Note: This blog was originally published in March 2014 and has been updated.

Not many people like filing their taxes, but there is a bright spot to completing all those forms: getting that sweet, sweet refund. You can use the money any way you’d like, but why not put it towards having a more financially stable future? Here are some great ways you can get the most out of your tax refund.

Whenever you come into extra money, it’s always a wise decision to pay off any existing debt you may have. Reducing your debt will help improve your credit score, which in turn will make it easier for you to be approved for a mortgage, car loan, or even a job. If you already own a home, put some of the extra cash towards paying off your mortgage. Applying extra payments toward to your debts now will allow you to save money going forward, because you’ll be paying down the principal and any interest that has accumulated. Having less debt not only gives you more financial freedom, but also more peace of mind.

Buying a home involves more than the cost of the actual house, and two such fees you will need to consider are down payment and closing costs. While it might not be necessary to have a 20% down payment anymore, you should still try to save at least 3-5%, and closing costs are typically 2-5% of the home price. Depending on the price of the home you want, this can be a sizable amount of money. If you put your refund towards your house fund and continue to add to it, you’ll soon save enough to cover all expenses of buying a house.

Another practical use for your refund is to finance home repairs or improvements. Most households have at least one feature that needs to be fixed or updated, and you’ll increase your home’s livability by making those needed repairs. Maintaining the upkeep of your home and making improvements can add to your home’s equity. The cost of the upgrade could even be tax deductible; you should speak with a tax preparer to see what you’re qualified to deduct. If it comes time to sell your home, it will only benefit you to already have everything in good shape.

It may be tempting to blow your refund check on a huge TV or an extravagant dinner, but consider investing in your financial future instead. By spending your refund on things that can make positive and lasting changes to your life, you can make your money work for you!

If you have any questions about using your tax return to purchase a home or for home improvements, contact one of our licensed Mortgage Loan Originators. If you are ready to begin the home buying process, click here to get started!

NFM Lending is not a Financial Adviser or Tax Consultant.  Please make sure to consult your own Financial Adviser or Tax Consultant regarding the use of your personal tax refund.

Now that tax season is over, you may be wondering what to do with your tax return. A great way to put your tax return to good use is to invest in home renovations that you may have been putting off. Here are several ways you can get the most out of your tax return and home renovation projects.

Preventative Maintenance
If your house has any safety hazards, address these first. Check your home for anything that could lead to a falling accident, such as broken handrails or cracked walkways. Test your electrical outlets, check your gutters and downspouts, and look for any wear and tear on your water pipes in the kitchen, bathrooms, and laundry room. If you haven’t inspected your roof recently, consider having an inspection done. It costs a few hundred dollars, and can save you thousands in repairs later on.

Renovations under $500
If you’re looking to keep your expenses under $500, consider some of these inexpensive home renovations.

Renovations under $1,000
If you have a $1,000 budget, try these home renovations.

Renovations under $2,500
If you’re looking for a more dramatic change, check out some of these renovations under $2,500.

Spring isn’t just a great time for spring cleaning, but a great time to update and renovate your house. This is especially a good idea if you’re planning to put your house on the market soon. If you’re looking to move or refinance your current home, talk to one of our licensed loan originators today to get started.

If you have just gotten your tax refund or plan to receive one soon you should start thinking of ways to use your money responsibly—or just treat yourself! According to the Internal Revenue Service, the average individual tax refund was $2,651. Here are 8 ways to use your tax refund this year:

1) Save Your Money

You can’t go wrong with putting your tax refund in savings. If you are trying to build your savings, consider putting at least some of this money in your savings account. Are you looking to buy a home soon? Maybe you should put this money toward your down payment.

2) Pay off Debt

Paying off some debt may be the most common way people use their tax refund. If you know you have bills that need to be paid right away, put this money directly toward that.

3) Plan That Trip You’ve Always Wanted

Enjoy a vacation on an island like the Bahamas or take your partner on a romantic getaway to Paris! Everyone deserves to treat themselves occasionally.

4) Upgrade Your Technology

This is the perfect time to splurge! Get that new television for your family room, or a new laptop. Have you had your eyes on one of the larger more advanced cell phones?  Go ahead and purchase it, along with some great accessories. There’s nothing wrong with keeping up with the ever-changing digital times!

5) Donate Your Money

Consider putting some of your money toward a local charity organization. Remember donating your time is just as important as donating your money.

6) Take a Class

Do you wish you knew more about the business world? Try taking a management class at your local community college. You could also express your creative side by taking a cooking or arts and crafts class. You’re never too old to learn new things!

7) Update a Room in Your House

Is your bedroom design starting to bore you? Splurge on a fresh coat of paint, new linens, and new artwork. If you want to give your kitchen a facelift, try replacing the cabinet doors. A little bit of money can go a long way toward making cosmetic changes in a room.

8) Dedicate Yourself to Fitness

Join a gym, and put money aside to cover the cost of a year’s membership—this way you won’t have to worry how you’re going to pay for it in the future. If you’d rather workout at home, consider buying a treadmill or an elliptical machine.


Hopefully you consider using your tax refund money in one of these ways or even use a combination of these tips. Whichever one you choose, make sure you’re using your refund in a way that makes you comfortable.