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It’s the time of year where people start to get their tax refunds in. If you’re anything like me and the Hubs then you usually spend it all before you can even figure out where it all went. While there’s nothing wrong with that I have found in recent years that the best way for us is to pick a few small things to do when we first get our tax refund and then save the rest. So today I’m going to share with you my 5 Ways to Spend Your Tax Refund.
Have a small Pamper
One of the first things that I do when we get our tax refund back is to have a small pamper for us both. This can include a new cut/color for my hair, a trip to a spa or new makeup for myself and shaving items for the Hubs. Whatever we decide to do we try to keep it relatively budget friendly. While I would love to head to a beauty store and spend hundreds of dollars on makeup, I instead choose to head to Walmart and pickup just a few items that I want to test out for myself or the blog. This trip I picked up a Real Techniques Kabuki Brush, Rimmel Radiant BB Cream, OPI Gel Off Base Coat, OPI Nail Polish in The Sky’s My Limit, OPI Nail Polish in Bold, Freeman Honeydew and Chamomile Sleeping Mask, and Freeman Diamond Mineral Mask.
Indulge in Reading
Another thing that we have taken to doing in recent years is picking up several books that either one or the both of us would love to read. We usually include that in our Walmart trip as they usually have great prices on books and a great selection for everyone. This trip we picked up Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King, Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn, and Divergent by Veronica Roth.
Get Out of Expensive Contracts
This year we decided to use part of our tax refund to get out of some of the expensive contracts that we were under. We decided that since we don’t watch the majority of the channels that we pay for on satellite to get out of that and switch to an online streaming service. We also decided to get out of the expensive contract that we were under with our cell phone provider and switch to a pay-as-you-go service. While you might be thinking “Uh won’t that be super expensive to go with a pay-as-you-go as you have to buy the phone?” Keep reading and I’ll tell you why it won’t be!
Pick Out a Carrier and Get Service
We decided to go with the Walmart Family Mobile service because it not only allowed for us to bring our phones from our now terminated carrier but also it wound up having the lowest priced unlimited plans. We were able to get the activation kit for only $25 and the unlimited talk, text & data service plan (which includes up to 500MB of 4G LTE data) is only $29.88/month for the first line and $19.88 for each additional line (up to five lines total per account) and the date isn’t shared!
Getting our Walmart Family Mobile service going was very easy. First we called our local Walmart to make sure that they did indeed have the Walmart Family Mobile in store (not all do). Once we got there we headed to that store’s designated mobile area, for some it’s in the back of the store but for others there might be an actual Mobile Center at the front of the store. We looked for the display above to make sure that we were picking up the right product.
Once you get to the display you have the option of purchasing one of the Walmart Family Mobile Phones, they have several to choose from like the Samsung Galaxy Avant which is only $149 and the ZTE Zinger which is now $19.84! Or you can choose to get one of the Walmart Family Mobile Starter Kits which are only $25 and work with GSM phones. We chose to get the Starter Kit so that we could just swap out the SIM cards in my already purchased HTC Rezound.
One you have your starter kit you can check with your store to see if they offer activation and the purchasing of your plan there, ours did, or you can open your kit when you’re near your computer and go to the site printed inside your kit. You’ll need to make sure you have your ID, the IMEI from your phone (new or old), the number for the new SIM card, and the activation code from inside your Start Kit. It literally took me less than 10 minutes to go through the process!
After activating your SIM card you have to install it, which is super easy to do. First you have to figure out where your SIM card is, for some it is on the side while for others it’s underneath the battery. If your SIM card is on the side all you have to do is power down your phone, slide the current SIM card out and slide the new in the exact way the old one came out. If your SIM card is under your battery you’re agin going to want to turn off the phone and then flip it over and take off the back.
Once you pop the back off the phone you should see your battery. Simply remove that and you should then see the spot where your old SIM card is. My phone had a little indent that I had to push in while sliding out the SIM card and I was then able to slide the new one in the exact same way the old one was in. This is very important because it can still fit in the phone the wrong way but the phone won’t recognize it because it can’t read it. If this happens, simply start back at powering off your phone and this time when you slide out the SIM card check for a small diagram around the SIM card to make sure that you are in fact putting it in correctly.
