It’s finally here! Income tax season. Some people will be in the unlucky crowd and have to pay in. Some will break even, but then there are those who will get the privilege of reveling in the much-anticipated income tax return.
They will catch up the bills, buy new cars, replace wardrobes, and the really smart ones will use that extra cash to travel. We can hear you now. How, in the world, is taking a trip smarter than catching up on the bills?
Ok. Let’s pretend you already did that. The next thing on the list should be some time to get away and recuperate. Below are some things to keep in mind in the process.
Some New Rules
In 2017, the United States had a busy year. Hurricane Irma and Harvey made a huge mess of things. They wiped out many businesses and homes. Several million incomes were affected by the atrocity they caused.
Because of that one fact, the government has made several allowances that will help those affected. In addition, for those of us that are lucky enough to take advantage of earned income credit, if your income was not as high as the year before, the government is going to allow you to use the income from the previous year.
There are quite a few more changes and not all are easy to understand, but the majority have actually been devised to bring you a bigger return. That’s a good change in our government officials. Time to use them to your benefit with a much-needed getaway.
Oh, The Places You’ll Go!
Before you get that return, you should invest some time in the planning process. Make sure you have already filed so you know how much money you can funnel into your retreat. Then, you and your travel party need to have a pow wow. This may sound nerdy, but each of you should write down everything you need a break from and then compile it into one list.
Why? Knowing what is really adding stress to your life will help you choose a travel destination that will alleviate that load. For example, if you take care of aging parents, which is extremely admirable but can be quite stressing, you may not want to visit Tokyo, Japan or Barcelona, Spain.
Each has nearly a quarter of their population at age 65 and over. If you work at a brewery for a living, visiting Germany may not be the best destination for you. The point of a vacation is to retreat and recharge. Make sure your destination offer opportunity for everyone involved to do both. A nice cruise to Alaska may be right up your alley. Your crew may even have the best time recharging by wearing themselves out at a popular amusement park.
Get Carried Away
After those wonderful little bills are paid and out of the way, and you have planned out the vacation of a lifetime, it’s time to get carried away. Now, we’re all adults here, or close enough anyway. There are a few things that just aren’t escapable. You will have to budget enough for everything you want to do. Be generous to yourself.
You spend the whole year doing and watching out for others. This one time a year, make sure you are good to yourself. Drink a few extra mixed drinks. Stay out all night if you want. Buy that beautiful new blouse that you just can’t take your eyes off of.
Gentlemen, go ahead and purchase that electronic toy you’re drooling over. Have fun!! Don’t even give 10 minutes to the stresses in your life. You might be sorry the fun has to end, but you will return to your life with a renewed sense of purpose and batteries recharged enough to handle anything.
We did it. We survived another year. Reward yourself by taking that return and putting it to good use. Take that vacation you’ve been looking forward to all year.