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Money Fix: What to do with your tax refund

Any day now that tax refund could roll

Any day now that tax refund could roll into your mailbox, if it hasn't already. Saving is good. But are there better ways to use the money? Credit: iStock

Any day now that tax refund will show up in your mailbox, if it hasn't already. How best to use the money?

In a recent TD Ameritrade survey, 47 percent of those polled said they plan to save it. That's a good idea, but what else?

Pay down high-interest debt. "Keep the wolf from the door," says Gail Cunningham, spokeswoman for the National Foundation for Credit Counseling.

Improve yourself. If you want a massive return on your refund, invest in ways to better yourself, such as a self-improvement audio program, business workshops and seminars, or coaching and mentoring programs. "School is never out for the great ones," says Steve Siebold, author of "How Rich People Think."

Get fit and healthy. Take control of your weight and overall health. Invest in exercise equipment or a gym membership. "Not only will you feel better, but that confidence will carry over into everything you do," says Siebold. Getting fit could also cut down on medical bills.

Start a business. Last year, refunds were typically about $3,000. They could be a bit less this year, but still enough to get a home-based lawn care service, grocery shopping, handyman, or other enterprise off the ground, says Siebold.

Give it right back. Think ahead. "There's a possibility of a higher tax bill for 2013. Apply the overpayment to next year and avoid a potential balance due next April 15th," says Joseph Falanga, managing director of UHY Advisors in New York City. Or contribute to charity and set yourself up for a tax deduction for 2013.

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