back to top

The 11 Smartest Things To Do With Your Next Tax Refund

Hoping for a tax refund, but not sure how to spend it? Do something smart with that money — don't waste it on mindless spending! And make sure to let the experts at H&R Block help you get the most back this year.

Posted on

1. Start by paying down high-interest debt.

That new car seemed like a good idea at the time — and the Caribbean vacation was super fun. But spending money you don't have can lead to overwhelming debt! That's why you should definitely put your tax refund toward paying it down.
Thinkstock

That new car seemed like a good idea at the time — and the Caribbean vacation was super fun. But spending money you don't have can lead to overwhelming debt! That's why you should definitely put your tax refund toward paying it down.

2. Beef up your emergency savings.

Remember that time you stepped on a garden hoe to see if it would really swing up and hit you in the face? Yeah... Emergency room visits can be expensive. But having even just a little bit of extra money will help should something unexpected come up.
Thinkstock

Remember that time you stepped on a garden hoe to see if it would really swing up and hit you in the face? Yeah... Emergency room visits can be expensive. But having even just a little bit of extra money will help should something unexpected come up.

3. Prepare for retirement.

No debt and a healthy emergency fund? Congrats! The next step: Invest that refund toward your retirement. Yeah, it's far away, and it's never fun to think about getting older. Just think about it as paying your future self!
Thinkstock

No debt and a healthy emergency fund? Congrats! The next step: Invest that refund toward your retirement. Yeah, it's far away, and it's never fun to think about getting older. Just think about it as paying your future self!

4. Invest and watch your money grow.

Looks like your dad was right when he said that money doesn't grow on trees! But there is another way to grow your money: investments! Do some research to find out what kind of investments fit your goals.
Thinkstock

Looks like your dad was right when he said that money doesn't grow on trees! But there is another way to grow your money: investments! Do some research to find out what kind of investments fit your goals.

5. If you have kids, this is a great opportunity to save for college.

Who knew having kids was so expensive?! By putting some of your refund toward a Registered Education Saving Plan, you can basically get free money for school from the Canadian government. Talk about a win-win!
Thinkstock

Who knew having kids was so expensive?! By putting some of your refund toward a Registered Education Saving Plan, you can basically get free money for school from the Canadian government. Talk about a win-win!

6. Switch to energy-efficient appliances.

Still have those retro avocado-colored appliances? Yikes! Use your extra cash to upgrade your old, energy-sucking appliances to new, energy-efficient models. Your investment will save money in the long run and is better for the environment.
Thinkstock

Still have those retro avocado-colored appliances? Yikes! Use your extra cash to upgrade your old, energy-sucking appliances to new, energy-efficient models. Your investment will save money in the long run and is better for the environment.

7. Invest in your health.

It might be time to finally admit to yourself that it takes you 10 minutes to catch your breath after going up the stairs. Improving your health could save you money on health-related issues in the long run.
Thinkstock

It might be time to finally admit to yourself that it takes you 10 minutes to catch your breath after going up the stairs. Improving your health could save you money on health-related issues in the long run.

8. Pay it forward.

As corny as it sounds, you can make a difference! And you can use your donation to claim charity tax credits on next year's tax return. Just make sure to do your research before donating.
Thinkstock

As corny as it sounds, you can make a difference! And you can use your donation to claim charity tax credits on next year's tax return. Just make sure to do your research before donating.

9. Start that DIY project you've been dreaming of.

Regretting that DIY stenciling you did in your living room? Consider tax season your time for a do-over! To get the most out of your money, do some research to find out what types of updates will increase the value of your home.
Thinkstock

Regretting that DIY stenciling you did in your living room? Consider tax season your time for a do-over! To get the most out of your money, do some research to find out what types of updates will increase the value of your home.

10. Take a vacation.

Everyone deserves a little R&R — and it's actually great for your well-being. So put on your sunscreen, pull up a hammock, and grab a tropical drink!
Thinkstock

Everyone deserves a little R&R — and it's actually great for your well-being. So put on your sunscreen, pull up a hammock, and grab a tropical drink!

11. Treat yo self!

If you've already put some of your tax refund toward improving your financial situation, ain't no shame in spending a little on yourself. You've earned it after all!
Thinkstock

If you've already put some of your tax refund toward improving your financial situation, ain't no shame in spending a little on yourself. You've earned it after all!

Make sure you get your maximum refund this year.

With 50 years' experience as Canada's leading tax specialist, H&R Block doesn't miss a thing.