Is that lump of cash from your recent tax return burning a hole in your pocket?

Rather than running and buying a new wardrobe or the latest and greatest gadget, consider taking those funds and using them to work toward your financial goals. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

1. Reduce debt

Use your refund to first pay off debt< to avoid spending money paying interest on credit cards or student loans.

2. Increase your emergency savings fund

Aim to have an emergency fund stocked with at least six months’ worth of expenses. If your emergency account isn’t fully funded or could use more money, fatten it with your refund.

3. Contribute to your IRA

If you haven’t contributed the yearly maximum to your IRA, consider using your tax refund money. You’ll be preparing for your future, and you won’t have to think about contributions for the rest of the year.

4. Start Investing

Talk with a banker to help you prioritize, design, implement and monitor your personal strategy for your financial future. Perhaps it’s time to open a new account and invest your refund. You also may want to consider allocating additional funds to the account each month throughout the year.

5. Invest in your business

If you own a business and you’re on track with your personal financial goals, it may be a good idea to invest your tax return in your business. Maybe your business needs new equipment, inventory or just some working capital. You may also consider using your refund to reduce business debt, enable capital improvements and establish an employee benefit program.

Whatever your financial goals, thoughtfully using your tax refund could help you achieve them. Since you’re already used to not having that tax money, you won’t even notice it’s not around to be spent. If you are ready to take a step toward saving or investing, talk with a Starion personal banker or investment representative today!