Buy Local Produce
When you purchase locally grown fruits and vegetables, you are not only supporting local farmers, but you are also helping reduce the amount of carbon emissions caused by food delivery trucks. Local produce will usually cost you about as much as food bought from a major grocery store. Sometimes, depending upon the season and region, it can get pricier. As such, you could set aside a portion of your tax refund to make up the difference in future shopping trips.
If you decide to save your tax refund instead of spending it then you can still help your local economy by depositing the funds into a locally owned bank. Doing so not only supports your local economy, but small banks or credit unions often have great interest rates and more personal service.
Hire a Local Contractor
Making improvements to your home or property is a great way to spend your tax refund. By hiring a local contractor or landscaper to do the work, it will help your local economy. Plus, many contractors are struggling to get work due to the housing crisis so you might be able to get a great deal on supplies and/or labor.
Stock Up on Cash
If may be more convenient for you to use a credit or ATM debt card. However, when you use them to pay for products at a local business, you are forcing the owner to pay a fee for having the transaction processed. If you can cash your tax refund check and use the money to make your local purchases, then you can help local business owners save money.
Take a Class at a Local Community College
By spending your tax refund on tuition and supplies to take a class at a local community college you can support your local education system while bettering yourself at the same time. Plus, the IRS also offers credits and deductions to qualified students.
Buy a Reusable Cup
If you stop and get coffee every morning before work, you would waste approximately 260 paper cups per year. Not only are you killing trees, you are killing your local coffee brewer who has to pay for those cups in the first place. By purchasing a high quality reusable coffee cup you can save the business owner from having to buy an extra box of cups each year.
Visit a Local Amusement Park
If you are looking to spend a fun day with the family, then you should consider visiting a local theme park. Companies like Six Flags, and other amusement parks, are on the verge of closing due to the poor economy. This could leave thousands of teenagers and younger workers unemployed. If you do have a theme park nearby, then taking your family to it for the day could make for a fun way to support the local economy.
Support Local Non Profits
There are plenty of non-profit organizations in every town that you could support with your tax refund check. This could be done either by donating cash or supplies. If there are not any local charities that you support, then you could always donate supplies to a local sports team or school.