7 Family-Friendly Ways to Spends Your Tax Refund

by Katie Trudeau

It’s that time of the year again: Tax Day! If you’re getting a refund this year, you might be scratching your head, wondering how to spend it. Do you splurge on yourself? Do you save it? Don’t worry, we’ve got a list of ideas to help you decide.

The best part? All of these ideas are 100% family-friendly.

Save it

First things first, this wouldn’t be a well-balanced article if you didn’t at least consider saving some (or all!) of your refund. Even saving can be a family-oriented event:

  • Saving for college
  • Putting money towards a child’s life insurance policy
  • Saving for a future family vacation
  • Saving for a rainy day

Weekend Getaway

Who says you can’t have a spontaneous weekend getaway when you have kids? The nice thing about weekend getaways is that they can be as close or as far as you want, as simple or as elaborate as you want.

  • Weekend getaway to one of your State Parks: Whether you’re camping, glamping, or lodging it up, this is a fun way to explore nature and spend time with your family.
  • Be a tourist in your city: Book a night at a fancy hotel and spend the day exploring your city and hitting the top tourist destinations.
  • Visit family: Are the grandparents within driving distance? Plan a quick roadtrip to spend the weekend at Grandma’s house.

Baby Gear

As a mother of three, I’m the first to admit that I absolutely love shopping for baby gear. From onesies to lotion to books to fancy little dresses, there really isn’t a baby product that I don’t love picking out. If you have a refund, why not spend a little extra on your little love? Some of my favorites include:

  • This organic Goodnight Moon Zipadee-Zip
  • Teething necklace: A chewable necklace saved my teething daughter many times
  • A knitted tutu dress: What’s cuter than a knitted tutu?!
  • A new stuffed animal: Can you ever really have enough stuffed animals?
  • That new stroller you’ve been eyeing: This is one splurge that benefits both you and your baby!
  • A new baby carrier: These aren’t cheap yet they’re worth every penny. Use your refund and experience the many benefits of babywearing

Family Memberships

As my family has grown, it seems that I’ve amassed quite the collection of family memberships. The zoo is hands down my favorite family membership, but you can get memberships to the aquarium, science museum, children’s museum, natural history museum, and much, much more.

The thing about memberships is that once you go once or twice to your chosen location, all future visits are more-or-less free. Of course, you could spend money on food or extra souvenirs but investing in a family memberships pays off big time throughout the year.


Although technology has made the cameras on our phones more than acceptable, it’s still nice to invest in a professional photoshoot. Lifestyle sessions are becoming popular and they capture the essence of your family. You could also consider:

  • A fun shoot outside as the weather gets nicer
  • A formal shoot for that classic portrait above the fireplace
  • Themed photoshoots of your kids (we just did a unicorn and dragon themed for my daughter, and it was awesome!)

Tip: If you invest in a professional photo session, print your photos and hang them up! Display those pretty faces in your home, mama!


Yes, even donation can be a family-friendly event. For example, if you donate to a children’s hospital, you can donate a monetary gift while your kids donate their time by making cheery cards for the children. This is also a great way to teach your children the importance of giving to others in need.

You can also split your monetary gift to multiple charities. Children can have fun picking charities that speak to their hearts such as:

  • Animal conservation organizations
  • Environmental or earth-friendly organizations
  • Childhood cancer funds

Tip: If you do choose to make a donation, save your receipt or confirmation to include with next year’s taxes!

Special Events

Is the circus coming to town? Okay, maybe the circus isn’t coming to town, but there is no shortage of touring events that are popular with families. Special events have always been a big hit with my family, and they often entertain a wide age range of children:

  • Aerial circuses featuring acrobatic scenes and riveting music such as Cirque Du Soleil
  • Dinner and a show events such as Medieval Times
  • Concerts, although if you have smaller children you might opt for a “music in the park” type of event so you can come and go easily

What about you?

Are you spending your refund in a fun or creative way?


Kathryn is a self-proclaimed book nerd who has a passion for natural parenting and writing. As a homeschooling mother of two, Kathryn understands the dynamics of a busy family life. She is the founder of the Cor Domum movement, a mission that guides families through life so that they can parent with joy. Read more at  www.katietrudeau.com 

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