For the first time in my income earning life, I plan on spending my tax refund on something fun in 2015. Every time I did get a tax refund I would just put it away in savings or pay down debt. That’s pretty boring, especially since I’m already a saving fiend, spending only 30% of my gross income and banking the rest.
My federal tax refund isn’t large at around $500 bucks. I’m happy with this amount as it’s a good balance between not giving the government more than they should get and being large enough that I can do something fun with it. My California tax refund is much larger because California is broke and screwed us in 2010 by withholding more than they should have to pay their debts.
Despite California taking more than they should, I’m still happy to get my money back. Just a year ago, California issued IOUs! We learned from a previous article that the average tax refund is $3,000. I also highlighted some practical things to do with your tax refund such as get more education and invest in a business. Unfortunately, I’m sick of being financially savvy at the moment and there’s no way I’m going to pursue my PhD!
WHAT I’LL BLOW MY TAX REFUND ON
I think I have a savings problem and don’t spend enough on life. I plan to write more about this savings problem in a future post. But in the mean time, I’ve decided to use any windfalls to live it up! I’ve decided to take a week off and go to Hawaii with someone special next month!
* $1,300: Two economy round-trip tickets to Kauai.
* $1,500: Five nights at some resort (off peak). Staying with friends for the other couple nights.
* $700: Food for two for seven days and six nights.
* $800: Adventures such as taking a catamaran around the island, helicopter tours, para-sailing, and hiking tours.
* $700: Cash for whatever the heck that comes up.
That’s $4,300 of my tax refund right there that I’m not going to use to do anything financially savvy. Shoot, I guess $5,000 is a lot to splurge on after adding everything up, but darn it, I’m trying not to care and forcing myself to spend! I plan on fulfilling one of my resolutions to take 6 weeks off again in 2011 and this Hawaii trip will get me one third of the way there.
MONEY IS JUST A MEDIUM OF EXCHANGE
There are endless opportunities to make more money. The problem with me, and many of my friends is that we get so wrapped up with what we are doing at work and the side-gigs we have that we forget to live it up a little. The irony is that the better we do, the more is asked of us and the more we have to do!
Taking 6 weeks off in 2010 was one of the best decisions of my life. I felt rejuvenated, relaxed, and full of vigor. The freedom to chase storms and paradise upped my joy of work one more notch. It made me realize again the reason why vacations are so fun is because of work and vice versa. Here’s to splurging!
RESOURCES FOR A BETTER LIFE
Manage Your Finances In One Place: The best way to build wealth is to get a handle on your finances by signing up with Personal Capital. They are a free online platform which aggregates all your financial accounts in one place so you can see where you can optimize. Before Personal Capital, I had to log into eight different systems to track 28 different accounts (brokerage, multiple banks, 401K, etc) to track my finances. Now, I can just log into Personal Capital to see how my stock accounts are doing, how my net worth is progressing, and where I’m spending my money.
The best feature is their 401K Fee Analyzer which is saving me over $1,000+ a year in portfolio fees I didn’t know I was paying. The future is never going to be certain. But at the very least, we can stay on top of our money so we’re prepared for whatever comes at us. Personal Capital only takes a minute to sign up and it’s free. No other tool has helped me reach financial independence more than Personal Capital
Negotiate A Severance Package: Never quit your job, get laid off instead if you want to move on. Negotiating a severance package provided me with six years worth of living expenses to help me focus on my online media business. Check out my book, How To Engineer Your Layoff: Make A Small Fortune By Saying Good-bye. The book provides solid strategies for how you too, can escape a job you hate with money in your pocket.
Looking to go on a nice vacation? I’ve got a fantastic five diamond rated two bedroom, two bathroom condominium at The Resort At Squaw Creek in Lake Tahoe. There’s ski-in/ski-out, three outdoor hot tubs, three heated pools, a spa, a gym, several gourmet restaurants, fantastic children and family activities, a golf course on site, amazing hiking, kayaking, rafting, fishing, biking, and more! Lake Tahoe is one of the best places to vacation on Earth.
You can rent out my place as a studio (two queens), one bedroom (one king, a pullout queen, fireplace, two TVs, kitchenette, dining table, two rooms), or entire two bedroom unit (studio and one bedroom combined). Click the links for availability and click this post to see pictures and information about my place. My prices are ~15% lower than anywhere you’ll find online!
It’s 2015. Time to live it up a little now that we’ve fully recovered from the financial meltdown.