5 Ways to Spend Your Tax Return Without Undoing Your Kondo-Purge

The appeal of Marie Kondo’s KonMari method for tidying is nothing new, but with Netflix’s release of “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo,” millions have been scouring their homes to figure out what brings them joy (and ridding themselves of things that don’t). At the same time, tax returns are rolling in—and it can be challenging not to re-clutter your space with all the new goodies that stop bringing you joy soon after they get in the door.

If you’re looking for ways to use a monetary windfall that are productive, life-enriching, and don’t undo your KonMari progress, read on!

1. Explore a new culture—and make lifetime memories

A retreat to the coast can be wonderful, but when is the last time you experienced a whole new culture? You’ll make memories that will bring you joy for decades to come, and it won’t clutter up your house a bit (though you may choose to make room for a great new photo on the mantel).


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The Hartsfield-Jackson airport is an international hub, so you can score tickets for amazingly low prices. In fact, you can get to Europe for less than flying within the Continental US—particularly if you have the patience and flexibility to hunt for a deal or use a service like Scott’s Cheap Flights. Don’t assume a flight deal means you’ll have to hop on a flight on short notice; these days, you can get alerts for options months in advance.


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For example, you can fly to South Africa or Greece for less than $600 if you time it right. Even better, we’ve seen flights to Rome in the $300 range, and you can get AirBnB accommodations in romantic neighborhoods for a song, particularly if you book a few months ahead.

Even lower cost flights to the Caribbean and Mexico are frequently available, especially in the “off” season (which is still great and often less crowded!).

2. Invest in your future

Saving money is hard, but starting your nest-egg early will prepare you for surprises (like needing a new water heater) as well as ensure you’re comfortable after you retire.

You can invest in an index fund for a dependable way to let your money grow while still keeping it fairly accessible for a home down payment or other big goal. Or, open an IRA if you need to focus on retirement savings. If you’re already paying into a 401k through work, great! You can simply add additional funds to your existing 401k.

3. Improve your wellbeing with self-care

You may be seeing #selfcare everywhere you turn, but there’s a reason it’s been trending: treating yourself can help you become a happier, healthier human.


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Think about what would make you feel more comfortable, confident, and content. Here are a few ideas:

  • Plan a spa day on your own or with friends. A little relaxation can go a long way—mentally and physically. Schedule some time for pampering, whether you visit a spa or treat yourself and your besties to the spa experience at home (hint: hire a masseuse and break out a bottle of bubbly).
  • Get the cosmetic procedure you’ve been wanting. Improving your looks definitely adds zero clutter to your life and is totally worth it according to the vast majority of surveyed patients. If you’re uncomfortable with the size of your breasts or are unhappy with how your body looks after after having kids, take care of that confidence gap by making a change. The procedure you want may be more affordable than you think with financing, and your tax return could get you well on your way. (Contact us to learn more about our financing options!)
  • Update your linens. After a long day, nothing feels quite as wonderful and cuddling up in soft, fresh sheets or wrapping yourself in a luxuriously soft towel after a long bath.
  • Sign up for a fitness class that will bring you joy. Exercise is a great form of self care as it is proven to boost energy, happiness, and health! Studies have also shown that exercising with others boosts the benefits, so…always wanted to try Soulcycle? Show off your inner ballerina at barre? Jump on the yoga zen bandwagon? Purchase a class package and firmly slate out time every week to go.


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4. Update your living space with paint and other clutter-free ideas

After you’ve Kondo’d your space, pick up a few cans of paint and supplies. Repaint your favorite room with a calming color, apply a fresh coat of white to freshen up high traffic areas, or add a colorful accent wall for a design pop.

Here are a few other fun ways to update your space without adding clutter:


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5. Pay off a chunk of debt

Eliminating or drastically reducing even just one line of credit can have a huge impact on your everyday life and positively affect your credit score.

If you don’t know where to start, there are tons of online resources to help guide you, like this list of tips from US News. Hint: find your line of credit with the highest interest rate and start with that (high interest rates cost you much more over time, so paying these off will benefit you in the short- and long-term).

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