How We Used Our Tax Refund This Year

This year we thought that we would owe money on our taxes. Between the child tax credits we received July through December and my self-employment, we believed owing was inevitable. We just hoped we didn’t owe too much. However, much to our surprise, we discovered that we were getting a hefty refund. Here’s how we used our tax refund this year.

How We Used Our Tax Refund This Year

This year we received a $4,095 tax refund. We didn’t use ANY of it to blow or spend freely. Instead, we had a carefully crafted list of expenses to cover with our tax return.

Tax Preparation

Our tax preparation this year cost $325, so that is the first expense we paid with our tax refund.

Airline Ticket

Our son is considering going to college halfway across the country. If he does this, he’d be living with my mom while he goes to college. Even though we visited there in February so he could get a feel for the place, my husband and I believe before he decides, he should spend time alone there to get a feel for what daily life will be like. So, we used $733 of our tax refund to get him a round-trip ticket. He’ll be leaving in just a few weeks and staying there for two months.

Graduate School Application Fees

My husband already has a Master’s and Ph.D. However, to advance in his current field, he feels he needs another Master’s degree. While his employer pays for the classes (my husband will only have to pay $25 per class), we had to pay for the application and transcripts. That came to $270.

Meat Stock Up

How We Used Our Tax Refund This Year

Like most of you, the cost of groceries is affecting our budget. To help alleviate the weekly financial pressure, we used $767 to buy meat and fish in bulk.

For the last few months, I’ve been adding good deals to my Butcher Box cart. I kept pushing back my order date until I knew if we would get a tax refund. Now, those prices from 2021 are locked in, meaning I can buy much of this meat for less than I can at the grocery store. I’m hoping the meat and fish that I order will last my family of five about five to six months so we can save on groceries.

Son’s College Tuition (Maybe?)

If our son chooses to go to school near my mom, he will need to pay $2,000 for tuition. The rest is covered by a scholarship. We are setting aside the remaining money to pay that tuition.

However, if he decides to go to the college near us, he has a full-ride scholarship. In that case, we will put the additional $2,00 in our emergency fund. We currently have a one-month emergency fund, so this will help it grow a bit more. Our long-term goal is a six-month emergency fund, but we’re still far from that.

Final Thoughts

Receiving a $4,095 tax return was an unexpected, but welcome, surprise. We tried to use the money to help further our life and financial goals, especially for my husband and son’s higher education.

If you received a tax refund, what did you do with the money?

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