Did you know that yesterday was National Beer Day? I didn't either until about 3pm when Mike informed me. So we obviously had to have a little happy hour :)  


(not happy hour at 3pm... we waited until 5 or so, haha)



Anyway. Moving on.


I got an email on Monday that made me SO HAPPY:


Hey Ashley. I'm in college but still have a job I work a few shifts at a week. I just recently got my federal and state tax returns back and can't help but want to spend them, but I also want to save them. Any tips or suggestions?



Love that question :) Props to Anna for thinking ahead like this and not just spending the money on frivolous things!!


I am sharing her question + my answer today since a) it's almost TAX DAY (!!!) so it's good timing and b) it's a great question that can help others :)


Now you guys know me and my views pretty well. So I'm going to suggest a blend of spending and saving your refund. A lot of financial experts would hate for me to suggest that you spend any of it buuuuut I'm a big believer in spending a little bit on yourself so that you don't get burnt out by only just saving!


Set aside a small portion for spending

So what I would do is set aside a small percentage-- maybe 10% of the refund, but no more than $100 or so-- to spend on yourself. Do whatever you want with that! It'll keep you from feeling too restricted.


Do something smart with the rest of it

And then do something smart with the rest of it. If you don't have an emergency fund, start one with this money now. If you're paying off debts, put the money towards your debts. If you're saving up for a specific goal, put the money there.


...And do it QUICKLY!

I know usually the refund gets deposited straight into your checking account; don't let it sit there for too long because then you'll just spend it all! Transfer the money (minus the small portion for yourself) into your savings account/to your debts ASAP and pat yourself on the back for being so smart :)


One final note:

I know it's a bummer to get a refund and use most of it for boring (but smart) things. But that's how you're going to get ahead financially! That's how you'll get financial security, pay off your debts, save up for fun trips, etc. Think of the big picture and be excited that you have this unexpected money to put towards that stuff.

And then take yourself to Target (or, you know, your favorite store) to spend a bit of it on yourself as a congratulations for being smart with the other 90% :)


PS-- got a question like this? Email me at Ashley @ SavingMoneyInYourTwenties . com !



Did you get a tax refund this year? What'd you do with it?

I didn't get one this year but I usually put mine straight into my savings account and try not to think about it too hard, or else I'll want to spend it on 'fun' stuff! :)