Daily Dupaco

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Make your tax refund work for you

It won't be long before Tax Day arrives.

It's not too soon to start thinking about what to do with your refund from Uncle Sam. After all, the majority of us will receive one, with the average refund totaling $2,905, according to the Internal Revenue Service's latest figures. 

But to many taxpayers, the refund feels like lottery winnings.

"The majority of people do not save it, which is what they should be doing," says Dupaco's Lisa Kruser.

Rather than spend the cash, there are ways you can make the money work for you. Kruser and Paula Ervolino, both financial service representatives at Dupaco's JFK branch, offer five ways to best use your hard-earned refund:

  1. Get a no-cost Dupaco Money Makeover. A Dupaco Makeover Artist will look at your total financial picture to identify opportunities where you can cut costs and build savings. During the one-on-one meeting, you can find out where your tax refund will benefit you the most.
  2. Save for retirement by investing your money into a traditional or Roth IRA. Dupaco's member service department can help you get started with as little as $5. 
  3. Pay down credit card debt to avoid paying high interest rates. "If you have to carry debt, you want to make sure you're carrying the least interest-accruing debt possible," Ervolino says.
  4. Use the money to open one of Dupaco's You Name It Savings Accounts. That way, the money is there when you need it. 
  5. Talk to an investment professional at Dupaco Financial Services to get an overall picture of your finances, and to make sure you're on the right track to saving for the future.

Once you've filed your taxes, you can check on the status of your refund with the IRS' online tool Where's My Refund

By Emily Kittle

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