Daily Dupaco

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Putting the fund in refund

Are you receiving a refund from Uncle Sam this year?

Sure, it's tempting to spend that cash. But if you can resist the urge to use your refund to purchase a fill-in-the-blank, there are ways you can make that money work for you.

If you have high-interest credit cards or other high-rate debt, take advantage of your refund to pay down that debt, advises Tami Rechtenbach, vice president of member services at Dupaco.

"You can clean up those high-rate accounts and get those off the books," she says. "And then you can start to build a savings back up and start paying yourself instead of paying somebody else."

If you don't have debt, put your refund in to a savings account for a rainy day or emergency fund. Another option: Put some of those refund dollars in to a retirement fund, such as an IRA. You'll thank yourself later as you approach the golden years.

Whatever your financial situation is, a Dupaco Money Makeover can help you determine the best use of your refund. During the one-on-one meeting, a Dupaco Money Makeover "artist" can either help you establish a plan to pay down your debt or determine the best savings option based on your unique situation.

"Once we know they have that asset, we can help them reallocate it to help improve their credit score, save them money and get them on the right track," Rechtenbach says.

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

If you're new to this tool, the IRS offers a few tips:

  • Have the right tax information ready before using any of the IRS refund tools. This includes your Social Security number, filing status and refund amount.
  • You don't need to check on your refund status more than once a day, as your information will not change. 
  • To avoid system delays, the best time to check on refunds is evenings and weekends.
  • There is no need to call the IRS about your refund; the telephone service has the same information that is online.

By Emily Kittle

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