Money: Second-Chance Cash

Expecting a tax refund? Here's how to put it to work so it saves you even more money

If you're among the two-thirds of U.S. taxpayers anticipating a refund check or already clutching one, the question is, What will you do with it? The majority of you will spend your refund--averaging $2,000 this year--or simply stick it in the bank (where it will earn 1.4% interest, on average), according to a survey by Cambridge Credit Counseling, a not-for-profit adviser to debtors. Chances are you can do better. Here's how:

MAKE YOUR 2003 IRA CONTRIBUTION. One mistake many people make is waiting until April 15 to make a previous year's IRA contribution. At the last minute, they scrounge for funds--often...

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