Welcome back to our College Hacks. We're glad you've made your way over to get a dose of knowledge and advice on what you should do with your tax and financial aid refund.
First of all, do not go shopping with your refund! We know, we know... it's sounds great to go out and get a brand new Kate Spade purse or brand new shoes but LEVEL UP on your finances, life and skills.
I've went from working minimum wage jobs to making a decent living while in college. My budgeting skills are superb and I save like none other due to my desire to have money in case an emergency happens. This is all due to smart decision-making skills, reading and applying.
Most college students won't be getting a tax or financial aid refund worth thousands of dollars but with whatever you get, use this money to the best of your abilities.
7 Smart Ways to Spend Your Refund
- Start That Savings Account or Emergency Fund. If you don't already have a savings account, I'd suggest getting one as soon as possible. You never know what situation that will make having the extra funds come in handy. When I was short on gas money, looking for a job and needed money for books, I never had to ask because I borrowed from my own savings account. [TIP: make a list of all your expenses for the month and how much you make for the month. Whatever money you have left over, put half of it in your savings and half in the emergency fund.]
- Invest in Cryptocurrency. Start off small, I recently invested around $20 in Litecoin but the most familiar one would be Bitcoin. Do your research and find out how to make money with your own money. I use Coinbase for all of my digital currency needs.
- Cut Your Credit Card Debt in Half. Don't let your debt keep building! If you have to use most of your refund to get out of debt, PAY IT OFF. You'll feel better knowing you don't owe money.
- Invest in Your Career. Need to update your resume or take new head shots for LinkedIn? Invest in a new resume by a professional and hire a photographer for that head shot. If you've ever felt like your work experience is amazing but no one is calling you back about a job, it may be your resume doesn't reflect your potential. It may sound pretty wild but a resume is an introduction for so many people. They don't see you or have a conversation with you, all they see is a piece of paper. If you need help with resumes, I can connect you with a few people I've used before.
- Start That Business! Have you had an idea or business you think would be great and necessary for this world? Invest into your idea, pay for someone to create your website, by that domain and kick butt!
- Travel. You may not have all the means to get on a plane right now and go to Dubai but use your refund to start a budget for your next adventure. Just because you're in college doesn't mean you can't go on a vacation. I started small by doing a daycation-- read about my experiences Birmingham Daycation: Making an Impact.
- Buy Something From Your Friends Business. We all know someone, who knows someone, who has an AMAZING business. Why not support it? Often times I find myself scrolling on Forever 21 or on Zara to buy clothes when I know plenty of #GirlBosses who make custom designs. Invest in their craft then SUPPORT, SUPPORT, SUPPORT.