Tax agents H&R Block are expecting the average size of tax refunds to increase this year, thanks mainly to COVID-19 induced job losses and reduced working hours in 2020.
If this applies to you, the sensible thing to do is spend it on something meaningful and worthwhile. It is understandable if you want to splurge and spoil yourself, but you could also put it toward something practical.
Like what? Well, you could pay off any debts you have like a credit card, put it into your super or savings account. You could also invest in your home, by taking care of that long to-do list of repair jobs, or carry out some home improvements to improve your lifestyle and boost the value of your property.
Let's tick off five home improvement projects and repair jobs that won't break the bank and are within the scope of a typical tax refund. According to H&R Block a tax refund can be as high as $3600 - so these jobs are in that ballpark or at least pretty close.
Painting delivers real bang for your dollar and is also an easy way to refresh your interiors. Many DIY renovators take it on themselves, which is perfectly doable - but if you are time poor or don't have a head for heights, you are best hiring an experienced local professional painter.
2. New flooring
New flooring is another relatively cost effective update for any property, including floating timber flooring. It can give your home a much needed cosmetic overhaul, especially if you have worn carpets or tired timber underfoot. You may prefer carpet, especially in bedrooms - opt for nylon, which looks great, is hard wearing and cheaper than wool.
If you are time poor, don't have the skills or simply never get round to all those small jobs around the house, get some help.
3. Resurface tiles
Replacing tiles can get messy, noisy and a little exxy pretty quickly, which is why you should look at tile resurfacing to give your wall surfaces a new lease on life. Bathroom resurfacing can hide any manner of hideous tile designs and colours, and even give your old bath and basin a makeover.
4. Install blinds
Installing new blinds is another budget friendly way to update your interiors, especially if you have old curtains or your existing window coverings are tired and sagging. Opt for roller blinds or aluminium venetians if you are watching your budget, and genuine timber venetians, timber shutters or insulating honeycomb blinds if you have more cash to splash from your tax return.
5. All those small jobs
Every home has got at least a couple of dripping taps, a door with a rickety hinge or a garden that needs some serious TLC. If you are time poor, don't have the skills or simply never get round to all those small jobs around the house, get some help.
Hiring a friendly local handyman is the answer, and while they can't touch any electrical, plumbing or structural building jobs, they will happily help tick your small jobs list. Keeping on top of your home maintenance jobs will also prevent small problems becoming big (read: expensive) problems.