Will You Spend or Save Your Tax Refund?

The tax deadline is less than a week away. Most taxpayers (IRS says around 75%) will be getting a refund check. If you’re one of them, what will you be doing with the money? Spend it or save it?

That’s a good problem to have, and also having that choice is a good sign for the economy.  A new survey from CareerBuilder finds:

  • 46% plan to use the money to pay off bills, down from 56% last year when Americans had more recession related worries.
  • 36% say they’re saving up for a rainy day. Last year it was 34%.

Curtis Smith, financial advisor with Catalyst Financial Group, gave me his priority list of how to use that refund check:

  • Build up savings (the rainy day type)
  • Pay down credit card debt
  • Save for retirement/Pay for college. Whatever is most pressing at the moment. (Yikes! I’m being hit with both)

Not everyone will save their refund or pay off bills.  Careerbuilder’s survey found some other uses include home improvements, buying a car or computer, and going on vacation.

Smith says its okay to have fun and treat yourself with the refund check, but warns against falling back into any bad financial habits.

What will you do with your tax refund?

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