PHOENIX - So, you've crunched the numbers, filed your forms and received a tax refund from Uncle Sam. Now there's the big debate, what to do with all that money?
Financial advisor Jim Dew told 12 News there's three things you shouldn't do with your refund: Spend it, lend it and depend on it.
Don't spend it
There are lots of sales in the spring that will entice you to spend your money on everything from cars, to furniture and even tattoos. But Jim Dew said resist the urge to splurge.
"Most people when they get their refund, they think it's a gift or a bonus. It's not. It's your hard earned money. So treat it that way. I'd be very careful about spending it."
Don't lend it
"Don't lend money to friends and family," Dew said. "You're going to be much better off not to lend that money. Often, people put themselves in the backseat and they end up not doing the things they need to do."
Don't depend on it
Dew also said, don't depend on your refund check. It's not a windfall. It's your money that you gave to the government.
"Often I see people are waiting for their tax refund and are short in other areas," Dew said. "First of all, that's a tax free loan you just gave the government. The best thing to do is to try to be even when it comes to taxes."
That may mean refiling your W-4, so you get a smaller refund and bigger paychecks all year long. Here's a calculator that can help.
Dew said it is a good idea to pay down debt, save or invest your refund.
Get more financial tips from Jim Dew here.