Making your money work for you at tax time
By Russ Dalbey
A plasma TV, a vacation… or a headstart on a goal?
It's that time of year again – tax time – and some of you may already be thinking of how to spend your tax refund. I know from personal experience that it's hard to resist the "urge to splurge" and spend your refund on a big-ticket item. Maybe that flat-screen HDTV you've been eyeing in the electronics store is calling, or an exotic Caribbean vacation.
Stop and think about it, though. Won't you be better off in the long run if you spend at least part of that money building a better future for yourself? You'll be better off in the long run if you delay your gratification and invest in your future.
Consider these tips on how to wisely spend your refund and make your money work for you:
Reduce your credit card debt: Putting your refund toward a credit-card balance carrying an 18% (or higher) interest rate guarantees an 18% return on your money. Now that's smart!
Make an extra mortgage payment: Paying down your mortgage principal can save you a lot of money in interest in the long run. Think of how great you'll feel once your house is paid off!
Establish a retirement plan: Increase your contribution to your 401(k) plan. You might get even more if your employer matches 50 cents for each dollar you contribute up to a certain percentage of your salary. You'll double your contribution if the employer matches dollar-for-dollar. If you don't have the option of contributing to a 401(k) plan or another employer-sponsored retirement account, look into annuities or tax-efficient mutual funds. If you run your own business, you can get a solo 401(k) or other plan. No matter what your employment situation, is it feels great to save for your future!
Set up an emergency fund: You never know when that "rainy day" fund will come in handy. Everyone should have one! Look into opening a savings account that earns significantly more interest than your checking account, but allows you access to your money at any time. Some online savings accounts are currently offering 3.8% to 4.8% interest, with no fees or miminum balances.
Invest in your child's future: Open a college account for your child. The younger she/he is, the more years the refund will have to grow. Consider investing in the tax-free growth of a 529-college savings plan or a U.S. savings bond.
It's OK to give yourself a little treat – maybe a nice dinner out with your family or a piece of recreational equipment you've all been looking at. But I hope you'll use these tips on how to wisely spend at least part of your refund and make your money work hard for you.
After all, didn't you work hard for your money?
Founder of Winning in the Cash Flow Business
The Dalbey Wealth Institute
About the Author
As the CEO and founder of The Dalbey Wealth Institute, Russ Dalbey has authored dozens of best-selling books and articles on the cash flow business. A highly sought-after public speaker on the topics of wealth, success, and personal motivation, he also holds a record in The Guinness Book of World Records for cycling.
Russ Dalbey is a self-made, self-educated multi-millionaire who made his fortune using the same principles now taught at The Dalbey Wealth Institute. Perhaps more than any other financial educator, Russ understands the importance of simplifying financial education so that anyone can learn to become a millionaire.
"Wealth isn't just for a certain privileged few," he says. "In spite of what most financial experts teach, you don't need to have money to make money. Anyone can learn to master the steps to financial freedom."
Although today Russ is considered the premier authority on making money in the cash flow note business, he wasn't always a financial success. He was once just a young kid on a bike with a dream of training for the U.S. Olympics!
gainst all odds, he won international honors as a competitive cyclist, and broke the world record when he blazed through a one-mile course faster than any man before him.
But when the time came for Russ to leave cycling behind and earn a living outside of professional sports, he had nothing more than his own determination to rely on. With no college degree or job skills, he went in search of the best way to make money. Russ quickly began to learn the financial industry as a stockbroker. He was successful, but the work environment left much to be desired. When a friend happened to mention the "Cash Flow Note Business" to him, Russ was intrigued.
Russ left the high-stress world of Wall Street behind and devoted his energy to making money in the Cash Flow Note Business. He found a mentor to coach him and saw results immediately. Russ soon made enough money with notes to retire wealthy at the young age of 28.
Shortly after, his personal mentor passed away. Through his will, he requested that Russ
take over his financial education company. Out of deep gratitude for the man who helped him make his fortune, Russ agreed to step in on a trial basis. He soon discovered that helping others to achieve financial freedom was more rewarding and exhilarating than anything he had done before. While his teaching career began simply as a personal service project, Russ Dalbey decided to come out of retirement and dedicate his life to helping as many people as possible achieve financial freedom. In fact, Russ has recently set a goal for himself of helping 1,000 people become new millionaires in the next 10 years.
Russ has been teaching his moneymaking method now for almost two decades, and is considered among the leading educators and experts in the cash flow note field today. He is truly delighted to bring his vision, experience, knowledge, and energy to anyone who is just discovering the note business for the first time – people who are looking for a better way to live and love life.
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