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How to invest your tax return into your wellness

Getting your tax return is always exciting, and there are numerous ways you can ensure you get the most out of it for your own health and wellbeing, writes Ashley Debenham.

It’s one of the best times of the year. It’s pretty much Christmas, summer and long weekends all rolled into one. And no, this isn’t being dramatic. It’s tax return time.

Unfortunately, most of us get too excited by the large sum of money we get back and spend it way too quickly or on things that we don’t really need. So, think about investing your tax return this year – not necessarily into stocks and real estate but into yourself and your wellbeing.

Here are five of the best ways to spend your tax return on your health and make it last until next year.

Gym membership

It’s no secret that gym memberships can be expensive, and watching that money get deducted from your bank account every fortnight can be hard to watch. When you receive your tax return, consider buying a gym membership and paying for three, six or 12 months outright.

This way, you don’t have to worry about coming up with the money every other week. By the time the next financial year rolls around, you’ll be grateful for your healthy body and newfound love for fitness and won’t have regrets about spending your money on temporary, unhealthy things that you can’t remember.

Healthy meal subscriptions

Healthy meal subscriptions are full of benefits. Not only do you save time grocery shopping and preparing meals, you’ll also end up saving money. Subscriptions such as HelloFresh and Marley Spoon offer lots of different serving options at affordable prices.

With these subscriptions, you’re able to choose the meals that fit your dietary requirements and see what goes into them, as you prepare them yourself. Your healthy body and your bank account will thank you.

Extra sporting activity

Instead of relying on a weekly brunch to catch up with your friends, think of putting that money towards something much healthier and beneficial that’s equally as social. Opt for an exercise class such as yoga, spin or rock-climbing, where you can catch up with loved ones while simultaneously working on your health and fitness.

The average drop-in yoga class costs around $10-$15, and you can save more if you decide to go regularly. You’ll feel much more fulfilled with this Sunday morning activity than getting brunch and spending consecutive hours in a food coma.

Health retreat

Who doesn’t love a weekend of relaxing and pampering? Most health retreats focus on your mind, body and soul and attempt to realign all of these aspects of your life for overall happiness. You’ll get to go at your own pace, choosing the exercise, treatments and activities you partake in, usually in a gorgeous estate or villa while wellness professionals such as nutritionists, therapists and personal trainers treat you to the best services on offer.

Treating yourself to a wellness retreat is not simply a quick fix for your wellbeing, as you’ll be taught ways to take care of yourself and prioritise the aspects of your life that make you the happiest.

Healthy hobbies

Why not consider picking up an extra hobby or skill this year and using your tax return to fund it? Consider buying yourself a pair of hiking boots, a fishing-rod, some new cookbooks or planting a veggie garden.

You will feel so much self-satisfaction with the results and have a new skill to show for it. Spending time and money on your mental health is just as important as physical, and time by yourself can really help you clear your mind and focus on your goals and priorities. These hobbies are often very affordable, and the benefits will outweigh the costs when you have achieved something new.

Investing a small part of your tax return can set you up with healthy habits for the coming year. Rather than wasting money on impulse buys, consider options that are better for your overall health and wellbeing. A healthier lifestyle will set you up to make better financial decisions that will last you until the next tax return, and starting now will get you into a cycle to make healthy financial decisions.

Ashley Debenham is a tax expert with Australian online tax service agent etax.com.au