The average IRS tax refund for tax year 2009 was $3,045 and this year the average is expected to be nearly the same.
With hundreds if not thousands of dollars in income tax refund money on hand, there are a number of projects you can now fund. Improvements to your house will give it a fresh look and can also pay off when you sell your home later on.
1. Replace dated appliances — Large kitchen and washer room appliances consume a lot of energy. If you haven’t bought a new washing machine, dishwasher or refrigerator in the last 10 years, you’ll find that today’s units are much more energy efficient. Check each unit’s Energy Star rating to find the appliance that is right for you. Save money on energy and enjoy new appliances too.
2. Paint your home — Hire a couple of college kids to paint the exterior of your home. Buy and supply the paint, the brushes and rollers, and related equipment, and use the remaining monies to cover labor. Hire students with previous painting experience to do a job you simply have little time to handle yourself.
3. Give your yard a makeover — A damaged lawn should be resided and new shrubbery can help improve your home’s curb appeal. Acquire dirt, stones and plantings from a home store and consider hiring those college students to do the heavy work.
4. Replace bathroom flooring — Few tax refunds will cover the cost of a new bathroom, but if you get the average refund amount, then you’ll have enough money to pay someone to install a new floor. Or, do the job yourself and use the remaining money on new appliances.
5. Replace aged fixtures — Look around your home at the many fixtures you have in place. Some of those may need to be replaced. Make a list of fixtures you want to update, listing the most pressing ones first. Include faucets, shower heads, overhead lights, outdoor lighting, cabinet handles and other “touch points” to cover everything. You can handle much of the work yourself; invest in an electrician to tackle complicated updates.
There are many other jobs you can handle with your tax refund. You can paint your home’s interior, strip a wood floor, refinish your deck, organize your garage or buy a new shed. Treat your refund as “found money” by putting it to good use this year.