Meaningful Ways to Spend Your Tax Refund

Posted on 03/11/2013

The IRS says it will issue more than 110 million tax refunds this year, totaling nearly $310 billion. The average refund is down about 4 percent to $2,803. But that's still a nice chunk of change. Rather than blowing it at the Black Jack table or a few trips to Wal-Mart, here are five meaningful ways to spend that tax refund.

Fund a Well in a Remote Village
The cost to provide clean water to a village in Liberia, Sierra Leone or India is just $2,500 through Water of Life. If you receive the average tax refund you have enough money to change hundreds of people's lives forever and you'll still have $300 to spare. Learn more at

Make Your Home More Green
No, we're not talking about paint color. Conduct a do-it-yourself home energy audit with help from and find out where your home's weak spots are. Make repairs or upgrades to insulation, heating or cooling units or appliances. Not only will your home be worth more, but you'll spend less on utilities.

Sponsor a Former Child Slave
More than 500 Indian slave children rescued recently from a rock quarry now need your help. For $50 a month you can sponsor one of these children, providing them food, clothing, shelter and education. Learn more at

Travel with a Purpose
Need a getaway? Use that tax refund to take a meaningful and potentially life changing trip with a company like TOMS or a charity such as Soles4Souls. Both invite people to join them on trips to hand out shoes to impoverished communities around the world.

Directly Deposit Your Refund Into Savings
The IRS says nine out of ten tax refunds are issued within 21 days. But the fastest way to get that money is by having it directly deposited into your account. Use Form 8888 if you want to divvy up your refund to as many as three different accounts. Save your money for a meaningful purpose somewhere down the road.

By Alison Storm

Another meaningful way to spend your tax refund is on photos capturing your favorite memories. At CVS get 50 4x6 prints just $6 via coupon code MARPRINTS, 40% off any poster with code POSTERSAVE, 30% off any photo card using code SPRINGCARDS, and 25% off any canvas by redeeming code 25CVSCAN. All coupons expire 03/16/2013.

* Hot deals expire quickly. This deal may no longer be valid.

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