It's tax season and we're getting a pretty good size refund this year. Both of us were working most of last year, and matt was going to school and was able to get a school credit of some sort (I'm not sure what it was, my mom did it for us--thanks!)
The only problem we have though is when we apply for school loans and grants for this year. They ask us how much money we have in our bank accounts and then give us financial aid accordingly. I won't mail in our tax forms until Matt applies for aid, because once those checks get deposited, they're going to say to us "what? You have all the money just sitting there? Well, we think you should give it to us right now, and live paycheck to paycheck again" I don't like the idea of that.
We're trying to figure out what to do with the money. I'd really, REALLY like to just save it because I hate living paycheck to paycheck. I like having the money there for emergencies, so we don't have to use a credit card. I like the safety cushion it gives us. But when we did that last year we ended up giving it all to the school (and then some! we had to borrow from others to cover what they told us to pay) so I'm not doing that again.
Here's what we're currently thinking of doing. I don't like mentioning amounts because I think that's one of those things that shouldn't be discussed with just anyone (money, politics, and religion on are my list--not that you all are 'just anyone' but it's an impersonal situation!).
First off, we're paying off all our credit cards. Which isn't that much thankfully.
second, we're putting a large chunk towards our car payment, paying about a 1/3 of the amount left owing.
Third, we're each giving ourselves some to spend on what we'd like. Matt's going to fix up his computer. . .again. . .we just did it last year, but it needs to go faster and have better graphics. . .again. I'm going to get a kitchenaid mixer so I can bake more. The idea of making bread by hand just scares me! although I do have a bread maker. . .I should probably use that. At least I won't have to mix cookies by hand anymore!
fourth: put a little bit in savings and hope the school doesn't take it from us! :)
now we have the remainder. . .and here is where I'm torn on what to do with it. I have 2 options that are both really good I think.
Option one: Build up our food storage. We could probably get a 3 month supply which would be really good since we live paycheck to paycheck we could use that for those times when the paycheck is really small or something comes up.
Option two: put the remainder in my IRA account. We don't have to report that when we apply for financial aid, but we can take it out without a penalty for a first time home purchase. I thought if we put most of our tax return into that account each year, by the time Matt's done with school and found stable employment somewhere. . .who knows where. . .we'll have enough money for a down payment on a house! yay!!
so those are our plans for the tax refund. And we still have the economic stimulus coming in may to us. Matt wants to buy a new tv so he can play his games in HD. We'll see.
I do hate though how money has such a pull over us. I wouldn't object to putting it all in our IRA because I don't see it, and I forget about it which is a good thing to help us save it. That's our plan though. . .we'll see what really happens!