It’s one of the few times we look forward to tax-related tasks, and when it comes to saving versus splurging, CNBC reports that we have a tendency to indulge ourselves this time of year. The IRS reports that the average refund is $ 3,116, which is a good chunk of the change, whether you want to pay some bills, save, or get something good.

MIT Sloan School of Management professor Jonathan Parker says there are a lot of unnecessary (but fun) household expenses that report in a survey that they plan to save money. That’s not to say that these households aren’t saving part of their refund, but it also seems too tempting to get a big check and not spend at least part of it on yourself or your family.

Helping the economy

Edward Jones, a financial services company, has also surveyed those who receive refunds and found that only 8 percent of people admitted to spending their refund on a fun but unnecessary gift to themselves (the keyword here is “admit.” ).

Slightly more than half, 52 percent, said the reimbursements were for needs such as household expenses or debt repayment. Another 30 percent say they plan to save, 8 percent want to invest it, and only 2 percent still weren’t sure how they would spend their windfall profits.

Some people even plan expensive events like weddings during tax return season. In 2015, a Portland, Oregon couple planned their destination wedding in Jamaica in early May because they knew friends and family would be on the brink of tax refunds at that time of year. This clever planning paid off, as most of his guests accepted and spent Uncle Sam’s rebate on tropical drinks, souvenirs, and of course, wedding gifts.

Get more out of your refund

There is nothing wrong with indulging yourself, especially if you reserve only a small percentage of your refund for something fun. However, those who are really struggling to save or invest can try some strategies to improve fiscal responsibility.

For example, the IRS offers direct deposit of refunded checks, and all you need to provide is the bank name, account number, and routing number. Choose an account that you don’t check regularly or don’t have access to, or open a new savings account and opt out of checks or debit cards, and have your refund sent to this account.

CNN Money reports that 80 percent of taxpayers get a refund, which means that most of us are probably facing the same conundrum right now. Regardless of how small or large your refund is, how should you spend it? The majority of those who receive a refund (84 percent) earn less than $ 50,000 per year, so a significant refund can have a huge impact on debt repayment, savings, or investment. Make the most of your rebate this year and map where every dollar will go.

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