The Changing Face of Tax Refund Time

We received our tax refund on Friday. Because Steve is a student, we get a pretty substantial tax refund each year. It’s not often that we get a chunk of money all at once, so we try to use tax refund time to make any big purchases that we need or want. Last year, we bought a MacBook Pro laptop, mostly for Steve to use for school, but also because we needed a new computer (our desktop is so old that it can’t be upgraded from Windows XP). One year, we got a new dishwasher.

This year, our main purchase is the plants and tools that we will need for re-landscaping the front of the house. We will use some of the money to get our heat pump repaired. We want to purchase tickets to a couple of concerts happening this summer. But that’s about it really.

When we discussed how we wanted to spend our tax refund, we were both rather surprised that there was nothing that we wanted or needed. None of the appliances are on the point of failure. We could use a new mattress, but don’t need it immediately. The A/C in the car needs to be fixed, but we can do that later. So most of the tax refund will be used to pay down debt. I have a medical bill that I will be able to pay in full, with enough left over to pay off at least one credit card. Pretty mundane stuff really.

But when I think about it, this is such a blessing. We literally want for nothing. We have a solid, albeit cluttered, home, plenty of food, enough clothing – all our needs are met. We are all healthy enough that we don’t have unmanageable piles of medical bills to deal with. We have broken our taste for consumerism enough that we don’t feel the need to use the money to upgrade our perfectly good cell phones, buy a new car, or just go on a shopping spree. When I asked Steve want he wanted to do with the money, he said, “Well … I could really use a new pair of jeans. Let’s check Goodwill this weekend.”

What a great guy!

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