If you’ve got a windfall coming from the IRS and don’t want to watch it disappear as you spend an extra $50 or $100 here or there, we’ve got some plans that can turn your refund into lifelong memories, earn you money in the long run or both, all while spending time doing what you want to do.

Tackle one home improvement project

We’ve all got a list of things we’d like to do around the house. Maybe you’d like a deck for grilling once the winter lets up, or you’d like a more welcoming front entryway to your home, or you’d like to drag the kitchen into the 21st century. Talk to your spouse, your kids or whoever might enjoy what you’re planning to build. See what they have to say and what their interest levels might be in helping you out. Once you come up with a plan, watch some YouTube videos to make sure it’s something you can handle, and then mark your calendar. Set times to work, and make it a family project. By the time you’ve finished, you’ll have improved the value of your home, spent time building something tangible with your family, and you won’t have to suffer through a summer without your deck.

If you can’t think of a fun project your kids might enjoy, what about building a wood-fired outdoor pizza oven? They’re simple enough to assemble, the kids will definitely enjoy it and most home kitchens are ill-suited to making really good pizza.

Once that project is done, you can always go back for more. If everyone had a great time, take a look at what’s next on your list and tackle that. Once your ambition to improve your home outpaces your refund, come see us about a home equity loan or line of credit, and we’ll help you turn your house into the home of your dreams.

Take a parents’ weekend

Getting an evening away from the kids can be difficult, and a weekend might seem impossible, but it doesn’t have to be that way. If you haven’t tried it yet, Airbnb has made it easier than ever to find a great rate on a place to stay, even at the last minute. Guys: You get bonus points if you take her somewhere for Valentine’s Day. When was the last time she got to wear her favorite dress or jewelry?.

If you’re looking for an inexpensive getaway, try New Orleans. It’s got haunted tours, antiquing and brass bands during the day, while still offering you world-class restaurants (Commander’s Palace is a must for upscale restaurants, Mother’s Po Boys for downscale, and try the chargrilled oysters at Acme for a taste you can’t get at home that is priced right in the middle) and Bourbon Street at night.

Encourage a gifted child

Many families find that they’d rather splurge on the kids than on themselves. If that’s the case, why not use your tax refund to invest in your child’s future? Purchase an instrument, a trainer or a tutor for a child who’s shown an interest in a special activity. Beyond admissions, talents your child can demonstrate will also help him or her get scholarships, making the investment you put in today a sound one financially.

If your child hasn’t displayed any specific interests, this might be a chance to spark something. You could try paying for a school trip, which seems to happen every other month, or even take a family trip to Europe. If you still can’t figure out what they’d like, you could always put the money into their college fund. We offer several tax-exempt programs, which would let this year’s refund come off of next year’s taxes while it earns interest toward their inevitably enormous tuition bill, which many experts think will be around $250,000 by 2030.



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