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Top 5 Things You Can (and probably will) Do with Your Tax Return and 1 Thing You SHOULD do.

tax return

According to the IRS, the average tax refund will be about $3,000. That’s a lot of cheddar. A recent poll by GOBankingRates suggest that over 40% of those getting a refund are going to save it. That’s responsible, and we encourage everyone to save their money.

But that also means that 60% of you are going to spend it. On what, you may ask? Well, it boils down to these four things:

  1. Paying off debt: Good for you for, because unless you have no debt, this is a better financial decision than saving you money.
  2. Saving for a vacation: We all need a vacation now and then.
  3. Splurging: Do you really need that big screen television?
  4. Making a major necessary purchase: Perhaps fixing your car or replacing a furnace.

We have another suggestion for those of you (not me unfortunately) who are getting a refund. We have an investment that won’t cost much and the return on your investment will change your life. What’s the investment?


Invest in getting yourself in better shape. Like most Americans, you could benefit from losing some weight. But also, like most Americans, you don’t have time to exercise, you’re not motivated, or you just hate going to the gym.

I Don’t Have Time to Exercise

This is the most common excuse people have for not exercising. It’s a terrible excuse, and you know it. If you can’t find the time, then make the time. There are many ways to get in short workouts throughout your day.

  • Get up 15 minutes early and take a walk.
  • Take the stairs, not the elevator.
  • Get out of your office and walk around the block.
  • Download an exercise app to help you stay motivated.

Studies suggest that you can get in better shape with just 20-30 minutes of aerobic exercise a day. You probably waste that much time on your phone. Just sayin’.

I Start a Routine but I Can’t Stick to It

It takes about 30 days or so for your brain to develop a habit (scientists call it a neural pathway). Yeah, that’s why most “free trials” are 30 days in length. So 30 days is a good target goal to set for yourself as you start your new exercise regimen. Here are some other tips.

  • Start Small. You’re not going to run a marathon anytime soon, but maybe your goal is to walk around the block in under 15 minutes.
  • Keep Track. It’s more fun and motivating if you write down your goal and keep track of your progress. Beat your personal record!
  • Plan your exercise. If you plan ahead, you’ll be less likely to forget it or ignore it.
  • Don’t judge yourself. If you’re trying to lose weight, don’t start looking at the scale or staring at yourself in the mirror. It’s about exercising right now, not looking better.
Top 5 Things to do with Tax return

I Hate to Exercise

Well, gee, we all have something to gripe and complain about. And whoever came up with “no pain, no gain” needs a slap. When it comes to exercising, just shut your pie hole and go do it. Here’s how you can eliminate some of the pain.

  • Start slowly. Remember the marathon? If you used to run but haven’t in a long time, don’t go out and try and do 2 or 3 miles. You’ll regret it in the morning, even if you don’t injure yourself.
  • Mix it up. Walk every other day. Do push-ups and other exercises on other days. You probably have some weights lying around, or make them with household items.
  • It may seem antithetical, but you must rest one or two days a week too.

So, what does all of this have to do with your tax return, when every tip provided here is free? Simple, spend a little bit of it on something that will increase your chances of starting an exercise routine and sticking to it. Here’s a shopping list:

  • Free weights or kettle bells
  • Workout clothes
  • Running / exercise shoes
  • Yoga / exercise mat
  • Fitness videos / DVD
  • Isometric fitness device (did someone say “Activ5?”)
  • Wearable fitness technology (do some research)
  • If you REALLY made out well on your refund this year, there’s always a Peloton or NordicTrack.

Now stop making excuses and get out there and EXERCISE!

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