Tis’ the season of Tax Returns! For some this season brings joy (those of us who don’t have to fork over the dough), for others, immense amounts of pain in their wallet region.
As much as it is a chore to go in and have someone prepare your taxes for you or take care of your own tax forms at home, we all enjoy that big fat check that comes a couple weeks later. You may be wondering, however, what should I do with MY TAX RETURN?
Well first, let’s talk about what people usually do with their tax return.
Generally Speaking, They Blow It
When most people receive their federal or state tax return they usually have in mind that one special item that they’ve been eyeing for months. Whether this be a brand new article of clothing, a motorcycle, a jet ski, a boat…who knows, maybe gambling? While all of these things may seem like the best use of your money, are they really?
Let’s talk about what you’re gaining from the purchase of that shiny new watch at your local department store, or online at your favorite retailer.
Essentially you are paying for a fashion statement here, correct? Most everyone these days has a smartphone or at least a flip phone that can tell you what time it is. Don’t get me wrong, I wear watches every day, it is quick and convenient to check your watch over pulling out your iPhone and I really like the way that they set off some of the other things I’m wearing. I’m a firm believer in the wristwatch as a staple accessory of your wardrobe.
But is this really where you need to be spending that money that you’ve already given to the government and had no expectations of seeing again? Usually people have no idea how much they are going to receive on their returns when heading into these tax appointments, so why not pretend like that money doesn’t even exist?
I’ve been in your position, I’ve received hefty sums back on my returns, and to be honest, I’ve spent it on some really stupid crap. Quite frankly, I wish I had that money back to contribute to things that will make me MORE money.
You might be wondering then what I suggest you do with this cash. I’m going to tell you right now.
3 Ways to Turn Your Tax Return Into More Money
- Save it and invest in real estate in the future. Did you know that recently the percentage of people who own the home they live in has dropped to around 64%? This is lower than home ownership in 1994, and with the increasing population you would thing that this rate would be increasing.
So why would you go blow your hard earned tax return when realistically this could be a small down payment on a home, if you save your return for 2-3 years, depending on how much you receive back each year, and combine this with additional savings you generate throughout the year, you could easily be a home owner in 2-3 years!
I understand that the housing market crash of 2008 was a serious setback for many people. If you haven’t seen The Big Short I highly suggest you watch it, especially if you already have a general understanding of markets and the way they operate. But, this is really no reason to be scared of buying.
Ideally, you want to make sure you can pay your mortgage in case your home is not rented (if an investment property), and if this remains true, then renting it out will essentially pay for the investment property overtime, and after your mortgage is paid off this is money in your pocket every single month.
The average price of a home in the US is down to around $188k, this means that if you are receiving a $5-10k tax return, you could easily be putting down 5-10% after two years. This is especially great if you are a first time home buyer.
2. Invest in the Stock Market. Many are scared of the stock market because they don’t understand the trends and way things operate. There are multiple types of investments you can make, and very generally speaking, you can either go after a stock for the short term or the long term.
Now there are other options, ETF’s, Options, Bonds, CD, but personally I’m a fan of investing in particular companies. For those who plan to go after the short term trading ideal I highly suggest looking into the teachings of Tim Sykes. This guy turned $12,000 into over $4million and is still going strong.
His story is quite fascinating, he runs a couple penny stocking chatrooms, and really provides a ton of great training on day trading as long as some free YouTube video lessons. Check out his site for free and see what you think. I personally pay for Tim’s Alerts and I make back the cost of the membership in 1 or 2 good trades.
Investing long term is a bit different story. Not everyone can play the market at particular times of day (morning spikes, afternoon power hour) so that’s where long term investing comes in. For long term stock plays I hold true to the teachings of Warren Buffet and Benjamin Graham.
I know I mentioned before that millionaires have around 7 forms of income, if you want to achieve this goal, then you need to diversify your income now. Stop wasting money, start investing money.
3. The third option…and my personal favorite…is to buy something classic or antique that will only appreciate in value rather than depreciate. If you run out and buy a brand new car off the lot, usually you will end up in debt, and quickly become upside down on the car as it’s value immediately depreciates just because you drove it off the lot
The difference between buying mid-tier new vehicles and high tear used vehicles is extreme. I’ve personally purchased a number of classic vehicles, and all are now worth more than what I paid for them. The value of classics goes up every year as less and less of these remain in good driving condition.
If I ever NEEDED to sell these vehicles, my Return on Investment (ROI) would be substantial, in addition, I got to cruise around in a nice classic on the weekends for a few years. As long as you take care of your nice things you’ll see a positive impact on these types of purchases.
However, be careful not to sink your money into something with mechanical troubles, etc.
In addition to cars, classic or antique jewelry is also a quality investment. Granted, many things fluctuate with the price of gold which is extremely unpredictable. I personally would invest in a classic Rolex limited edition or something that will only become more rare and valued as time goes on.
My motto is essentially: “Only spend money on things that will make you money.”
Now this isn’t necessarily 100% true as I do like to have nice things, but definitely look for opportunities to turn investments into profits.
FACT: The number one goal of any business is to earn a profit. Treat your finances like a business, make your number 1 goal earning a profit.
I hope that I provided you with some quality ideas on what to do with your tax return this tax season. If you have any more clever ideas on where to invest your money please leave me a comment below! I’d love to hear your input.