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Hold Your Horses!  Let’s Think About This

Well, we made it through another tax season, didn’t we?  But if you’re smart… you aren’t through with your taxes yet!  You should be looking at two things before you completely forget about the pain and suffering of getting your taxes done. 
2 Important Things to Check 
  1. If you feel like you paid too much in taxes for 2009… call my office to make an appointment.  We should go through your tax return and look for ways to reduce your tax bill for this year.  This is really an important thing to do because any money we find is “found” money and you can spend it, or invest it on anything you like!
  2. In 2009, the average tax refund was $2,683 according to the IRS.  If you were one of the lucky ones to get a refund… don’t spend it just yet.  At least take a look at the 7 ways that may make your refund keep paying you for years to come!  Below you will find the 7 things I think you should look at for your tax refund.
I know you worked hard for the money in that refund, and I know you deserve to do something fun with it… but please, at least consider “paying” yourself first.

Seven Smart Ways to Multiply Your Tax Refund
1. Get Your Cash Reserves in Order—As many found out in the past few years… life can throw us some pretty hard curve balls.  We can lose our job unexpectedly, our investments can take a hit, or any number of other things.  It is essential that you keep enough money very liquid to handle such emergencies.  You never want to rely on a credit card as “back up” in case of financial hardships.  Please consider putting enough in cash reserves to handle at least 3 months of your fixed living expenses, i.e. your monthly bills.  More is better, and though less is worse… it’s still better than nothing!
2. Reduce Your Debt—If you are carrying any consumer debt, especially on your credit card, please consider using any refund to reduce or get rid of it.  The interest rates that are charged as well as the penalties mean that it is essential to get rid of this debt quickly.  Don’t pay the bank execs bonus checks with your credit card interest!
3. Get smarter—If you are working, consider investing in additional education to further your career.  If you are retired, consider investing in additional education of your choice to keep your mind sharp and keep things interesting! Our local colleges and universities are full of possibilities.
4. Get a Home Energy Audit—Energy prices are going to continue to go up over time and the 
money you spend on energy is money out the window.  Why not invest in an energy audit?  They cost anywhere from $25 to a couple of hundred dollars, but that money keeps paying you back… year, after year, after year.
5. Invest it—You could consider investing your refund.  You could put it into stock of your favorite company.  You could put it into a child’s college fund.  You could stash it away for that big vacation you’ve always wanted to take but always thought was too expensive.  
6. Fix the screen door—You know those things around the house that need fixing?  The things you see everyday that bug you but you never have time to tackle… why not hire someone to do it for you.  Improving and maintaining your home is always a good investment.
7. Help someone else to help yourself—Study after study has proven that people who give to other people are happier and healthier.  They haven’t quite figured out why that is… I mean how can giving your money away make you happier than spending it on yourself?  That doesn’t seem to add up, but it is true.  Maybe to add a little more happiness in your own life, you could use a bit of your refund to add a little happiness to someone else’s life, someone who could really use it!
Thank you for giving these suggestions your consideration.
As always, I hope you are well. If you need anything, please feel free to give me a call!  Also, if you know of someone who would benefit from my help, please give them my web site address ( ) and suggest they give me a call at 817-921-4592. You continue to be my best advertisement, and I thank you for that!
Jim Robinson