We know we have to spend less than we earn. We know that credit card debt, with its double digit interest rates, is bad for our long term success. We know that saving for retirement is important and that compound interest is our friend.

We don’t save as much as we should for retirement because we can’t picture ourselves in forty years and needing that growth. We don’t see ourselves spending months to pay down a debt we accrue in just minutes.

As we approach tax season, you will probably get a tax refund. Last year, the average tax refund was nearly three thousand dollars. I don’t care how much money you make, that counts as a windfall. The problem with a windfall like that is that you are not psychologically prepared for it. You have a tendency to see it as a bonus rather than what it really is – an accumulation of last year’s overpayment of taxes.

To hijack your instinct to simply spend this “free” money (that in reality you worked really hard for), put it to work before you get it.