A Girl’s Fun & Frivolous Ideas on Spending Your Tax Refund

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WomenMy friend Stephanie asked me why I never wrote about anything fun. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. While she enjoys all the investing information and money news, every once and a while I should sprinkle in something fun. The $500 bill trivia was a good start, but not entertaining enough.

So I turned the tables on her and asked her for ideas. Since I’m boring, I needed her help. She suggested a post about all the fun things a woman could spend her tax refund on. Nothing boring/responsible like researching the best CD rates but spending it all on something awesome. I told her that if she found a few fun things around the cost of the average tax refund last year ($2700, $3000 so far this year), I’d post it. Here were her ideas plus a few of my own:

Chloé Python Handbag

Chloe Silverado Python Shoulder BagAvailable at Saks Fifth Avenue, the Chloé Silverado Python Shoulder Bag will set you back $2,650 plus tax. I’m not sure how I feel about a purse made out of python and leather but apparently it’s sizzling hot if you don’t mind spending a nice mortgage payment on a handbag! Chloe has an entire clothing line and other handbags that aren’t quite so exquisitely priced.

Botox Treatments

onabotulinumtoxinABotox, which sounds nicer than onabotulinumtoxinA, offers “real, noticeable results with approximately 11 million treatments.” (that’s a quote from their website, not sure if only a couple treatments will do or if you’ll need all eleven million) Pricing will vary depending on where you live though you can probably get a few treatments for a cool three G’s. Stephanie said she wouldn’t do it because she’s scared of it (I don’t blame her, I wouldn’t want to inject something in my body that had the word “toxin” in it) but it’s certainly an option if you want to hide all human emotion from your facial expressions. 🙂 (Photo: ajc1)

Jimmy Choos

Jimmy Choo QuitoWe’re going to with a budget choice this time and only spend a third of your refund with the Jimmy Choo Quito. At $995, you will have some left over for a botox treatment or a trip to the spa. Don’t let the 4.7″ heel height scare you though, this embossed leather sandal lets you make a statement. Car payments never looked so good. If you want to spend another three to four hundred bones, you can get the snakeskin version instead.

Mandarin Oriental Spa Package

Miami Mandarin Oriental Spa Serenity RoomYou won’t be able to afford an Evian water bath ($5,000) at Spa V at Hotel Victor but you could get a couple sessions at the Mandarin Oriental in New York. Their “Full Day Program” costs a mere $1270 on the weekdays and $1325 on the weekends, you get: “Delight in the ultimate luxury of time with The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, New York’s Full Day Program. You will enjoy a 2 hour, 50 minute Time Ritual™, a 1 hour, 20 minute Specialized Facial, a Holistic Hand and Foot Treatment, and a Bento Box lunch.” You also get access to all their facilities including a 75′ pool, fitness center, sauna, amethyst crystal steam rooms (?), ‘experience’ showers (??), vitality pools (???), and relaxation lounges. That Bento Box lunch sounds pretty good. (Photo: mandarinoriental)

Cruise: Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas

Oasis of the SeasCruise on the largest cruise ships in the world – the Oasis of the Seas (if you click on that link, it immediately loads a video). They used to say that cruise ships are little floating cities and the Oasis is no joke, it’s a freaking metropolis. It’s as long as four football fields, cost $1.4 billion to build, has 21 pools, 24 restaurants, and is 20 stories tall above the sea. Just take a look at the webcam of the boardwalk, is that on a ship or on land? You have no idea. It’s absolutely monstrous and it has a twin, the Allure of the Seas. You can get an interior statement room for as little as a thousand dollars per person plus taxes and fees, leaving out of Fort Lauderdale, FL. Not a bad vacation! (Photo: monica_r)

Ladies, what are some other fun things to spend your tax refund on?

(Photo: strict)

{ 46 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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46 Responses to “A Girl’s Fun & Frivolous Ideas on Spending Your Tax Refund”

  1. Jenn says:

    I’m not a spa and clothing kind of gal and take a lot of teasing because of it. If I were determined to blow that money on something frivolous it would definitely go to travel. That’s not enough money to do a major trip with the family so I can see it being 3-4 great days in New York or San Francisco.

