5 Surprisingly Smart Ways to Blow $1,000 of Your Tax Refund

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5 Surprisingly Smart Ways to Blow $1,000 of Your Tax Refund
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5 Surprisingly Smart Ways to Blow $1,000 of Your Tax Refund

For $1,000, you can get a thorough review of your financial situation from a fee-only financial planner. The Garrett Planning Network provides hourly as-needed c. Or visit the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors to find a fee-only planner in your area.

For $1,000 you can add several evergreen plants, redo a small backyard, install landscape lighting or even hire a landscape designer or architect to create a plan for your yard. See Cheap Ways to Improve Curb Appeal for more ideas.

Online forms can be an affordable way to write a will if your finances are uncomplicated. But if your circumstances are complex, you should hire a lawyer to help you draft estate-planning documents. Expect to pay about $300 for a simple will. You could pay up to $1,000 for a more comprehensive estate plan that includes a living will or health-care directive and a power of attorney document.

Take classes to improve your current skill set to land a raise or promotion. Or learn new skills if you're thinking about switching jobs. Check with a nearby community or technical college for affordable courses, or consider UC Berkeley Extension's online courses, which cost less than $1,000.

If you're trying to sell your home, you can make it more inviting to potential buyers by decluttering it and decorating it for the masses -- in other words, staging it. This will set your home apart and cut the time it's on the market. See Home Staging Transformations for Under $1,000.

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