Ah, the great tax refund. Not really seen outside of America, but a welcome bonus all the same. If you get one, what do you do with it?
I know, I know. If you do your taxes right, you wouldn't get a refund. Yeah, but the government gives credits for kids and putting money away in a 401K. That is 90% of my tax refund. If you do get one and you don't have kids, you should probably examine the reasons why.
Anyway, being a prepper, this little bonus is a welcome sight for knocking out some big prepping goals. What are your prepping goals? Only you know and you should know the priority of what you need to purchase. However, I can give you plenty of ideas in case you need direction!
25 Ideas For Spending Your Tax Refund Like A Prepper
1. Get caught up on your bills. Except for basic preparedness (food, water, shelter, security), nothing is quite as important as financial preparedness. You don't need the stress of bills on top of everything else. Get caught up on your bills.
2. Get out of debt. This is the same as #1 except that when you get out of debt, you have more money for savings and prepping!
3. Pay ahead on future expenses. This is also a great thing to do for financial preparedness. In case you lose your job or have unexpected changes to your financial status, you will have some of your future bills paid already. That would be a nice weight off your shoulders.
4. Make necessary repairs to your home. Keeping our shelter in good repair is critical in preparedness. You need to fix what needs to be fixed and to maintain what needs maintenance. If you have windows that need replacing, now is a good time to do it. If you need to replace a door, a good time also. If you need to replace some shingles, now is better than in a storm.
5. Perform necessary maintenance to your vehicles. Your vehicles can be the difference between life and death. You could be driving away from a natural disaster or stuck on the side of the road. Taking care of your vehicles should be a top priority.
6. Buy the generator. Whether you decide to buy a portable generator or a whole-house generator, they are nice to have as a back-up when the power goes out.
7. Starting converting to solar power. You can start by buying one panel, one inverter, and a few batteries for storage. This will help reduce your electricity bill as well as give you options when the power goes out. You can also purchase some portable solar chargers and panels for the smaller items in your home.
8. Put in a wood stove. While some municipalities and insurance companies are not down with wood stoves, the ability to heat your home and cook your food with a wood stove is wonderful. Once you make the initial investment and get it installed, you will save money and gain peace of mind with having a wood stove for primary or secondary heat.
9. Put together your emergency fund and cash stashes. This is also very important to have. You should have at least $1000 in your emergency fund to cover any contingencies. You should have emergency cash stashes in small bills and coins just in case you cannot access cash or cannot use your debit card.
10. Double your water storage. If you have an electric well pump or rely on a city/rural water tower, you need to have your water storage. There are many ways to increase your water storage including putting in a hand pump for your well, putting up a rain catchment system, buying 55-gallon food-safe barrels for water storage, or just buying bottles and gallon jugs of water.
11. Double your food storage. Food will always be a necessity. You should diversify your food storage so if you have your eye on the long-term freeze-dried food storage, now is a great time to purchase.
12. Up your home and personal security. This can be purchasing a weapon, adding a deadbolt to your front door, and more. Think about your personal and home security and what you need. Then remember to think about it in layers. One year, we added a bunch of outdoor lighting and motion-sensing lights. It makes a huge difference to our property and makes it harder for people to hide.
13. Take a class or attend a conference that will help improve your skills and knowledge. Skills and knowledge are everything in preparedness. You need to have them and taking a class is sometimes the best way to learn. It also can be a great way to meet like-minded people!
14. Purchase the materials to start growing your own food. If you want to put in a garden, that can take an investment. Whether you decide to put in raised beds, dig in the existing ground, or use containers, you will need supplies to start gardening. You may need to purchase soil and soil amendments. You will certainly need tools. This might be the year to purchase a tiller. You will always need plants and seeds.
15. Do you need to remodel? Some people like to remodel and some people need to remodel. Think about if you need to hunker down inside the house for days. What about your home needs to change? Do you need more room? Do you need a better set-up in the kitchen? Are the stairs going to take out someone in a hurry? There is more to think about, but this is your home and it needs to be able to take care of you too. Spend the money to take care of the trouble areas.
16. Put in an outdoor kitchen. If you don't have power, you need a place to cook. If you can't have or afford a wood stove, you need different options. With a protected outdoor kitchen, you can set up a grill, propane burners, an outdoor wood burner, a fire pit, a brick oven, a sink or outdoor water faucets, and more so you have a place to cook. You can also use this for canning and entertaining too.
17. Buy books for your reference library and your personal knowledge. Books are so important. If you don't have access to the internet, you will be going back to the old days of having a library. Start with whatever you are interested in as well as nice well-rounded books.
18. Save the money for a down payment or to purchase a different property. Let's face it. Some places are just not safe to live. Imagine a crisis or a natural disaster. How much worse will that area become? Some people need a bug-out shelter or just to find a different place to live altogether. Save the money to make that happen.
19. Spend the money on your health. Your health is one of the most preps you can take care of. However, some health problems are not cured with good food and walking. You may need a procedure or surgery to fix what is wrong. Now would be a good time to get that taken care of.
20. Purchase camping equipment and actually use it. I don't normally advocate this, but you do need to know how to survive away from home. Knowing how to use a tent, start a fire, cook outside and more is crucial. These skills are being lost. Camping may seem like a hassle or just a lot of trouble, but you and your family need to know these survival skills.
21. Purchase a different vehicle. This may seem like it is not a prep, but your vehicle is important. Having a reliable vehicle is important for evacuations, bugging out, and daily life. If you can, find a vehicle that can handle your family, the stuff you would need to bug-out with, and all sorts of weather conditions.
22. Work on your first-aid kit and supplies. Most of us have a basic first-aid kit. However, there is always more you want to add to it that may seem like it is out of your price range or not as important as other things. Now would be a good time to get that birth kit, surgery kit, and more to add to your first aid supplies.
23. Do you have hazmat personal protection equipment and gas masks? You never know when you will need these. You may just need to work with some hazardous materials or chemicals that could scar your lungs or burn your skin. You may need them for a pandemic. Either way, having suits and masks for everyone in the house is very important.
24. Buy yourself a good pair of shoes that you love to wear. Seriously. Footwear is somewhat ignored in the prepping world, but good footwear makes a huge difference. Your legs will not hurt. You can be on your feet longer. You can walk longer. In addition to great footwear (I'm a diehard Keens fan), buy good comfy socks too. Socks make a big difference too!
25. What else do you need to purchase? What do you have coming up that you need extra money for? I always have a list of things I should be purchasing or needs to be replaced. I can also look at the calendar and see some future needs coming up (like a kid going to college). Every prepper is different and we all have some different needs due to where we are in life. Just make sure you are prepped for it!
This also goes for bonuses you get at work and more! Put your extra money to use instead of wasting it on unnecessary items or shopping trips. While I don't think a vacation is out of order for most people, make sure your priorities are straight and you are taken care of first before you see the world.
What are you spending your tax refund on?
Thanks for reading,
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