Tax return in the bank? Here's how to spend it smarter this year

Story highlights

  • Tax returns tend to hit our bank accounts this time of year
  • Here are three areas of life that we think are worth investing in when you have extra money

Chances are, you’ve been thinking for months about how you’ll spend your tax return. In fact, two-thirds of Americans (that’s 67%) feel they deserve a reward just for completing their taxes. This, according to a 2018 study from eBay, is precisely why we’ve decided to help you research your potential purchases.

Depending on how much you’re expecting back this year, there are a number of ways to splurge. Think vacations, concerts, wardrobe staples, smartphones, TVs, fitness gear and more. Apparently, one in five Americans plan to spend their entire refund on a tech purchase, so we have a healthy lineup of those. Keep scrolling to see what we recommend.

Wardrobe Updates

This year, Americans chose “a new wardrobe” as one of the top three things they’ll buy with their tax return. Because of that, we rounded up high-quality statement pieces that you likely wouldn’t buy during a normal pay cycle. But since you now have a bit extra to work with, these pieces are worth the splurge.

1. Stuart Weitzman Hiline Over the Knee Boots ($478.80, originally $798; nordstrom.com) The perfect transition shoe for going from winter into spring, the Stuart Weitzman Hiline is the boot of choice for fashion lovers. Normally priced at close to $800, this particular pair — in a stunning dusty blue-gray color — are now 40% off.

2. Charles & Colvard Forever Classic Round 4.5mm Moissanite Jewelry Set ($61.99, originally $485; ebay.com) This sterling silver set with moissanite stone settings is brand new, unused and 87% off the original price. Need we say more?

3. The Newbridge Blazer by Rodd & Gunn ($495; nordstrom.com) You know how the saying goes: “Dress for the job you want. Not the job you have.” This suit jacket definitely fits the bill. In a bold blue color that suits any season, you’ll be best dressed at the office.

4. White Caramel MVMT Watch ($134; mvmtwatches.com) A best-selling watch for men, this MVMT Chrono Series accessory is a classy addition to any wardrobe. Wear it to work or on the weekends to instantly elevate your look.

Fresh new tech

As aforementioned, 20% of Americans plan on spending their entire return on a tech purchase. Whether that be a new phone or TV, we recommend these hot items.

1. LG Electronics OLED65B7A 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV ($1,899; originally $3,999; ebay.com) Ready to host killer Netflix viewing parties this year? Try out this LG Electronics Smart TV — which also happens to be majorly marked down via eBay.

2. Smartphones (Prices vary; bestbuy.com) Whether you’re into iPhones or otherwise, Best Buy has a whole page of phone deals. That way, those who are in need of a fresh phone hopefully won’t have to fork over their entire return.

3. Vi Bluetooth Headphones with personalized audio workouts ($249; getvi.com) Make this year your year of fitness with the Vi Bluetooth headphone set. This incredible innovation acts as your personal trainer and leads you through workouts. It syncs with your favorite apps, such as Spotify and Strava, and helps you to reach your health goals.

Vacation & Experiences

Surely you could use some relaxation or a change of scenery this spring or summer. That’s why we’d recommend choosing travel as one option when rewarding yourself. Should you decide on a trip to Vegas to a summer concert, here’s where to make those bookings:

1. Caesars Entertainment: When booking a trip to Vegas, Caesars Entertainment is where it’s at. The casino-entertainment company allows you to book a hotel room and a show, all in one. In fact, one of CNN Travel’s favorite boutique hotels is Caesar’s Nobu Hotel, where guests are treated to a luxury, Japanese-inspired stay. Plus, if you book by April 30, you can score savings on Vegas hotels during the Total Rewards Semi-Annual sale.

2. Travelocity: You’ve worked hard for your tax return. Now, it’s time to treat yourself. Right now, Travelocity is advertising vacation packages under $400. Additionally, when you use promocode “JETSET75” to book select hotel and flight packages by April 30, you’ll save $75 on your booking.

3. LivingSocial: LivingSocial is the discount site that doesn’t disappoint. You can buy a dinner for two, visit a winery, book your next travel destination and more.

4. SeatGeek: Still not sure what to do with your tax return? One additional idea is to invest in an experience. This spring and summer, there will be countless music festivals, sporting events, concerts, comedy shows and more. We’d recommend buying from SeatGeek, since it’s the largest ticket search engine out there. That way, you know you’re getting the best tickets for the most fair price. In fact, SeatGeek even ranks deals using its signature “DealScore” feature. The better the score, the better the value.

Home Goods

Kitchen gear worn out? Bedding not up to par? Now, is the time to invest in products that will seriously upgrade your daily routine at home.

1. Luxury Parachute Linens (Starting at $399; parachutehome.com) If there’s one thing that’s for certain, it’s that our readers love luxury linens. And, we can’t blame you. So far, this Linen Venice Set from Parachute has been a fan favorite. Classy, elegant and totally breathable, it’s the perfect year-round set.

2. Cuisinart 15-Piece Stainless Steel Knife Set ($44.49; amazon.com) This sleek knife set is the No.1 best-selling product among all kitchen knife sets on Amazon. Made from high carbon stainless steel and with a lifetime warranty, this Cuisinart item will last you for years to come.

3. T-fal 14-piece Scratch Resistant Cooking Set ($134.99; amazon.com) We tried these Amazon’s Choice pans from T-fal and found them to be easy to use and clean. With over 3,0000 customer reviews from satisfied Amazon customers, you can feel confident knowing these pans have been tried and tested.

Note: The prices above reflect the retailer’s listed price at the time of publication.