Taking Steps for the Best Decision With Your Tax Refund

From Forbes.com

You received a tax refund from the Feds and maybe one from the state in which you live. Good for you, right?

Sure, of course… who wouldn’t like a check that adds to the balance in your bank account?

The amount of your tax refund could enable you to pay off or pay down lingering debt, add to or create an emergency fund, or maybe take a vacation. With this money, you now have choices abound and a buffet of options available. It’s like a kid locked in the candy store overnight.

If your brain is titillated by the idea of turning the check into a shopping spree, you’re not alone.

The pleasure center in our brain is programmed to get all warm and fuzzy at the prospect of fun, rewards and “stuff.” The pleasure center also feels denied and sad if the prospect of doing something with the found dollars isn’t as satisfying as expected.

We are pushed and pulled by the battle between what we want and what we need, and sometimes the lines become blurred. Sometimes we make the wrong decisions and after consideration, we live in deep regret that a good opportunity was squandered.

Here are eight steps to consider when that tax refund is waiting for your decision.

  1. Write down your options.

  2. Make a note of the benefits of each possibility.

  3. Eliminate the options that don’t provide enough positives.

  4. Consider whether you can split the refund between several choices.

  5. Wait 24-48 hours before making a decision.

  6. Recheck your choices.

  7. Apply your refund check according to your best decision.

  8. Don’t look back!

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