. Prevent thread from tangling. Run a threaded needle through a sheet of Bounce before beginning to sew .
11. Prevent musty suitcases. Place an individual sheet of Bounce inside empty luggage before storing.
12. To freshen the air in your car, place a sheet of Bounce under the front seat.
13. Clean baked-on foods from a cooking pan. Put a sheet in a pan, fill with water, let sit overnight, and sponge clean. The anti-static agent apparently weakens the bond between the food and the pan.
14. Eliminate odors in wastebaskets. Place a sheet of Bounce at the bottom of the wastebasket.
15. Collect cat hair. Rubbing the area with a sheet of Bounce will magnetically attract all the loose hairs.
16. Eliminate static electricity from Venetian blinds. Wipe the blinds with a sheet of Bounce to prevent dust from resettling.
17. Wipe up sawdust from drilling or sand papering. A used sheet of Bounce will collect sawdust like a tack cloth.
18. Eliminate odors in dirty laundry. Place an individual sheet of Bounce at the bottom of a laundry bag or hamper.
19. Deodorize shoes or sneakers. Place a sheet of Bounce in your shoes or sneakers overnight.
20. Golfers put a Bounce sheet in your back pocket to keep the bees away.
21. Put a Bounce sheet in your sleeping bag and tent before folding and storing them. It will keep them smelling fresh.

Thursday
Aug162018

Chick Fil A Points Program

Have you heard the news? We’ve reimagined the Chick‑fil‑A One experience and created an all-new, more rewarding membership program.

As a Chick‑fil‑A One Member, you can now earn points with every purchase, by scanning or ordering with your Chick‑fil‑A One account, then redeem those points for an available reward of your choice. Plus, you'll advance through new membership tiers with increasing benefits.

Update the Chick‑fil‑A App or login to your account online and join the fun.

Treats are now rewardsTreats are now rewards
We've converted the progress from your treat tracker to points and any active treats can now be found under "My Rewards." Points were calculated using the total dollars spent since earning your last treat and then multiplied by 10 as a Chick-fil-A One Member.

After updating to our new program, everyone will start as a Chick‑fil‑A One Member with 0 total points, but by earning 10 points for every dollar spent, you’ll be on your way to Chick‑fil‑A One Silver or Chick‑fil‑A One Red Status in no time.
View my pointsView my points
Unlock more benefits in each membership tierUnlock more benefits in each membership tier
Reach new membership tiers unlocking awesome new benefits as you go.
Hit 1,000 points to become a Chick‑fil‑A One One Silver Member or
5,000 points to become a Chick‑fil‑A One One Red Member.
Membership TierMembership Tier

 

 

 

 

Monday
Jul302018

Ferrara Candy Settlement

Purchase at least ONE qualifying Ferrara Candy Product between February 21, 2013 and June 21, 2018? You may be entitled to get back up to a $7.50 check ($.50 per product) from this Ferrara Candy Settlement if you are eligible! Simply complete the short form by September 20th to submit your claim. This settlement is about how Ferrara Candy used oversized packaging (cardboard boxes) that violated laws and mislead consumers.

Monday
Jul302018

Ticketmaster Class Action

Did you buy tickets from TicketMaster between October 21st, 1999 and February 27th, 2013? If so, due to a Class Action Settlement (claiming that Ticketmaster’s order processing fees and UPS expedited delivery prices are deceptive and excessive), you may be eligible for free ticket vouchers or discount codes.

To see if you qualify, simply log in to your Ticketmaster account, go to “My Account”, and then scroll down and click on “Active Vouchers” to find out if you have any offers in your account.

Saturday
Jul142018

50+ Senior Money-Saving Discounts

 

Here is a great list of senior discounts. At most of these places, you have to ask for the discount. And be sure to call ahead before making the trip!

