Some shoes are fabulous, some are just plain uncomfortable. That in itself is a lot like finance.
We asked some top female money managers what they would do with a $2500 tax refund, given that the Australian Tax Office expects that will be this year’s average payout to individuals.
The findings may surprise you.
Typically financial planners recommend using extra cash from this year’s tax refund to reduce debt, boost lagging superannuation funds and invest in shares or a managed fund.
But sometimes it’s the un-A-typical responses that are just refreshing, especially when they provide a reason to spend wisely.
Start the Christmas shop early
“People often get to October or November and go crazy Christmas shopping only to pay for it in January as their credit card bills come in,” said Dianne Charman from AMP Financial Planning.
“So consider kick starting your Christmas fund early. All it involves is getting organised and plus it’s fun to spend.”
Investing in your health
Dianne also recommends investing in your health.
“This is the best investment you can make. If there are things you are putting off, such as getting new glasses or fixing your teeth. Any extra money spent on your health could be put to really good use,” said Ms Charman.
Invest in your education
“If you don’t have any debt and you don’t want to invest in the market, then maybe invest in education,” said Deborah Kent of Integra Financial Services.
“Look at doing a course to invest in yourself. I’m a big believer in learning, then maybe that increases your job prospects.
“Ideally invest in markets, superannuation and yourself first, rather than immediately on a pair of shoes,” she said.
Saving for the money goals
Dominique Bergel-Grant of Leapfrog Financial says if you have a money goal consider putting aside 20% of your extra cash towards it. This might be towards a deposit for a property.
She then recommends rewarding yourself by spending 80% of that extra money on an item that you’ve already been saving for such as that handbag, watch or holiday.
Buy early to get discounts
Natallia Smith from AssetPlan recommends taking advantage of early bird discounts on conference tickets to events that could really boost your business and employment prospects.
She also likes the idea of prepaying insurances such as income protection insurance to ensure a discount and potentially a tax deduction.
Aim to get a better tax refund next year
Finally, if you just managed to scrape in a tax refund for the financial year, why not put that money towards paying for an accountant in the new tax year.
This might help you to get back more money from your taxable income, then you achieved this financial year. Plus the cost of using an accountant is tax deductible in the year after.