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Save Some of Your Tax Return

How can I save money when I don't have any left over after the bills are paid? Find some money-saving tips in this article.

Nashville, Ark. – If you haven’t filed your tax returns for 2016, chances are you are getting ready to since the deadline is fast approaching. Hopefully, you are getting some of your hard earned money back in the form of a return. Have you made plans what you will do with it? Have you considered saving some of it? Maybe you have already spent your return, but would like to save money for a down payment on a car, new home or a summer vacation. However, you may be saying, “How can I save money when I don’t have any left over after the bills are paid?”

            There’s no secret to saving money. If you are getting a tax refund, plan to save most or at least 10 percent before using it for other things. If this is not possible, consider saving just $1 each week for a year and increasing the savings each week by a dollar. For example, the first week you will save $1. Place $2 in savings the second week. Week three place $3 in savings. You get the idea. By week 52, you will be placing $52 in savings. By the end of the year you will have saved $1,378.

            If you get paid every two weeks instead of every week, make your money work for you. Consider saving $20 the first pay period and then saving $40 the second pay period. Sound like a lot? You can easily save $20 in one week by taking your lunch to work each day of the week instead of eating out. Or you can save money easily by just staying at home one night instead of going out to eat. If you save $40 out of every paycheck while getting paid every two weeks, you will save $1,040 in one year! In 10 years that $20 savings per week will add up to over $10,000. You may be able to make your money work for you and invest it in something that will give you a good return to add even more to your savings. Think about this, small changes can give you big results if you stick with your goals!

            If you receive a tax refund this year consider placing that money into an emergency savings fund. Emergency savings are great for those unexpected things that happen in life such as the washing machine going out, needing new tires, etc.

             If you have debts, you may want to use that money to pay them off. Pay off the ones with the highest interest first. Then work on the others.

            Saving money is kind of like losing weight. It may be hard to do, but the results are fantastic and worth it!

            If you need help learning how to save money or for other financial questions, contact the Howard County Extension Office at 870-845-7517 or visit our office located on the second floor of the courthouse. We have lots of free information regarding finances. The Cooperative Extension Service is part of the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture.

Recipe of the Week

            Here is a great recipe that is low-cost and easy to make. Perfect for busy weeknights!

Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos

1 pound chicken breast meat

1 packet taco seasoning

1 can tomatoes and green chilies or 1 can chicken broth or 16 oz. salsa

            Mix taco seasoning with tomatoes and green chilies, broth or salsa. Place chicken in slow cooker; pour taco seasoning mixture over chicken. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Remove chicken, let cool for a few minutes, then shred chicken with two forks. Place chicken back in slow cooker. Serve with taco shells, tostadas, or whole wheat flour tortillas. Makes: 4 servings

*Note: consider doubling the recipe since this mixture freezes well. The meat is perfect for chicken tortilla soup, quesadillas, or enchiladas.

By Jean Ince
County Extension Agent - Staff Chair
The Cooperative Extension Service
U of A System Division of Agriculture

Media Contact: Jean Ince
County Extension Agent - Staff Chair
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
421 N. Main St, Nashville AR 71852
(870) 845-7517


The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need materials in another format, please contact your County Extension office (or other appropriate office) as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay.

The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.