After seven years of amusing audiences in the Dallas area, comedian Laura Bartlett is ready to take her four-woman stand-up troupe, the "Four Funny Females," to the next level.
She plans to use her expected $2,500 tax refund to help her stage her biggest show ever: A night at the 1,800-seat Wagner Noel theater in Midland, Texas, 350 miles away.
As the show's producer, she's putting up all of the roughly $10,000 budget, which includes advertising, travel and other costs.
She hopes they can fill the theater, which is about 3 times the size of their usual performance spot. "I could (make a profit), but it's a risk," she said. "We're known in Dallas, but to take it on the road for the first time, it's a gamble."
Lisa Fine and her fiancé Josh Valinsky are using their tax refunds to get a dog.
The couple fell in love with Tibetan terriers during a trip to the Westminster Dog Show in New York.
"When we both found out we were getting refunds that was kind of the extra push," Fine said. "We decided we have the extra money, let's get a dog."So the Vermont residents used part of their $2,500 in combined refund money to put a deposit down for a Tibetan terrier puppy from a Connecticut breeder. The refund will also cover immunizations and supplies for the new puppy, which they expect to bring home in May or June.
When Dave Payne got his $120 tax refund, he promptly socked it away.
The Tarpon Springs, Fla. resident said the cash will go towards an engagement ring for his girlfriend -- who happens to be an accountant."I have a savings account that is dedicated to saving for the ring," he said. "It's kind of appropriate since she helped me get the refund that it be used for that."
While Jessica Ann Samson would love to spend her $1,200 refund on travel -- her goal is to visit every continent before she turns 30. But the recent graduate of New York University has decided to put it toward her student loan debt instead."I think the faster I don't have that thought in the back of my head (about my student loan debt), the more at peace I'll be," she said.
Professional artist Deb Keirce plans to use her family's tax refund to support her fellow artists and buy a new piece of art.
The fine art she has purchased in the past has always grown in value so Keirce sees it as a good investment. With her husband, she expects to receive a few thousand dollars back from the federal government."We have three kids who are college-aged," the Virginia resident said. "We don't have extra income to have fun things to do with usually."
For Erika Searl, deciding how to spend her expected $3,500 tax refund was easy.
"I spend it on my dogs every year," said Searl, a New York City resident. "I love my girls. We do everything together."
She plans to spend the cash on teeth cleanings for her two dogs, Cubby and Ginger, and to help pay for their upcoming trips to a dog camp in upstate New York and a friend's "dog wedding" in Connecticut.