The Pinch: Use tax refund money wisely

You’ve received your long-awaited tax refund, and you might be tempted to splurge on luxury items, such as a big-screen TV, trendy wardrobe or a cruise to the Bahamas.


It’s important, though, not to waste these funds on items that will depreciate when you could invest in your future.

Jeff Fehrman, the president of Fehrman Investment Group, gives his top five recommendations for ways that consumers should use their tax refund.

• Pay off credit card debt. Use your tax refund to make a dent in your debt. This will reduce the extra money you will pay in interest, especially if you’re only making the minimum payment.

• Start an emergency fund. It’s important to have three to six months of savings in the case of an emergency, he said.

• Pay down your home equity line of credit if your interest rate is high, Fehrman said.

• Increase your 401(k) contribution. Funding your retirement will also help your taxes next year, he said.

Workers can’t directly put money in their 401(k) from their tax refund, but they can save the refund to offset a higher contribution. Or, they can fund their IRA or Roth IRA if they qualify, Fehrman said.

• Set aside money for your children’s college fund. Saving for your child’s future will prevent them from having to take out student loans to fund it for themselves.

SAVE $5,669.45

Sunday’s issue of The Augusta Chronicle will have $5,669.45 in coupons. This includes $1,259.19 at Harbor Freight, $533.37 in USA Weekend, $95.36 in P&G Brand Savers, $127 at Rite Aid, $1,492.89 in News America-Smartsource and $1,850 at Rooms to Go.

The RedPlum book has a coupon to buy any sundae, get one of equal or lesser value for 99 cents at Baskin Robbins. It expires April 7.


Chick-fil-A at Augusta Exchange is honoring active-duty military with a free meal from 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday to thank them for their service.

Active-duty military with ID can receive the meal, which includes an entree, side item and beverage.

The dine-in-only offer includes the original Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich meal, Chick-fil-A spicy chicken sandwich meal, Chick-fil-A chargrilled chicken sandwich meal or Chick-fil-A nuggets meal (eight-count).

A portion of sales from family, friends and supporters of the military during the event will benefit the Augusta Warrior Project.