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4 smart things to do with your tax refund

One of the best ways to use your

One of the best ways to use your tax refund is to pay off debt, experts say. Credit: AP / Matt Rourke

These days, you’re eager to open your mailbox for one reason — that tax refund check. You probably have plans for it. But before you take off to Vegas, here are better ideas for spending $3,200, the average refund received last tax filing season.

  • Pay debt: “With the national average for credit card rates in the high teens, you’re better off realizing the guaranteed savings of paying off the debt, than finding an investment that consistently outperforms that rate,” says Eric Meermann, a certified financial planner with Palisades Hudson Financial Group in Scarsdale.
  • Invest in yourself: Do you. “Buy self-improvement audio programs, attend workshops and seminars, or seek out a coach. School is never out for the great ones. Self-education will make you a fortune,” says Steve Siebold, author of “How Rich People Think.”
  • Spend smart: Purchase appliances to encourage eating at home, which will save money in the future. “Get a coffee machine, juicer, George Foreman Grill, or even new pots,” says Leslie Tayne, a financial attorney in Melville.
  • Save: Put your money into emergency or retirement savings. Says Lance Christensen, partner with Margolin, Winer & Evens in Garden City, “Anything left over after reaching your goal, use to reward yourself.”

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