Be Money-Smart: 10 Ways to Use Your Tax Refund

ROCK ISLAND, Ill., March 7, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- You worked hard in 2015. Your taxes will be filed well in advance of April 15. Now it's time to ponder what you might do with your tax refund when it finds its way to your bank account. "There are many ways to spend your tax refund, so think clearly before making that decision," says Cynthia Tidwell, President and CEO of Royal Neighbors of America, one of the largest women-led life insurers in the U. S. "Because you never know what the future holds, it's wise to put your refund to good use."

10 Ways to Use Your Tax Refund
1. Create (or add to) your emergency fund
Emergencies come in all shapes and sizes and can render us helpless on a variety of financial levels. That's why it's so important to have money set aside for whatever difficulties we might experience. If you're not much of a saver, now is the time to begin building up an account of at least six month's worth of take-home pay. At some point, you will probably need it.

2. Fund an individual retirement account
Regardless of your age, funding an individual retirement account is important. Putting your refund to work through an IRA will get you a step closer to a comfortable retirement…whenever that day comes. Help is available if you're interested in calculating how much you'll need to retire.

3. Pay off credit cards (holiday debt)
The gift-giving season is over for another year and now the bills are here. And, you may have bills left over from 2015. Get those off the books and become debt-free now with the help of your refund.

4. Add to (or purchase) life insurance
Life insurance is not typically a subject people want to talk about. But, if you are a caregiver, if you have children, or if your family counts on your income, you need life insurance. Find out how much life insurance is right for your situation. If you do have life insurance, it's always a good idea to review your coverage so it fits your current needs.

5. Pay off college loans
Even if you're regularly paying down your (or your children's) college debt, add some extra from your refund.

6. Give to your favorite charity
We all have a cause that's meaningful to us and needs our help. What better way to use your refund than to help others?

7. Begin (or add to) your children's scholarship fund
The cost of a college education continues to rise and starting a fund for your children (or yourself) should be on your radar if it isn't already. Using your tax refund would be a good place to begin.

8. Pay off your car (or start a car fund)
If you have a car payment try to at least reduce the debt now. If your car has seen better days, or if you see another car in your future because your teen will be driving soon, begin a car fund now so you'll be prepared.

9. Make home improvements
There are many reasons for updating your home. You may need to expand for a new baby, your mother-in-law, or an office. You may be thinking of downsizing and improvements may help ease the sale of your current home. And, big-ticket items around your home typically don't last forever so your refund can be put toward a new roof, siding, garage door, furnace/air conditioner, etc.

10. Pay ahead on your mortgage
The more money you put toward your house payment, the sooner it will be paid off and you'll save on interest, too!

About Royal Neighbors
Royal Neighbors of America, one of the nation's largest women-led life insurers, empowers women to meet the needs of their families with annuities and life insurance products such as whole life, simplified issue, and universal life. Royal Neighbors was founded in 1895 and is headquartered in Rock Island, IL, with a branch office in Mesa, AZ. For more information, visit or call (800) 627-4762.

A photo accompanying this release is available at:

CONTACT: Rita Toalson (309) 732-8376

Source:Royal Neighborsof America