Our 2012 Tax Refund

Guess what time it is, y’all: Tax refund time!

happy endings throwing money gif

(Well, for those who are getting a refund. Sorry, this gif may not be very nice to those who have to pay….)

Each year we try to fill out our W2s in a matter that will always give us back a little bit each year. Other personal finance gurus feel differently, but that’s how I roll. This year we are getting $481 back. Not too bad, but not nearly as great as last year.*

The $481 Question:
What to do with this extra money?

Answer:
Lots of things.

We could spend it on something lovely for our home or a gadget or a weekend getaway. But there’s nothing we really need right now and J has limited vacation days this year. The next natural place would be to save it. Right now we are saving for a house deposit, and every pretty penny counts. But we do that every month and it seems kind boring to lump in that amount with our other savings. It would bring us closer to our goal, but we kind of want this to go towards something fun, even if we don’t use it today. Then I remembered our Big Trip! We have $2,000 saved already, thanks to my dear grandmother, and it’s been rather neglected as we don’t plan to go anytime soon. Perfect! That’s where this money will go. :)

Once we put our money in the savings account, we found out one of our friends is going to Africa to do relief work in Sudan. He’s a good friend, and when we heard about his trip and the work he will be doing there, we were so excited and wanted to be a part of it. So we decided instead to give all our tax refund to his trip.

I debated sharing this on here. No one likes a humble brag, and it kind of sounds like I’m saying, Look at me! I’m giving away my tax refund! But I share this to show how much God has changed my heart in the last few years, and to encourage you to give, if you have never done it before.

My natural tendencies are to hoard money. To save, save, save as much as I can so that I can never be in want ever again. But God tells us to trust that He will provide for us. And he asks us to be generous. The more I give, the more I can see a change in my heart. It’s also so exciting to be a part of his work! I may not be traveling to Sudan physically, but I’m still very much a part of that project and I can’t wait to see how God uses my friend and our resources to further his kingdom.

Are you getting back a tax refund this year? What are you planning to do with your refund?

*In case you’re curious, here’s a recap of how I’ve spent my refund for the past few years:

  • My accountant hasn’t even received my tax stuff yet, but I know I’m going to owe. I made a bunch of money that I haven’t paid taxes on yet. The joys of working online.

  • I spent all my tax money on redecorating my bedroom. It would have been better to save it but saving money makes me miserable. I was constantly checking it every day to see if I would get any interest on it and it was basically all I thought about. So this time I decided to use it on something i would enjoy:)

  • That’s awesome! I think I’ll be getting a huge refund this year. I plan on saving most of it but I might buy a bike with the rest!

  • Awesome! We are putting ours towards student loans.

  • jennifer

    we got a very large refund this year (i’m not sure if y’all have educational credits where you’re from.. but we do and my husband is still in school – which helps our refund immensely!) but anyways.. this year and last year we put ALL of it towards student loans. it’s hard.. but it definitely is rewarding in the end!

  • That is awesome! And you’re right — it’s SO hard putting it towards debt, but a little (or large) bit goes a long way. One day you’ll be debt-free and can use that money for fun. :)

  • Wow, good for you! That’s awesome!

  • Haha, yes, most savings accounts get very little interest nowadays, but you should still try to save a little — it will definitely make you feel better when emergencies come! But redecorating is always very fun. ;)

  • Ah yes, the cons of online employment. :) Hopefully it won’t be too much!

  • Nice! A bike is a great idea. :)

  • Dorothy Clement

    Read your blog to daddy and we both smiled at how God is using you and J in a mighty way.

  • I didn`t find this bragging at all, and I don`t know why people should be unsure if they should tell others of good deeds, I think it`s a good idea to show how you give to those who need it, as it might just inspire others! ;-)

  • M Ripples

    We always get a pretty big refund. We use the money to pay all of our annual expenses like car insurance, life insurance, city taxes…etc. I know I should adjust it so we don’t get as much back, but then I’d just have to save the money every paycheck to pay for those things anyways.

  • Erika Newlyweds

    I think that’s an honorable thing to do. It’s good to recognize when you have enough and that you can afford to give to others.