After installing the SIM card just put everything back together and turn the phone back on and viola you now have service. Don’t mind the TMobile that it says there, it just shows you that it does in fact work as Walmart Family Mobile pulls off of TMobile towers!
Make sure to save some of that tax refund for any future things that happen. We actually just had to replace a switch on our heater because it went out and started blowing cold air. Having extra money on hand for things like that is better, in my opinion, then having to scrimp and scrounge to try to make sure everything is okay.
Disclaimer: All prices for phones and plans included in this post are accurate as of the date of posting; however, these prices are subject to change. Please refer to http://cbi.as/aafid or your local Walmart for current pricing.
Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle says
We divide our refund up between bills and savings. It’s not fun, but it’s a great way to stay ahead.
Kelly Hutchinson says
We got our refund a few weeks ago and we have spent almost 2/3 of it so far. I am trying to save some of it, as we have not done that with our refund before. This sounds like a great service plan for people on a budget.
Digna D. says
Nice ideas on how to spend a tax return. We have ours planned out already. We’re starting with a redone kitchen and it we have enough we’ll repair our fence.
Cara (@StylishGeek) says
I love T-Mobile Prepaid! Just wrote a blog post on it as well! It’s definitely a smart way to spend that refund!
Most of our tax money is going towards bills. We want to pay one my husband student loan bills off completely. That way we will only have one left to pay on! I honestly can’t wait to get taxes back so we can pay them off.
Christina Aliperti says
I will be catching up on bills and doing some little updates in my home. Whatever is left will get saved.
Know what else I want to do? RED LOBSTER BABY!
Lisa @bitesforbabies says
I already know how I’m spending my tax return…on a trip to Italy (although I don’t think much will go towards it!)
I love the pamper idea. I am in desperate need of a small pamper. We have until April to get our taxes done, hoping to get everything together soon to do them up!
Jess Scull says
I wish I could spend my tax refund on all things beauty! That would be the dream right there lol
I know right! I could totally go in and spend a whole refund at Sephora alone 😉
Kori Tomelden says
I don’t think we’ve quite figured out how the tax refund is going to get spent. Still need to get my taxes done.
Ann Bacciaglia says
These are great ways to spend your Tax return. I like to save some and use the rest to pay off any bills.
Shaney Vijendranath says
A pamper party sounds good! I normally end up saving it for my daughter.
My son just got his tax refund and he was so excited. He didn’t save it though, he and his girl went to Disney. 😉
Chrystal @ YUM eating says
I love Stephen King. You’ll have to report back on Mr. Mercedes as I haven’t gotten around to reading that one yet. My book stack is rather high and I told myself I would get through it before picking up any more.
Our tax refund is just about going to pay off all the credit card debt we accrued while we were in school and not working as much. I am thankful for that because now we can start putting money into savings and saving to buy some things we need.
I can’t wait to spend our tax refund on a great vacation!!
valerie g says
looks like a great way to shop to me. books and technology is a great pair!
Erin Kennedy says
This is actually a really good idea! Even though I don’t get money back, I should look into saving money!
Bonnie @ wemake7 says
These are awesome ways to spend a return. We got ours already, we bought stuff we needed and the rest went on paying bills for months to come. =)
I could think of plenty of ways to spend a tax refund. Now if only I got a refund…
Ashleigh Walls says
Really great suggestions! I tend to spend it towards overdue bills and then a little pamper.
Since I was in dire need of a new phone (mine was severely cracked), I paid off the installment for the one I had in order to get another one. I also bought a juicer, and spent the rest of it all on medical bills (yay!).
Yona Williams says
My favorite suggestion shown here is ‘Indulge in Reading’. I think if I received a tax refund, I’d head straight to Amazon’s site to get a few books off of my wishlist.
Good tips! We use ours to pay the bills and save some, if there’s any left. LOL. For this year, we’re lucky to save some.
Eliz Frank says
All are great tips! I would probably use any I get to pay some bills. 🙂
Aisha Kristine Chong says
These are all great sound tips that we should all do from now on!
You’ll have to report back on Mr. Mercedes as I haven’t gotten around to reading that one yet. My book stack is rather high and I told myself I would get through it before picking up any more.