What I’d Do With $5k Tax Refund
by Jeff Salter
Well, first of all, let me state clearly that (on those rare occasions) when Uncle Sam “returns” excessively withheld taxes to me, it is NOT Sam’s money that he’s GIVING to me. I say that only because some folks think of such refunds as a gift. Including a financial planner who was promoting his 457k deferred compensation plan at my workplace, who actually said, “You put in your $100 and Uncle Sam puts in $15.” I gave him a sharp rebuke: “That $15 is not money from Uncle Sam. When the Fed. Gov’t lowers the amount withheld from my salary, that’s still MY money.”
He was suitably chastened (for the moment) but likely continued to use that same line with other people who had less financial savvy than I did.
And that heated intro was only to establish that this hypothetical $5k tax refund is my OWN money … rather than a ‘gift’ from the beneficent Feds.
Okay. Now what would I do with $5k tax refund?
This is awfully boring, so you may as well start napping.
I’d slap a few dollars in savings and use to rest to pay off credit card balance. There, I told you it was boring.
But here’s what I would WANT to do. Though $5k wouldn’t be enough. I want one of those crossover utility vehicles (CUV) that’s a bit like a golf cart, but a bit like a four-wheeler … and has space for four occupants. $5k would make a nice down payment.
Here’s some of John Deere’s CUVs in the Gator line:
But a more practical use of a $5k tax refund would be to locate five different publications (whether print or electronic) and buy the largest ad in each. My ad would promote my upcoming novel (my third from Astraea Press), Called to Arms Again — so I can get the word out to all of America.
Due out sometime next month, Called to Arms Again is my tribute to the Greatest Generation. It has humor, action, patriotism, romance, and even history. It should appeal to all ages from 19 to 90. When it’s released, you owe it to your grandparents, parents, aunts/uncles, etc., to buy EACH of them a copy. They’ll see themselves – or their friends/relatives – in my story.
Here’s my hook and blurb:
Called to Arms Again
By J. L. Salter
Grit doesn’t fade away … it just becomes crusty. With harrowing elements right out of today’s headlines, this story reaches back into the sturdy heartbeat of people raised during the Depression and tested during World War II. Though the old uniforms haven’t fit in many decades, their resilient spirits still have that same intensity which helped save democracy.
Needing only a fresh angle to write her Veteran’s Day special, Kelly discovers first-hand that the Greatest Generation still has enough grit to fight back. While all the authorities are occupied during a massive Homeland Security drill, an urban gang of thieves targets an isolated retirement subdivision … figuring the crippled geriatrics would offer no resistance.
Though Kelly’s widowed boyfriend came along only for a post-funeral luncheon, Mitch soon finds himself leading a mis-matched flanking team. Kelly’s good friend Wade has his own assignment, with a home-made mortar and lots of illegal gunpowder.
Maybe it’s difficult to remember everyday things like taking pills, but these octogenarians have never forgotten it was up to them to defend family, home, community, and country. The outcome of their courageous stand depends on the resolve and resourcefulness of an unlikely ensemble of eccentric elderly neighbors, several American Legion members, and others spanning four generations.
What would YOU do with a tax refund of $5,000?