TIP OF THE WEEK

It’s that time of year again when you may find a little bit of extra money in your pocket, thanks to your annual tax refund. There are plenty of practical ways to spend it, such as putting it toward paying off credit cards, loan payments or even starting a college fund, but there is always something tempting about taking that money and putting it toward something just a little bit more fun. Instead, consider something that is both practical and fun that you will use every day and will help you save money throughout the year.

Learn something new: Maybe you have been meaning to learn a new skill or explore a subject that you have taken interest in. Your refund is the perfect solution to fund a new hobby. A little bit of cash and a few extra hours a week can go a long way in honing in on one of your new (or old) passion points.

Be on the cutting edge: Haven’t you always wanted to be the first among your friends with one of the latest smartphones? Often though, it becomes too expensive between the phone, the update charge and the data fees. This year, use your tax refund to purchase one of the latest smartphones and a new wireless plan that allows you to save in the long-term.

Plan a staycation: Planning a vacation can be tough with a hectic family schedule. Between working out the details and packing, the planning process can become overwhelming. Why make it complicated when you can instead vacation from the comfort of your own home? Use your refund to have family-based experiences in your hometown — many museums, zoos, waterparks, etc. offer discounted year-round family memberships, too.

Get fit: Have you faltered on that New Year’s resolution to spend a few more hours a week at the gym? Your tax return is your second chance at getting into better shape this year. If the gym isn’t for you, put it toward trying a new exercise class, or better yet, do it with a friend or partner.

Cook a homemade family feast: While you could take your hard-earned tax return to a fancy restaurant, you could also make a fancy dinner right at home. Use your extra spending cash to revamp your kitchen with new appliances and ingredients that will allow for more exciting in-home dining.

— Brandpoint

THE LIST

According to Forbes, the top 10 highest-paid NASCAR drivers for 2018 are:

1. Dale Earnhardt Jr. ($22 million)

2. Jimmie Johnson ($19.2 million)

3. Kyle Busch ($14.7 million)

4. Denny Hamlin ($14.6 million)

5. Kevin Harvick ($13.8 million)

6. Brad Keselowski ($11.2 million)

7. Kasey Kahne ($11.2 million)

8. Danica Patrick ($10.3 million)

9. Joey Logano ($10.2 million)

10. Kyle Larson ($10.1 million)

NUMBER TO KNOW

$2.5 billion: The Walt Disney Co. recently announced an expansion of Disneyland Paris, which will feature new areas based on Marvel, “Frozen” and Star Wars, and will cost $2.5 billion.

TECH TALK

Google receives 2.4 million ‘right to be forgotten’ requests

According to the search engine Google, the company recently announced in its latest transparency report, it received 2.4 million “right to be forgotten requests” since 2014. Europe’s “right to be forgotten” law allows individuals to have their personal information removed from the search engine upon request. The report also revealed that Google complied with 43.3 percent of the requests.

— More Content Now