Years ago, as an up and coming young professional living in the heart of Toronto, I was living pay cheque to pay cheque. The moment my tax refund arrived at the door (or should I say, via direct deposit), I would use it responsibly towards paying off any outstanding debt or saving it up for my next big expense. Now that I’m more flexible with my finances, it’s nice to have the option of spending my tax refund on something more creative and investable rather than using it to manage debt and expense.
With the deadline to file for taxes approaching in just a few days (deadline for personal income tax filing is May 1, 2017), I’ve curated this list of creative ideas on putting your tax return to good use.
Read further to see how to spend your tax refund to earn more income!
Canadians are generally responsible when it comes to spending their tax refunds. In fact 36% plan to pay down a debt or loan, 32% plans to keep it for a rainy day, and 16% plan to spend some and invest the rest. The fact of putting the refund towards an investment that can potentially generate even more income sounds pretty darn good to me!
Whether you are receiving only a few hundred dollars or a couple of thousand bucks, there are several things you can do, to reinvest your return.
1. Acquire a New Skill
Using your tax refund to sign up for a new workshop, certification, or self-study program to acquire a new skill means that you can increase your potential to earn more. Whether that means you’ll be able to contribute more to your existing career or an opportunity to start a new business, furthering your education and development can only translate to a higher earning potential.
2. Support a Start-Up Venture
Many people think that investing in a start-up means having access to millions and millions of dollars. The truth is there are other ways that you can get involved with the start-up community financially. There are several micro-ventures that are looking for investors. And if you’re a little cautious, finding a kickstarter project that you believe in can also be a great way to support a new business!
3. Join an Exclusive Membership
I’m a true believer that no matter what type of business you’re in, it’s about building relationships and finding a great network of people that you can lean on. Using your tax refund to join an exclusive membership to a social club or shared workspace will offer you ample of opportunity to access meet-up events, network gatherings, and use of a creative open space. By interacting with other creative or like-minds, you are increasing your chance of finding new opportunities and making new connections!
4. Invest in a Conference
I recently interviewed someone for an Innovation role at my company. I asked him how he keeps himself ahead of innovation trends and what is happening in the industry. And he told me that he’s a conference junkie. He keeps himself up to date by selecting a few conferences in different parts of the world and he personal invests (both time and money) in them. It’s his way of continuing education and development. I found that extremely inspiring. I go to several marketing and design related conferences a year, and I must say, though encouraged by my employer and not self-motivated, often, I come back with big, inspiring thinking. And we all know that big thinking can spark ‘never been done before’ ideas!
5. Create a Personal Website
Clearly, I’m biased here. Starting my blog has been one of my biggest accomplishments. And at first, I primarily contributed sweat equity, overtime, you will need some financial support to make a website a success. If you’ve been thinking about starting your own website – whether it’s for a blog, a business idea, or perhaps to document your accomplishments as a form of a portfolio, using some of your tax return funds is a great way to kick things off!
I’m curious, for those of you who are expecting a tax refund this year, what plans do you have? What are your thoughts about some of these creative ideas?
A reminder, if you’ve not yet filed your personal taxes yet, be sure to download a reputable tax software such as TurboTax. Get started, you still have time to meet the deadline! Here are a couple of posts to help you with not feeling overwhelmed and a complete hybrid freelancers guide!
Disclaimer: This post was written in partnership with TurboTax but all opinions are my own.