Our 2017 Tax Refund

One night a year, Kelsey and I commit to going through our taxes. This used to be really stressful and long, but in recent years, it's been quite enjoyable. We use TurboTax and have gotten pretty good at working together. Kelsey likes to run the computer and I'll read off the numbers to her or do some research as needed. I mean... it's quite the romantic date night...

It's amazing to read back through our intentions from last year's tax refund and our hopes for our free cash flow for the rest of the year. We made it a priority to save for a different vehicle and I'm happy to report that we recently purchased a new-to-us minivan.


Budgeting is amazing. We set goals, work hard, make sacrifices, and then achieve them. It's not always the timing that we would prefer, but continuing to pursue our goals with intentionality has been very rewarding for us. 

Our 2017 Tax Refund

After completing our taxes, we knew we would be getting $3,405 in refunds ($2,220 federal, $1,185 state). About $1,500 more than we were thinking and enough for us to see the finish line of our goal. And knowing the finish line was in sight, we started thinking about what type of vehicle would be best for our family and where to look. This post explains our thought process around our purchase.


Of course we were happy to be getting more than anticipated back, but it's a bit more than we like to loan the government for the year, so we decided to make some changes to withholdings as well to minimize our refund next year. Every situation is different, but for us that meant increasing our allowances so that less tax is taken out of our paychecks. Essentially, we are putting those extra dollars into our take-home pay throughout the year instead of paying them to the government and then getting a large refund the following year.

We'll see how that goes this year and adjust accordingly next year if we need to. I feel like I say this every year, but make sure you're being intentional with your refund. Whether you aim to get the largest refund possible, or try for net zero, whatever you're doing with your budget, remember it's your budget, your priorities, your goals... do what feels right for you and your budget. 

Did you get a refund this year? What are your intentions?