DENVER (CBS4) – With the average refund being $3,000, many can’t wait to get their hands on that money. But spending the refund is one option. Another option is to use the money to make some more money.

Getting a refund may feel good, but it’s really a return of a year-long, interest-free loan that was given to Uncle Sam. So adjusting the withholding so there’s not a large refund next year is a good idea.

The following are some good ideas on how to use that refund for this year:

— Start with the basics. Replenish emergency reserves. Keep six to 12 months worth of living expenses in savings or money market account.

— Pay down credit cards or student loan debt.

— Boost retirement contributions like to 401k or 457 plans.

Those who are over the age of 50 can also use that tax refund to fund an IRA or a Roth IRA. The limit is $5,000 or $6,000 for those over the age of 50.

For college, fund a 529 plan. That money grows tax-free and withdrawals used to pay for college are not taxed.

Homeowner can use the refund for a small project with a big return. One example is replacing a front door with a strong steel door. That will see more than 70 percent of the cost returned. Another good home improvement return is replacing a garage door with an upscale version.


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