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Get creative with your refund

Of course we know we should save some or all of it, or pay down bills. But there are other creative, money saving, fun and intelligent options.

1. Create a memory
It’s okay to splurge a little; treat loved ones to a delicious meal at an upscale restaurant, a day at a favorite theme park, or a day of snowboarding. Don’t forget the camera.

2. Go ‘green’ with an iPad
A greener way to read your favorite magazines and newspapers.

3. Home improvement
Choose projects that help pay for themselves by adding value to your home.

4. Self-improvement
Take a dance class, improve your cooking skills, learn to paint, study a foreign language. You can often save 50% or more on selected classes, dining and adventures via Groupon and LivingSocial discounted offers in your area.

5. Go cultural
Buy season tickets to the LA Phil, the Hollywood Bowl, the theater or other cultural events. You can also save up to 50% on tickets to scores of cultural and sporting events via GoldStar.

6. Go green. Get a tax credit.
Upgrade to energy-efficient appliances to reduce utility bills, carbon footprint and taxes.

7. Pay down credit cards
You can save hundreds, even thousands by making more than the minimum payment.

8. Get physically fit
Join a gym, fitness club, boot camp, buy a treadmill or bike. Link to Groupon and LivingSocial to learn of discounted offers in your area.

9. Stop paying cable TV bills
Buy a game console like Playstation 3, Apple TV or hook your computer to your TV to stream movies and TV shows with minimal commercials.

10. Be a good neighbor
Make a donation. Times are tight, and worthwhile charities need donations of money, skills and time.

 

 
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