My Plans For Our Tax Refund—RISE

It felt like forever waiting for all of our tax documents to arrive, but the day finally came a couple of weeks ago. All the forms we needed were mailed to us and available online (I love how they do that). Every year, I go to and file our taxes online, it’s really easy and doesn’t take long at all. I also try to take advantage of cash-back shopping to get a little kickback and possibly a discount as well. This year, I went through Shop at Home…earning me 9% back and 10% off using one of the available coupons.

The Refund:
Federal Taxes- $3,128
State Taxes- $293

Total- $3,421

That’s a nice chunk of change. :-) We had originally planned to use our tax refund for our Europe Trip later this year. My husband was worried that we should have more money for the trip since we’re planning on spending a few weeks in Europe and neither of us has ever been there. So, since we’re already taking going to the Financial Blogger Conference this year and padding it with a couple extra days, we’ve agreed to go next year instead.

That gives us additional time to save and plan for our Europe trip as well as an opportunity to do something different with the money. My husband has grown increasingly excited about investing money lately, and so I thought we could make a compromise. My proposed compromise is RISE, it’s neat how my list of stuff actually spelled a word, I couldn’t have planned it better.



A while back, I mentioned the termination of Operation SUV. I worked hard to figure out the perfect allocation for that money, and then screwed it all up when I went FinCon12 crazy; I’ve got some replacing to do. This month, I’ve only put 50 bucks of what we borrowed back. While I’m not planning to put the whole amount back, I’d still like to replace a fair amount.
Amount we’re replacing- $371.00


In the last 6 months, I’ve seen a 12.2% return on the money in my account. I would love to see how well Betterment performs with more money in it. What’s even better…is that they pretty much do everything. It took me a few minutes to set everything up and all I have to do now is deposit money and check my balance. Easy peasy. I’ve created a new goal and deposited money so that I can track it separately from the money I already had in my Betterment account.
Amount we’re investing at Betterment- $1,000.00


I would be sabotaging my trip to Europe next year if I didn’t save any money from our tax refund towards it. I also need to save some money to pay for some blog giveaways this year, on this blog as well as something I have planned for the new one. So I’ll be creating an additional account for our Europe Trip under the My Money page this week.
Amount we’re saving for Europe- $800.00
Amount we’re saving for my giveaways- $250.00


My husband has been researching and following some certain stocks for a couple of weeks now. Yesterday his first real guest post went up about his newly discovered passion for investing and money. In the spirit of supporting his interests, I gave him money to open an investment account. I figured it would be really interesting to follow how he does with it and share any successes and/or failures.
Amount for Honey to experiment with $1,000.00

Is this the best way to use our tax refund? Probably not, but it will definitely be interesting to see what happens. :-)


Do you have any plans for your tax refund (if you get one)?


About Jen Perkins

Likes: saving money, being debt free (aside from our house), zombies, travel, getting money, blogging and dogs. Dislikes: debt, being broke, bunnies, wasting money, not having enough money to travel the world and paying interest. Facebook  ♥  Twitter  ♥  Google+  ♥  RSS


My Plans For Our Tax Refund—RISE — 12 Comments

  1. I love Turbo Tax. Just started using it a year ago, but will never go back to doing them myself apart from TT.

    As to refunds, I work hard to never get one. If debt is bad, and it surely is, giving the government an interest free loan for up to 12 months is equally as bad, IMHO.

    I do like your RISE acronym. Good ideas all.

    • Yep, Turbo Tax rocks! A lot of people have the same view as you do about loaning the government money. I thought it was really cool that it just happened on it’s own. :-)

  2. I thought we were going to have to pay so I’m excited we’re getting some decent change back that will go to fund our emergency savings account. Not very exciting…I think I may allocate a couple hundred for Eric and I to just have fun money.

    • Woooo hoooo! No paying taxes for you this year. :-) Sometimes it’s important to give yourselves some fun money, especially when you’re working hard at improving your financial situation.

  3. Wow that’s a decent sized tax refund. It must be a welcome surprise. That’s probably a good decision to put off the Europe trip to next year. A few weeks of hotels, dining out and other tourist activities can really add up. I’m impressed by how responsible you’ve been with planning what to do with the tax refund. Some people would immediately find some way to blow it all.

    • Yep, I was rather pleased with getting so much back. :-) I’m doing my best, we used to just blow it all—but now we’re trying to be all responsible and such.

  4. I’m spending much of mine on sending my 15 year old daughter to nerd camp. She can’t wait–she loves the place. ( It’s almost $8500 for two sessions, but you can’t put a price on getting rid of a teenager for six weeks!

    • haha. Tons of people would love for their teenager to be excited about going to ‘nerd camp.’ That’s a lot of money though, I hope your daughter knows how lucky she is. :-)

  5. Love the modification of the RICE acronym. As a former lifeguard, I still wake up at night screaming it in my head! I do my taxes on TurboTax as well. I’m planning to make a lump sum payment on my mortgage using my refund this year.

    • lol. That’s a really great plan for your tax refund; if we had a mortgage, I’d probably consider doing the same. It’s insane how much interest people pay in the end. :-)