Doing your tax might seem like a chore, but it can mean receiving a substantial tax refund for many Australians.
It can be fun to treat yourself with your tax refund, but there is always that nagging voice in the back of our minds telling us to spend it wisely. Adding value to your home is a smart way to invest your tax refund, and you don’t need to embark on a major renovation to do so.
Don’t let it go to waste. Here are some ways to invest it in your home and reap the rewards for years to come.
For the gift that keeps on giving, treat yourself to solar. With energy prices soaring and the rising cost of living, it makes sense to do something that will provide you with more control over your household budget in the long term.
You receive a credit on your power bill each quarter by exporting the unused power your solar panels have generated back into the grid. In 2021, the average bill credit for households with solar in Australia was $280 per quarter. That’s quite the saving, and most people find their solar installation has paid for itself within four years.
Change to LED lighting
Swapping all your lights over to LED lighting will save you money and improve your carbon footprint. LEDs use about 75% less energy than halogen light bulbs and last 5 to 10 times longer, greatly reducing replacement costs and the number of light bulbs ending up in landfill.
Depending on what type of light fittings you have, you may need an electrician to help make the swap.
Refresh your window treatments
The right blinds, shutters or curtains can do much more than refresh your home’s style. They can also save money on your energy bills year-round. Curtains and blinds that block out light help keep your home warmer in winter and cooler in summer.
There are so many options to suit any taste and style available now, whether you want curtains, blinds or shutters. You can even get motorised curtains and blinds for a real touch of luxury.
Sometimes, the things you can’t see make the biggest difference. Adding insulation will help keep your home at a comfortable temperature all year round. In addition, it will reduce your reliance on heating and cooling, saving you money on your energy bills.
You can add or replace insulation in your ceilings and walls relatively easily. If your house is elevated, adding underfloor insulation will be a real treat for bare feet on timber or tiled floors on a cold winter’s morning.
Add a lick of paint
Painting your house can breathe fresh life into your home, and it can be inexpensive if you are willing to do the work. If you decide to paint your home yourself, tackle one room at a time. Choose a warm, dry day and start early. Most modern paints dry within a couple of hours, so you can easily get two coats on the walls in a day and have the room finished by the evening.
Tidy up the garden
Maintaining the garden can feel overwhelming if you are not a green thumb or natural gardener. But, it is a necessary job to keep your home safe and pest-free. During winter, rodents and possums will happily take up residence in the shelter or an overgrown or untidy garden. Then they may decide to make their way into your roof, or worse, your pantry. In Australia, it is essential to keep your garden free of excess growth and fallen debris for bushfire safety.
Getting a professional to clean up the garden will revive the look of your home and keep you safe. The best part is that they get the job done quickly and often take all the garden waste away. Job done!
Put it in your mortgage offset account
If your house is already just the way you like it, perhaps the best thing you can do with your tax return is put it in your mortgage offset account. With interest rates on the rise, it is wise to reduce the interest you pay by getting ahead on your mortgage and establishing a buffer for a rainy day.