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5 Smart Spending Tips for Tax Refunds

Lynnette Khalfani Cox

Lynnette Khalfani Cox

By Cricket Wireless and Lynnette Khalfani Cox

Get the most value from your money this tax season

For savings-savvy consumers, tax season means getting creative with how to use your federal tax refund check.

The IRS says the average tax refund issued so far in 2015 tops $3,500. While it can be tempting to hit up the mall and blow through your money the second that big check arrives, smart spenders find ways to turn a refund into a “MeFund” through thrifty money-management decisions that keep cash in their pocket.

To help you become a better saver and a more prudent spender, Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, The Money Coach® suggests five smart ways to stretch your refund check, making your money go further and enhancing your quality of life:

1) Invest in yourself

In today’s economy, it’s wise to invest in your education, your career and your health. Each will benefit you personally and professionally. Consider using some of your tax refund check to take a continuing education class or attend a business networking event. Similarly, invest in your health by signing up for a gym, taking yoga classes, or getting the aid of a personal trainer. A healthy body can boost creativity and productivity – and hopefully lower your long-term healthcare costs too.

2) Pay off debt

A recent study from the American Psychological Association showed money is a top cause of stress for Americans. To help rid yourself of money worries, reduce debt with your tax refund. Pay off a credit card bill, wipe out a lump sum on loans, or make an extra mortgage payment to help toward becoming debt free.

3) Spend wisely by taking advantage of seasonal promotions

If you are going to spend on something you want, do it the smart way. Take advantage of seasonal promotions in order to keep much of your refund in your pocket. For instance, if you’re in the market for a new phone, go to Cricket Wireless to receive free or discounted phones, all after mail-in rebate, such as the Nokia Lumia 635.  And, if you port your number to Cricket, you may also get a free month of service after completing two months on one of the provider’s Smart, Pro or Advanced plans. Check out more details atwww.cricketwireless.com.

4) Budget for larger purchases

If you’re thinking about spending your tax refund on a vacation or must-have electronics, be sure to first budget realistically. Remember, a vacation won’t just involve travel expenses and hotel accommodations. Be sure to factor in food, entertainment and miscellaneous costs such as tips, souvenirs and parking. Before using your refund on a big-ticket purchase, you should also use helpful budgeting tools to monitor your monthly spending. Mint.com is a good online and mobile budgeting software tool that can help you track your spending.

5) Create a “MeFund”

A final way to put your money to good use is to boost your savings. Create a “MeFund” as a way to save more every month – whether from a tax refund check, through smart budgeting or value found by switching to a no-contract wireless carrier like Cricket on a nationwide 4G LTE network – so you can spend more on the things that matter to you in the future. Whatever your goal, you’ll reach it a lot sooner if you save exclusively for it.

From investing in yourself to paying down debt and being a smarter spender and saver, let tax refund season be your time to get ahead. After all, by using that tax refund check wisely, you’ll set yourself up for financial prosperity in 2015 and beyond.


Child Abduction Unit reunites father with his 8-year-old daughter

Tasha Montgomery and Jonathan Beasley

Jonathan Beasley with Daughter

SAN BERNARDINO, CA- An 8-year-old girl has been reunited with her father after her mother violated a court order allowing visitation rights.

In February 2014, Tasha Montgomery, 27, of San Bernardino, violated a court order when she failed to allow visitation of her daughter with the biological father, 29-year-old Jonathan Beasley of San Bernardino.

Montgomery’s disregard for the court order led to a modification, wherein the father was granted full custody of the child.

According to District Attorney Investigators, Montgomery was very transitory, complicating efforts to locate her and the child.

On Febraury 26, Investigators from San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Child Abduction Unit located the child in San Bernardino where she was taken into custody pursuant to a Protective Custody Warrant. She was reunited with her father after a separation of one year.


What It Do With the LUE: Dada Doe

Dada Doe 1What it Do Inland Empire! This week I want to highlight an individual whom I’ve had the opportunity to see grow and blossom into an amazing artist. Can I get an “Aye Doe” in the words of LUE Productions recording artist Dada Doe.

Dada Doe whose real name is Barbra Martin is what I like to call the female Pee-wee Herman. Born and raised right here in the I.E., her love for singing, dancing, writing, and rapping made her want to become a performer. Currently a member of the Turnt Up group, Speaker Junkiez, Dada Doe felt it was time to work on her solo project. Last week fans, family, and friends had the pleasure of attending her EP release party for her project entitled “Dada Said” which includes songs such as “After Hours” featuring Mack Pepperboy; “Legend” featuring LowLa Scott; and “Pop Star”, featuring Paul Douglas. The EP includes exclusive beats from hot up and coming producer Shawn Mattison also known as SFresh, who is based out of Dayton, Ohio. With this being her first swing at it, I think she hit a home run. I’m not just saying that because she’s under our management company.

We also want to congratulate Dada Doe for receiving her first endorsement contract from “100 Proof Energy Drink Company”. From her swag, to her colorful attire, along with her lyrics and dance moves, it’s no wonder why she’s loved. Watching her perform does something to your spirit. It puts you in a happy place. Honestly you can’t say that about many of these artists. This is just the beginning I tell you. So please make sure to keep your eyes and ears open for I.E.’s female Pee-wee Herman. Download her EP on Reverbnation at www.reverbnation.com/dadadoe. Until next week, L’s Up!

Dada Doe enegry drink