Most Jaw-Dropping Ways Moms Have Spent Their Tax Refunds (PHOTOS)

Liz Alterman | Jan 23, 2015 Money

mom with money

Who doesn't love a sudden windfall? Even though it's our own money coming back to us, most families rejoice each year when tax refunds start popping up in the mailbox.

Sure, financial experts will tell you it's best to get the smallest amount back, as that means you've been collecting most of your money in your paycheck all year long. Still, taxpayers received an average refund of $3,034 in 2014, according to the Internal Revenue Service. 

Once you've got that check in hand (or in the bank, courtesy of direct deposit), the real question becomes: What will you do with it? 

Financial advisers extol the virtues of paying down your debt or chipping away at your mortgage. And don't get us wrong, those are great, not to mention smart, ideas. But a fun way to spend your influx of cash? Not so much.

More from The Stir: 10 Ways Moms Can Cut Costs Right Now (PHOTOS)

Many moms would love to remodel the kitchen, take a once-in-a-lifetime family vacation, or drive off in a new car rather than save for a rainy day. (Sounds way more exciting to us, too!) So we reached out to moms to ask them what were some of the most extravagant purchases they made after that government check cleared. #5 and #6 look pretty good to us! 

What's the most decadent thing you've ever purchased with your tax refund?


Image © Masterfile/Corbis

  • Cosmetics


    Image © Andrey_Popov/shutterstock

    One mom, who preferred to remain anonymous (we don't blame her -- our husbands would kill us!), said she spent $2,500 on makeup -- mostly lipsticks. For that money we hope she looks supermodel-gorgeous!

  • A Piano


    Image via SaintJudes

    While this mom didn't share how much she spent on this piano, we love that she put the money toward a wonderful hobby.

    Findings published in September’s Journal of Neuroscience illustrated a link between music training and the positive biological effect it has on children’s developing nervous systems. So not only will this purchase possibly help her kids academically, it's also fun and entertaining at the same time. 

  • Wedding & Honeymoon


    Image via darcibeisheim

    How did Darcibeisheim put her ample refund to use? "My wedding & honeymoon. We spent close to $7,000; we got around $12,000 back that year."

  • Gaming System


    Image via Walmart

    Acrogoddess split the cost of an Xbox with her brother. While financial experts, including Jeremy Vohwinkle of, advise against purchasing electronics with your refund, as they lead to additional spending on games and become outdated quickly, this mom couldn't be happier with her purchase. 

    "It is good exercise for the whole family especially in the winter when it is too cold to go play outside," she shared, calling it her "best purchase ever."

  • Dream Vacation


    Image © Kelly-Mooney Photography/Corbis

    A trip that'll make the whole family smile was a popular response. Even the most conservative financial experts will agree that if you can afford it, it's better to spend the money on "an unforgettable experience" rather than more "stuff." 143myboys9496 devoted her refund to a Disney vacation. That sounds like an investment in great memories. 

  • New Mattress


    Image ©Geo-Grafika/shutterstock

    We've heard of hiding money under the mattress, but this anonymous mom decided her bed needed a significant upgrade. "Two years ago we bought a $1,400 California king memory foam mattress and a nice bedframe [to replace] a really old full sized bed." 

  • A Dress for a Wedding


    Image via Nieman Marcus

    BabyBrooke13 says when she was 19, she received roughly $850 from the federal government and promptly spent it on a dress for a wedding she was attending. (Yikes, some brides don't even spend that much on their gowns!)  

    "I should describe it a bit I guess," she writes. "It was a champagne colored A-line dress that hit about 3" above the knee. It was beaded all over and lined with silk. I paired it with gold colored strappy stilettos."

    It sounds lovely, let's just hope she's worn it again ... and again.

  • A Sushi Dinner


    Image © Maksim Toome/shutterstock

    After getting ahead on some bills, mom meandmyboys124 spent $140 on sushi. "It was nice but not something we would do again," she writes.

  • A Designer Handbag


    Image via eBay

    "I spent $160 of my tax return for a Michael Kors bag," shares MommaofALT. 

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