    Back in the real world I actually intend to put my refund directly into the family travel budget. We haven’t nailed down the itinerary yet, but it will be about a month and somewhere in Europe. Our last trip in 2008 cost $12k for the month which is of course a lot of money for a non-essential. However if you look at it as $750/person/week it’s actually fairly reasonable for peak season in Europe.

    We live an extremely frugal lifestyle in all other areas and require only 55% of our take home for the basics. Everything else goes to retirement savings and extra mortgage payments, but we do take a break from that routine for a major trip with the kids every other year. Yes it will delay our early retirement plans by a few years but we’ve decided that travelling now with our kids is worth working an extra few years.

    Yes those Jimmy Choos are beautiful, but for my money experiences always trump stuff.

  2. zapeta says:

    I’m not a lady, but I’d still rather save or invest my tax refund, especially if I got a big refund. However, I have to say that a cruise would be a lot of fun!

  3. Hannah says:

    I couldn’t tell at first glance if this was supposed to be a joke, because these are all really uncreative, stereotypical things that women are criticized for wasting their money on. The purse and the shoes practically symbols of financially irresponsible women in the personal finance world. I’m not saying they aren’t perfectly fine things to spend your money on, it just seems like a weird topic for a post on this blog.

    • Jim says:

      We thought it would be fun to be fanciful and while they might be criticized on other sites, I haven’t and will never criticize people on what they buy. Why? I believe that you should buy the things you enjoy and save in other areas. What you buy is irrelevant because it’s your money, I just believe you have to spend less than you earn.

      I don’t believe a handbag is worth a few thousand bucks but if you have a few thousand and you want to spend it on a handbag, more power to you. I listed some of these and did so in a joking manner because I wanted it to be fun and fanciful, rather than the standard doctor’s orders personal finance stuff. I need to lighten up and have fun sometimes and Stephanie gave me a chance to do so.

  4. Beth says:

    Perhaps I’m not a girlie-girl, but I’d rather buy a new computer, digital SLR camera or a piece of furniture than a pair of shoes or a purse that costs that much! 🙂

    I guess I’m boring. My refund goes three ways — towards retirement savings, student loan repayment and saving for something “fun” (like a trip or other non-essential).

    I would love to try on those shoes though. That would be enough for me 🙂

    • Jim says:

      I’m not convinced there are that more “girlie-girls” than “beth-girls,” because I know more people inclined to buy a computer, SLR camera, or furniture than a pair of shoes or a handbag, so I wouldn’t be so quick to call yourself boring. 🙂

  5. David says:

    I would buy some cheap stocks

  6. tbork84 says:

    How about the last few things needed to round out a new apartment? One of which was a nice new television. The rest went into savings, so it was a nice combination of boring and fun.

  7. Mark says:

    I’m using a very small portion of my refund to buy an indoor skate trainer. Saw these on the TV during the Olympics and became infatuated. I had ACL surgery (due to a hockey incident) a year ago and was told to stop running so have been looking for fun ways to get some exercise. Plus I live in SoCal, and finding good ice in the Spring is a bit difficult. At ~$600 they are not cheap, but the other $2k is getting invested.

  8. I don’t get a tax refund, in fact I will owe a couple thousand. Does that mean I can sell some of my wife’s shoes and handbags? 🙂

  9. lostAnnfound says:

    I’m only getting $1008 refund (a couple hundred will go to state taxes), but I could do all that for a lot less. My favorite local day spa has a full day package for $325 (I did this once before and it was AWESOME). I can go to Kohls and get a knock-off bag for less than $100, same for shoes. I probably wouldn’t do Botox either (that “toxin” word kind of freaks me out, too), but one of my clients is a dermatology group, so if I wanted to do it I could get it for $100 per series. The cruise isn’t easy to replace, but I could go to the lake with my husband and a picnic lunch and go out on the canoe and still would have an enjoyable experience.

