Saturday, March 15, 2014

Using Your Tax Refund for Your Prepping

If you are one of those lucky people who get a tax refund, consider yourself blessed. I do! I didn't get as much back as last year and I am perfectly okay with that. However, my tax refund goes towards stocking and restocking my house as well as the necessities and priorities that need to be taken care of.

New shelving! One of last year's purchases!

First of all, if you are in debt, please pay off your debts first. I know there can be some exceptions to this rule. One exception I would make is if you have a need to purchase a vehicle. I think it is far better to purchase a vehicle for cash instead of making payments. I think it is far better to pay cash for anything than to charge it or pay interest.

Second, if you do not have any savings, put $500-$1000 in savings for emergencies. If you need to, put it in a different bank or a difficult to assess area in your home. Emergencies arise all the time and that money may come in handy in September.

Third, make a priority list. What is your most pressing needs for your household and your property? Be sure to take care of your family's needs first. Think about these things:
     What do you need for your food storage?
     What do you need to stock up on (sanitary items, health & beauty items, cleaning products)?
     What do your kids need in the way of clothes and shoes for the next year?
     What do you and/or significant other need in the way of clothes and shoes for the next year?
     What purchases do you anticipate for this next year?
     What repairs do you need to make to your home?
     What security measures do you need to make to your home (deadlocks, driveway alarms, peepholes, security cameras, new door locks, new windows, privacy fence/shrubbery, etc.)?
      If you have pets or livestock, what are their needs for the year (vet visits, litter, food, equipment, etc.)?
      What do you need to do your property (garden, trees, fencing, etc.)?

The list could go on, but from that list, figure out your priorities. What is most important? To me, feeding and clothing my family is at the top of my list and will be taken care of first. Then I work on the rest of the list. Right now, I am focusing on saving for a vehicle, a place for my chickens that I am ordering, a place for the dog for when we are not home, a compost area, and my garden (a tiller!).

Fourth, make a budget for your refund. Do your research on cost of items. Also remember, just because you have the money doesn't necessarily mean you need to buy brand new everything. I actually prefer used goods most of the time because of the cost savings. Make your money work for you and stretch it out!

Lastly, have some fun with your refund! The government is paying you despite the flawed logic in that concept. Take the family out for a movie or a fun day at the local amusement park. You don't have to go crazy (unless you already are, like me!), but some fun family time creates a lot of memories and does a lot of good for the morale!

With a little planning, prioritizing, and creativity, your refund can go a long ways towards helping you prepare. However, purchasing what you need or want does not do you any good unless you actually use those things and practice with them. Make wise decisions and have some fun with it!

Thanks for reading!
Erica

Thrifty Thursday Square

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