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CHICKASHA, Okla. - While you anxiously check your mailbox or online bank account and excitedly plan how you are going to spend your tax refund, think about saving at least a portion of your windfall. 


Saving part of your tax refund is one small step you can take to improve your financial situation. It’s okay to spend a little of it on something fun, but put some aside or use it to pay down debt. We suggest three ways you can use that money to improve your long-term financial health.


Setting up or adding to an emergency fund large enough to cover your expenses for at least three months is one way to make your refund work for you. The emergency fund will provide some cushion in the event of unexpected bills or loss of income. Creating and growing an emergency fund using your refund will give you some cover if something unanticipated happens.


You also could use part of your refund monies to apply towards an investing goal. For example, you can deposit the funds in your retirement fund or in a 529-college savings plan for your kids or grandchildren.  Any amount of savings is better than nothing. For information about the Oklahoma 529 College Savings Plan, go to


Another smart way to use your refund is to pay off high interest debt such as your credit cards. It can be hard to make headway on your credit card debt paying only the minimum since the bulk of that amount goes to interest. Windfalls like your refund give you a chance to get ahead by applying a lump sum against the amount owed.


For more information about savings or household financial management, contact Grady County OSU Cooperative Extension Service at (405) 224-2216. We are located at 828 W. Choctaw in Chickasha.

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