Use Your Tax Refund for a Staycation and Bank the Rest

Tax Tips

Everyone is talking about Spring Break. Are you expecting a big refund this year? Did you get back a couple grand from Uncle Sam? Nice. Now you’ve got a couple of things to consider. First, consider adjusting your Federal tax withholding so you don’t give the government an interest free loan with your money. Second, you need to decide what to do with this years funds. Hopefully you haven’t already spent those funds. 😉

Many people want to take their tax return money and take a vacation. I think this is a great idea. Using extra money for a life experience is A OK in my book. However, you don’t have to spend all of your tax refund on an expensive vacation. You could take a stay-cation instead, and possibly save half of your federal tax refund money for other financial needs (i.e. college savings, emergency fund, retirement, etc.)

When I say stay-cation, I’m not talking about sitting on your couch for a week. Here’s more of what I mean:

Book a Hotel “Downtown” – The prices at many downtown hotels drop dramatically over the weekend. Get out of your ‘burbs and live in the city for a few days. Visit museums, see a fine arts show or concert, eat at the 5 star restaurants. Experience the best of what your own town has to offer.

Rent a Lakehouse or Cabin – If you have a lake nearby, search for a house or cabin to rent. Hop in the car and bring your own food. Do some hiking, biking or fishing with your free time. Or, just relax and read a few books.

Find a Local Bed and Breakfast – Sometimes all we need for a recharge is for someone to make our bed and cook us breakfast. If you’re staying close by, the transportation costs will be low, and you can splurge a bit on a nice place. If you’ve ever wanted to enjoy the experience of staying in a nice, older home, now is your chance.

Visit a Nearby State Park – There are thousands of State parks funded by your tax dollars. Have you ever made use of them? If you’re afraid of the tent camping, look for a park with cabins. Nightly site rentals are very inexpensive.

Hopefully you’ll find an idea in there that you like. Enjoy the experience of your stay-cation and feel good knowing you’ve got some money left over for savings or other financial needs.

Comments (24) Leave your comment

  1. If I had an unlimited refund, I would open businesses to get people back to work. It seems like there are not a lot of investment happening with small businesses in Minnesota and it’s depressing some areas of the state. I think there is a ton of opportunities to invest right now which could strengthen some of these communities.

  2. If I had unlimited tax refund, I would want to do a little for everyone. Send my wife away to a nice weekend spa. Send my children to Apple for new iPhones or some other gadgetry. Send my parents on a nice trip. They have earned it. As for me, if the sky is truly the limit, a nice Ford Mustang Shelby Convertible sounds about right! Oh to dream. I guess a nice trip to WalMart without the guilt would be more realist.

  3. I woul buy my first home with a beautiful yard that I could have an awesome swingset for my kids and a spot for a pretty garden… And a new van. Then do either a big vacation to Disney with the kids and maybe a trip for just me n the hubby to Ireland.. But the staycations a wonderful idea as well.. Our city has alot for families to do. Would be nice to take in the city with a baseball game and trip to the zoo and childrens museum. Ahh

  4. If I had an unlimited refund I would help my parents go on a much deserved trip. My parents have been there for me through the good and bad times…and I would love for them to enjoy themselves. I would probably also get an ipad!

  5. With an unlimited refund, I would love to take my family on a trip around the world. Each family member could pick what they want to do and we would work that into the itinerary. I think it’s important that each person is able to visit somewhere they’ve always dreamed of. I would also put money into a college fund so that my children’s educational future was taken care of.

    1. Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or smhetoing. I think that you can do with some pics to drive the message home a little bit, but instead of that, this is fantastic blog. A great read. I’ll definitely be back.

      1. Thank you Jose. We are glad you enjoyed it. Check back for more interesting topics.
        Lisa Greene-Lewis

  6. I would pay off all my debts if I had an unlimited refund then also throw a party to celebrate being debt-free 🙂

  7. If I had an unlimited refund, I’d like to get started on getting my first house. I want a place that I can really call home – my home, that is. But, I’d also love to take a trip to Europe. I’ve never been and have been yearning to go. I’m not getting any younger, so I need to go soon if it’s ever going to happen. Europe is no “staycation,” of course, but this is assuming I got an unlimited refund!

  8. If I had an unlimited refund, I would put some money in the savings account (rainy day fund), put some aside for a house down payment, pay off the cars, buy new curtains and take the family to Disney!! 🙂

  9. Where would I go with an unlimited refund? Since the topic is staycation, I’d put some money back into the local economy and enjoy a vacation in my own backyard – Florida (especially two places in Apalachicola: The Gibson Inn and Boss Oyster).

  10. I would use an unlimited refund to pay off credit cards. That would be the best! I would use what some call a “loan to the government” to pay off my credit!

    Also, I’d probably buy some fun technology products. Because that’s what I do.

  11. If it was a LARGE refund, I’d split it and give half to each of my daughters. One is on a very tight budget due to huge college loan debt (teachers don’t get paid near enough IMHO) and the other is a financially-strapped college student with 1.5 years to go before graduation.

  12. I hope I’m in the right place…

    If I had an unlimited refund, first thing I’d do is set money aside for a down payment on a car for my hubby. His truck is on it’s last leg… next I’d set money aside for our 4yo twins’ college funds. They’re going to need a whole lot of money by the time they’re old enough to attend college. Last thing I’d do is put some money aside so our family could take a vacation to Washington DC so we could show the girls some of the origins of our country.

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