    The reality is that the refund will be going to pay down debt, but if it was mine to really spend I would do something boring like convert the walk-in closet upstairs to a half bath for the teens 🙂

  10. Lana says:

    That’s ridiculous! $2600+ on a purse that will be out of style in 12 months! $1k for shoes – OMG…really? Use the money to travel and take lots of pics; that will be something remembered, not squandered!

  11. daenyll says:

    I could get a nice start on a whole new wardrobe for the price of that bag. And those shoes look cool, but would probably be pure torture to wear or at least a major ankle injury waiting to happen.

  12. hoht says:

    I would make memories 😀
    (Realistically though, I would use it for school)

  13. saladdin says:

    Beer and Hos.


  14. ziglet19 says:

    I can’t ever imagine spending that kind of money on a purse!

    If I had some money to blow like this, I would probably used it for a family vacation.

    I have been known to eek out a $100 or so from a tax refund or a work bonus to go get a massage at our local day spa – definately a fun splurge that I enjoy. One of my friends, on the other hand, wouldn’t waste a penny on a professional massage because her husband gives her high quality massages at home. I guess I could try spending the $100 for the massage on massage training for my husband, but somehow I don’t think it would work out.

  15. jsbrendog says:

    so can we anticipate the fun things for a guy to spend his on? mine has already been spent on a ps3 even though i have not filed yet

  16. Suzanne says:

    I spent $395 of my refund on Total Immersion swim lessons that start next month. It seems like a splurge to me but I really want to learn to swim freestyle (after side-stroking in a sprint triathlon; yes, very sad!). I’m glad, though, that this amount does seem extravagant. After spending almost a year reading savings blogs, it’s nice to recognize that something like this is a treat and not just another “thing” I spent my money on. I’m really more excited paying extra every month on my mortgage principal!

  17. Meredith says:

    Bon bons, a lounging sofa and a scantily clad young man to fan me. Those certainly hit the typical girlie, fun and frivolous spots.

    But really, an off season dive trip to Bonaire would be my pick. And I’ll let my husband fulfill the scantily clad fellow’s role.

  18. fairydust says:

    Travel and probably a cruise or maybe one of those all-inclusive resorts like Sandals, but that particular cruise ship is too big – part of the fun of a cruise is knowing you’re on the ocean, so maybe something a tiny bit smaller like Cunard’s QM2 🙂

  19. I never understood why women are so obsessed with bags. I could never see myself spending so much money on something that I would not use very often. The same goes for shoes, especially when they heels. Very little material, but lots of money…

    • echidnina says:

      I would say I like bags, but I’ve never spent more than $100 on one. I don’t care about designer labels or ephemeral styles, just my own personal style and what I like. If it appeals to me now, chances are it will appeal to me for years ahead, even if the fashions change.

  20. Shirley says:

    Ever the practical (and undoubtedly the most boring) one, it gave me great pleasure to buy a new washer and dryer. Although the old ones had not yet given up the ghost, they were leaning toward that idea.

    The new ones will last for as long as we need them, the old ones will make a suitable sale for hospice and an affordable buy for someone in an economic pinch. I’m quite happy with this win-win-win decision.

    To each his own but those shoes look downright dangerous to me! 🙂

  21. Walt says:

    Even the thought of spending that much money on any of those things makes me want to throw up…except for the cruise.

  22. DIANA says:


  23. Sarah in Alaska says:

    Shoes are not my definition of fun or interesting…
    I’m dragging my husband on a backpacking trip this summer. The updated and upgraded gear costs $1000, the transportation and fees cost another $1000. I get sick every time I look at those numbers, but the memories and experience will make it worth it.

  24. Martha says:

    The funny part of this article to me that if a man was to purchase frivolous things it would probably have to include, a really awesome grill ($1000), a new set of golf clubs ($1000) and a pair of tickets to their favorite sporting event (easily $1500)….


  25. Kathy says:

    Why spend $5000 on a bath when you can use that money for a 1-month trip to France, and get as much Evian water as you want? =)

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