How Will You Spend Your Tax Return?

Ida Hollis via Getty Images

Tax season is upon us...what you do with your return reveals more than you think!

With tax season upon us, the question you
might hear is, “How will you spend your tax refund?” You’d be wrong if
you thought that most people head to the mall for a new outfit or
electronic device. In fact, Bankrate.com
reported, “more than a third (34 percent) of tax refund recipients plan
to use the money to pay down debt. Another 33 percent plan to save or
invest the tax cash.”

So, why is this not surprising to me? I have studied financial
personalities via a simple quiz I developed for parents and kids, which
is featured in my book, Money Doesn’t Grow On Trees: A Parent’s Guide to Raising Financially Responsible Children.
Why is this information important? Well, in 1994, it was the first of
its kind. Additionally, it can be a great indicator for how you might
handle your tax refund this year.

In continually reviewing the results of this financial personality
quiz, I found that we are really connected by the way we handle money,
and not via our socio-economic status in life, as one would think. I am
not, by the way, talking about the impoverished population that is
struggling for survival.

History and literature are full of references to the greedy and the
generous, so much so that we can call upon examples of both traits just
by mentioning names. Say “Scrooge” and people will automatically think
“tight wad.” Say, Warren Buffett or Bill Gates and you may think of a
description on the opposite side of the spectrum, such as “generous.”

Most of us don’t fall into either extreme. We neither hide in the
dark to avoid giving away a few dollars’ worth of candy the way Archie
Bunker did in the 1970’s TV show, All In The Family, nor do we
have universities named after us, like the Carnegie’s. But we all have
our own special relationship to money. Simplistically, we are either a
saver or a spender. And whichever we are, that attitude toward money is
going to influence the way you raise your children to think about
money.

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