Restaurants
Applebee's: 15% off with Golden Apple Card (60+)
Arby's: 10% off (55+)
Ben & Jerry's: 10% off (60+)
Bennigan's: discount varies by location (60+)
Bob's Big Boy: discount varies by location (60+)
Boston Market: 10% off (65+)
Burger King: 10% off (60+)
Chick-Fill-A: 10% off or free small drink or coffee (55+)
Chili's: 10% off (55+)
CiCi's Pizza: 10% off (60+)
Denny's: 10% off, 20% off for AARP members (55+)
Dunkin' Donuts: 10% off or free coffee (55+)
Einstein's Bagels: 10% off baker's dozen of bagels (60+)
Fuddrucker's: 10% off any senior platter (55+)
Gatti's Pizza: 10% off (60+)
Golden Corral: 10% off (60+)
Hardee's: $0.33 beverages everyday (65+)
IHOP: 10% off (55+)
Jack in the Box: up to 20% off (55+)
KFC: free small drink with any meal (55+)
Krispy Kreme: 10% off (50+)
Long John Silver's: various discounts at locations (55+)
McDonald's: discounts on coffee everyday (55+)
Mrs. Fields: 10% off at participating locations (60+)
Shoney's: 10% off Sonic: 10% off or free beverage (60+)
Steak 'n Shake: 10% off every Monday & Tuesday (50+)
Subway: 10% off (60+)
Sweet Tomatoes: 10% off (62+)
Taco Bell: 5% off; free beverages for seniors (65+)
TCBY: 10% off (55+)
Tea Room Cafe: 10% off (50+)
Village Inn: 10% off (60+)
Waffle House: 10% off every Monday (60+)
Wendy's: 10% off (55+)
White Castle: 10% off (62+)

RETAIL & APPAREL:
Banana Republic: 10% off (50+)
Bealls: 20% off first Tuesday of each month (50+)
Belk's: 15% off first Tuesday of every month (55+)
Big Lots: 10% off
Bon-Ton Department Stores: 15% off on senior discount days (55+)
C.J. Banks: 10% off every Wednesday (60+)
Clarks: 10% off (62+)
Dress Barn: 10% off (55+)
Goodwill: 10% off one day a week (date varies by location)
Hallmark: 10% off one day a week (date varies by location)
Kmart: 20% off (50+)
Kohl's: 15% off (60+)
Modell's Sporting Goods: 10% off
Rite Aid: 10% off on Tuesdays & 10% off prescriptions
Ross Stores: 10% off every Tuesday (55+)
The Salvation Army Thrift Stores: up to 50% off (55+)
Stein Mart: 20% off red dot/clearance items first Monday of every month (55+)
 

GROCERY:
Albertson's: 10% off first Wednesday of each month (55+)
American Discount Stores: 10% off every Monday (50+)
Compare Foods Supermarket: 10% off every Wednesday (60+)
DeCicco Family Markets: 5% off every Wednesday (60+)
Food Lion: 6% off every Monday (60+)
Fry's Supermarket: free Fry's VIP Club Membership & 10% off every Monday (55+)
Great Valu Food Store: 5% off every Tuesday (60+)
Gristedes Supermarket: 10% off every Tuesday (60+)
Harris Teeter: 5% off every Tuesday (60+)
Hy-Vee: 5% off one day a week (date varies by location)
Kroger: 10% off (date varies by location)
Morton Williams Supermarket: 5% off every Tuesday (60+)
The Plant Shed: 10% off every Tuesday (50+)
Publix: 5% off every Wednesday (55+)
Rogers Marketplace: 5% off every Thursday (60+)
Uncle Guiseppe's Marketplace: 5% off (62+)

TRAVEL:

Airlines:
Alaska Airlines: 10% off (65+)

American Airlines: various discounts for 65 and up (call before booking for discount)

Southwest Airlines: various discounts for ages 65 and up (call before booking for discount)

United Airlines: various discounts for ages 65 and up (call before booking for discount)
U.S. Airways: various discounts for ages 65 and up (call before booking for discount)

Rail:

Amtrak: 15% off (62+) 

Bus:

Greyhound: 5% off (62+)
Trailways Transportation System: various discounts for ages 50+
 

Car Rental:

Alamo Car Rental: up to 25% off for AARP members

Avis: up to 25% off for AARP members Best Western: 10% off (55+)
Budget Rental Cars: 10% off; up to 20% off for AARP members (50+)

Dollar Rent-A-Car: 10% off (50+)
Enterprise Rent-A-Car: 5% off for AARP members

Hertz: up to 25% off for AARP members Holiday Inn: 10%-30% off depending on location (62+)
National Rent-A-Car: up to 30% off for AARP members
 

Over Night Accommodations:

