Budget & Saving

spend refund money

50 Ways Spend Your Refund This Year

April 11, 2017 : Allie Freeland – Contributing Editor

It’s a decision that many Americans will have to make. In 2015, the IRS issued  $124.7 billion in refunds, with the average refund of year $3,120.

So, what’s the best way to spend it. It’s tempting to take an exotic vacation, buy designer clothes, there are also wiser ways to spend it. To provide some guidance, here are 50 ways to spend your 2016 tax refund:


  1. Invest in a pair of your favorite outdoor equipment.
  2. Get a manicure and/or pedicure.
  3. Treat your neighbors to a round of drinks at your neighborhood watering hole.
  4. Take a loved one out to dinner.
  5. See your favorite band live this summer.
  6. Get that pesky leak in your house fixed.
  7. Treat yourself to a spa day.
  8. Adopt a puppy.
  9. Treat your coworkers to bagels and cream cheese!
  10. Fix a broken appliance.
  11. Invest in experiences: Do two new things in your city you’ve never done before. (Studies show experiences versus things make people happier, too.)
  12. Play hookie for the day and partake in an activity you wouldn’t normally do.
  13. Go on a doughnut tour around town.

$100 to $499

  1. Buy in-home gym equipment.
  2. “How much is that doggie in the window?” Have your eyes on that designer dog? Bring him home!
  3. Upgrade your handheld technology with a new Smartphone or tablet.
  4. Take a staycation. Stay at a hotel in your area and visit all the places you have always wanted to go!
  5. Get those long-awaited car repairs handled.
  6. Buy a musical instrument – rock on!
  7. Go on a shopping spree to spruce up your wardrobe.
  8. Stock up on gifts: buy wedding, birthday, and even holiday presents for loved ones!
  9. Get an espresso machine. (Never buy a latte again!)
  10. Spruce up your house. Buy new paint, curtains, pillows, and more!
  11. Get a suite at a professional sports game.
  12. Buy a bike and ride it to work or to run errands.


  1. Buy in-home gym equipment so you can get your sweat on at home!
  2. Take a trip down Route 66.
  3. Take a trip across America on an Amtrak train.
  4. Get new appliances.
  5. Check off bucket-list items: take a hot air balloon ride, buy a flight to a cultural or beach destination!
  6. Buy a new flat-screen TV.
  7. Buy a gym membership – for the year.
  8. Support a local artist. Buy artwork for your home or office.
  9. Get a junker classic car and fix it up!
  10. Treat your best friends to a spa day, day at the races, or a sporting event.
  11. Cater in a neighborhood party for your favorites.
  12. Buy a Smart TV or streaming device and nix the cable!

Smart Ways to Spend Your Refund (Any Amount of Money)

  1. Pay off your credit card balance.
  2. Invest in a rainy-day fund.
  3. Invest in yourself with an individual retirement account.
  4. Make an extra mortgage payment.
  5. Give to your favorite charitable cause.
  6. Still have student loans? Make an extra payment.
  7. Start a 529 College Education Savings plan for your child, niece, or nephew.
  8. Start a small business!
  9. Purchase savings bonds.
  10. Pay off delinquent utility bills.
  11. Contribute to your down-payment fund for a house.
  12. Pay off medical bills.
  13. Make home repairs or remodel your house to help increase its value.

Head to the H&R Block Instagram page to discover more refund splurges.

Allie Freeland – Contributing Editor

Allie Freeland – Contributing Editor

H&R Block

Allie is the Contributing Editor of the H&R Block blog, Block Talk. She has been a practicing grammar geek since 2007.

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