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Save or Spend Contest Winners

First Place Ribbon

First Place- Saving

Saving and Spending at the SAME TIME
Coins: 5168

Posted on 3/19/2007 by: Jacob M. from: Monticello, FL

While I am not planning on spending my refund on frivilous purchases, I do plan on blowing my entire refund on one big spender item... MY CAR LOAN. My wife and I have been on an intense debt reduction kick for the last several months. When we realized that we were getting a rather large refund (darn those interest free loans to the government!!) we almost lost sight of our goals. We don't usually see a lump sum of cash like this sitting in our laps. Thankfully we supported each other through our many urges to splurge to the point of getting back on track. As a result, as soon as the refund hits our account, we plan on sending it right on down to the bank that holds our car loan! Because of our debt killing plan as well as our refund, we will be paying off our car early next year... a full 3 years early!


First Place Ribbon

First Place- Spending

Escaping the Rent Trap
Coins: 6880

Posted on 3/15/2007 by: Grant from: Columbia, MO

I believe I am putting my refund into the best use at the time by using it to help put a down payment on a house.

At just 22 I've already grown very tired of paying out rent and seeing very little for it. I made it my goal this year to get out of the rent trap and start building equity on a major purchase: my first home.

I am happy to be able to apply the refund to the down payment as it helps leverage some of the other things I will need to buy (see: fridge). I think by using the money in this way I am stopping myself from throwing more money into a rental place and gaining another investment.


Second Place Ribbon

Second Place- Saving

Strategy for saving
Coins: 5033

Posted on 3/1/2007 by: Robert M. from: Bend, OR

Each September I begin my strategy for saving by preparing a mock tax return. I calculate anticipated income from all sources, exemptions, deductions, credits and finally taxes owed or refund due. Next, I figure the changes I can make before the end of the year to try to maximize tax benefits. My final decision this past September was to fund our 2006 IRA earlier than usual and have my wife, a registered nurse, schedule 3 days off without pay, in December, that reduced her income by about $500 gross. Those two decisions resulted in an extra $1,600 of tax refund. Our total tax refund, more than $8,000, will go toward funding our IRAs for the coming year.


Second Place Ribbon

Second Place- Spending

One Big Purchase
Coins:  6377

Posted on 4/10/2007 by: Bonnie P. from: Chardon, OH

My husband and I have learned that what we make we spend. If we don't have it in our hands every pay check, we live within our means with what we have. Then, at the beginning of each year, we decide on one big "purchase" to use our tax return on the following year. It's similar to a savings account without the interest, but interest on a savings account today is like nothing at all any way.

When we file our return, we know that the money we get back will be used for our yearly big purchase. This year, we are using it to put a new roof on our house. Last year, we took a trip to Wisconsin for a Reunion and we were able to extend it into a family vacation for all six of us. In the past, we've used it for new furniture, down payment on a new car, and many more things we wouldn't be able to afford without our tax return.

It's true we don't go out much during the year, or buy because we have the means, but there is a rainbow at the end of the tunnel every year!


Third Place Ribbon

Third Place- Saving

Learning to Save
Coins: 3258

Posted on 3/15/2007 by: Erin from: Minneapolis, MN

As a single mother with a moderately low income, I tend to get fairly large tax returns. I used to spend those before I even got them and then conveniently not pay the full balance of the credit card bills so that I was digging a hole for myself. Perhaps some of you can relate.

This past year, I got out of credit card debt and have decided that 2007 will be the year in which I become a financially responsible person. I did my taxes as soon as I possibly could, received my rebate and tucked it into a savings account. I did allow myself to spend $150 of the "extra" money on whatever I wanted, and have put the rest in a high interest earning savings account.

While a part of me really wanted to buy that fancy new digital camera or a new laptop computer, I feel better knowing that the money is working for me and that by saving now, I'll allow myself the freedom to do more in the future.


Third Place Ribbon

Third Place- Spending

Spend, Save and Enjoy!
Coins: 2706

Posted on 3/15/2007 by: Leanne A. from: San Diego, CA

My federal and state refunds are never more than $1,000 each, more like just a few hundred. I like saving, but I also really like a chunk of "extra" money to spend on a treat. Letting the IRS hold it for me is like putting it in a cookie jar to save, but the IRS won't let me sneak out $20 here and there "just this once".

Each year, I take the larger refund and put it towards a credit card bill. You can view this as saving because you're paying down debt, or you can view it as spending because it's paying off money spent on consumer goods!

However, I take the other refund and I spend it on whatever I want. Fancy new purse from Coach? Sure! New surround sound? Okay! New Kitchen Aid mixer? Yes!

This year, that extra money has bought a ticket to Scotland where we'll be vacationing in a few months. Too bad it's not enough to buy a castle!

  Put the 'Fun' in Refund
Hi!  I’m Tax Time Trisha

Did you know that Libras expect the largest refunds?

How do I know? Well, I’m a real refund know-it-all! In fact, when it comes to spending and saving, there isn’t much I don’t know.

Don’t believe me? I’ll prove it! Let’s play ‘Save Or Spend?’

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