Cambria Suites: 20%-30% off (60+)
Clarion Motels: 20%-30% off (60+)
Comfort Inn: 20%-30% off (60+)
Comfort Suites: 20%-30% off (60+)
Econo Lodge: 20%-30% off (60+)
Hampton Inns & Suites: 10% off when booked 72 hours in advance
Hyatt Hotels: 25%-50% off (62+)
InterContinental Hotels Group: various discounts at all hotels (65+)
Mainstay Suites: 10% off with Mature Traveler's Discount (50+); 20%-30% off (60+)
Marriott Hotels: 15% off (62+)
Motel 6: 10% off (60+)
Myrtle Beach Resort: 10% off (55+)
Quality Inn: 20%-30% off (60+)
Rodeway Inn: 20%-30% off (60+)
Sleep Inn: 20%-30% off (60+)


ACTIVITIES & ENTERTAINMENT:

AMC Theaters: up to 30% off (55+)
Bally Total Fitness: up to $100 off memberships (62+)
Busch Gardens Tampa, FL: $3 off one-day tickets (50+)

Carmike Cinemas: 35% off (65+)
Cinemark/Century Theaters: up to 35% off

U.S. National Parks: $10 lifetime pass; 50% off additional services including camping (62+)
Regal Cinemas: 30% off Ripley's Believe it or Not: @ off one-day ticket (55+)
SeaWorld Orlando, FL: $3 off one-day tickets (50+)

CELL PHONE DISCOUNTS:
AT&T: Special Senior Nation 200 Plan $29.99/month (65+)
Jitterbug: $10/month cell phone service (50+)
Verizon Wireless: Verizon Nationwide 65 Plus Plan $29.99/month (65+).

MISCELLANEOUS:
Great Clips: $3 off haircuts (60+)
Super Cuts: $2 off haircuts (60+)

Tuesday
May152018

Up & Up Wipes Settlement


This Up & Up Wipes Class Action Settlement is the result of a lawsuit that claims that certain Up & Up flushable toddler wipes manufactured by Nice-Pak were not flushable. Although Target and Nice-Pak deny these claims, and the court has not decided who is right or who is wrong, the parties have agreed to settle this case to resolve the matter.

NO PROOF OF PURCHASE REQUIRED FOR CLAIMS OF 20 UNITS OR LESS:

If you file a valid claim without a proof of purchase and you opt to receive a gift card, you will be limited to a gift card for no more than 20 units ($1.35 X 20 = $27).

If you opt to receive coupons, you can receive up to 20 coupons for free units of current Up & Up wipes manufactured by Nice-Pak (double 48-count package or equivalent depending on wipes product).

DO YOU HAVE PROOF OF PURCHASE?

If you opt to receive a gift card and you have proof of purchase, you are entitled to a gift card in the
amount $1.35 per unit purchased without limitation on the number of units.

Proof of purchase means an itemized retail sales receipt showing, at a minimum, the purchase of Up
& Up flushable toddler wipes, the purchase price, and the date and place of the purchase. If you opt to receive coupons, you will receive 20 coupons and a gift card for $1.35 for each unit above 20.

SUBMIT YOUR CLAIM BY SEPTEMBER 2018:

If you believe you do qualify, be sure to read the instructions carefully, fill out the Claim Form, and submit the form online no later than September 7th, 2018.

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Friday
May042018

Onist: The Easy Way to Organize Your Finances

Piles of paperwork and filing cabinets to corral all your financial docs are a thing of the past with Onist! I don't know about you, but wills, bank docs and more can be overwhelming to keep organized.
This is where Onist can help! It's an amazing new way to see a complete view of your full net worth including assets and liabilities. This is a much simpler way to get a snapshot of your family's financial life.
Another feature I really like about it, is I can keep a record of your family’s medical history, passwords, etc. in one place. As someone who always like to be prepared, this is a really important to have this in place. Between my husband, son and I, there is so much info to organize.
This is also good for my mom, who is in her 70's. I am starting an account for her as well, because she has many medical records to keep track of. If she becomes ill, I can easily look up her info on my computer or phone. Also, if you are working on estate planning, Onist makes it easy to upload documents such as your will, power of attorney and insurance policies. When there is an emergency, Onist makes it easy to share your financial information with the family members who need it most.

I know when my father passed away a few years ago, it was really time-consuming to go through stacks of papers to find his will and other important docs. How I wish we had something like Onist to help!
 
Try it out before May 30 and get 60 days FREE! How amazing is that?

SIGN UP HERE

 

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.

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