For some Americans, tax time is a stressful time of year because they know that they are going to owe money to the government. However, some Americans consider tax season the most wonderful time of the year because they know that they can expect a refund from the government for taxes they paid on their income, property or childcare expenses. The average tax refund is typically around $3,000. While it is tempting to spend the money on a vacation or expensive toy that you have been eyeing for some time, there are some practical uses for your tax refund to set you up for the next year. Consider these ways to make the most of your tax refund to cut some of your expenses and set yourself up for a successful year.
Invest in Energy
Use your tax refund to invest in the energy efficiency of your Brewster real estate. If you schedule a Home Energy Assessment with Mass Save, an audit of your Brewster’s home energy efficiency will be checked by a professional and suggestions will be given to make your Brewster real estate more energy efficient. In addition to your report, you will also get faucet aerators, LED light bulbs, low flow shower heads, power strips and programmable thermostats. Depending on the outcome of your assessment, you may be eligible for discounts or rebates on energy efficiency improvements that you make on your Brewster home. With these rebates and discounted programs, your tax refund could go a long way and save you a decent amount of money every month.
If you are not interested in having a home energy assessment performed at your Brewster real estate, there are still changes you can make to increase the efficiency of your home. Buying energy efficient appliances that you use every day such as refrigerators, laundry machines and dishwashers will cut down on your monthly energy bill. Replacing your existing light bulbs with LED light bulbs and using programmable thermostats will cut down on your energy costs. Installing low flow shower heads and faucet aerators will cut down on your water consumption. Making these small improvements yourself with your tax refund will make a difference in your monthly utility bills.
Pay off Debts
In the last year, you may have found yourself in a bind that required a bailout from a loan or caused you to put more on your credit card than you could pay off. Maybe your Brewster real estate needed a new roof, you needed a loan to buy a new car, or your hot water heater needed emergency repair. These unexpected emergency expenses can cost more than the money in your savings, causing you to accumulate debt.
Save yourself the interest you would pay monthly on the credit card payments or loan payments and pay off your debt with your tax refund. While your refund may not cover the entire amount of debt from your loan or credit card, it will still make a difference and save you in the long run. Not only would you save on interest from your loan or credit card, paying off all or a portion of your debt will give you piece of mind. Having some or all of a debt paid off will help you sleep better and feel more secure in your financial standing.
Living on Cape Cod, coastal flooding is a huge concern. Are you prepared for the next storm that brings coastal flooding? The best way to protect your Brewster real estate investment is by having flood insurance on your home. In the last couple of years, FEMA (or the Federal Emergency Management Agency) drew up new coastal flooding maps that has placed many Cape Cod home owners who were previously not considered living in a flood zone, as now living in a flood zone. This has caused flood insurance prices to increase, making it difficult for many home owners to afford. To see if your Brewster home is in a flood zone, check FEMA’s flood map for Cape Cod.
However, your tax refund could make this costly expense possible. On the other hand, if you are looking to appeal your new flood zone designation, you could put your tax refund towards that expense, as it could cost between $2,000 to $10,000 to have completed on your home by an engineer. If you currently have flood insurance, you can make improvements on your Brewster home to decrease your future flood insurance rates with the money from your tax refund. Moving your utilities to a floor above the flood zone of your home and installing flood vents to your foundation are both ways you can decrease your flood insurance costs.
Renovations and Repairs
It may be difficult to find the funds to do little renovations on your Brewster real estate throughout the year without seeking a loan. Small repairs and renovations like updating your bathroom, buying a new living room set or replacing a leaky sink are not huge costs, but can still be more costly than one can afford easily. Your tax refund is the perfect time to make these small repairs and renovations in your Brewster home without seeking assistance from a loan or putting the cost on your credit card.
These renovations and repairs will ultimately add value to your home, so it is an investment worth making in the long run. Price out your vision for the renovation and / or repair to make sure that your tax refund will cover the total cost of your plan so you do not run out of money in the middle of the project. If you run out of money before the project is complete, you can find yourself in a worse position than before you started. Your two options would be to leave the project in the condition it is in until you have the additional funds to complete it or secure a loan to complete the renovation or repair.
Make the Most Out of Your Tax Refund
If you’re one of the lucky ones this tax season, and you’re expecting a tax refund it might be a good idea to see how you can reinvest your money into your Brewster real estate to increase its over all value or improve your current financial standing. It’s not as much fun as spending the tax refund on a vacation but you will be glad you made the choice in the long run.