Originally posted at Christian Post April 15, 2016.
To learn Biblical answers to your financial questions, you can #AskChuck @AskCrown your questions by clicking here. Questions used may be lightly edited for length or clarity.
Procrastinators Unite! This weekend, my husband and I will be crashing on our tax returns, due Monday, April 18th, and we’re hoping to receive a return. What do you suggest we do with the money?
It is never best to wait until the last minute to do your income tax return but it is better than not filing or filing late!
Since the majority of filers will receive a refund, this is a great question; especially when the average tax return in 2015 was $3,120. Usually, I wouldn’t turn to a poll to offer advice, but I’m going to make an exception today after reading about a new one out from Bankrate.com. Despite assertions that the economy is doing well and unemployment is down, most people are experiencing stagnant wages with little job growth.
Better than Shopping. Bankrate found our present economy is impacting how people intend to use their money with “84 percent of Americans receiving refunds intend to pay down debt, save or invest their windfall or use it for everyday necessities.” In fact, only 7 percent said they intended to spend the money or take a vacation with the cash.
I thoroughly applaud the more than 8 out of 10 Americans intending to hold on to that cash. At Crown, we advise that a good budget begins with $1,000 in an emergency fund followed by a plan to get debt free and stick with a plan. According to the Pew Charitable Trust, 80 percent of Americans are in debt, though that does include people with a mortgage. Still, about 4 in 10 people have expensive consumer debt like credit card debt, student loans or car loans.