What should you do with your tax refund? Two-thirds of income tax filers are getting, or have gotten a refund. 37 percent plan to invest or save it, according to a survey published by the online magazine The Real Deal.
Personal finance writer Emma Johnson, who's from Sycamore and went to the University of Illinois, says this is a good idea, especially for people who lack a rainy day fund. Just 71 percent of people actually have that emergency fund. If you have credit card debt, which most Americans do have a credit card debt, (or) maybe you have a high-interest auto loan, and you're going and spending all of your refund on travel or on fun? Not a smart idea, she said.
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But if you're spending your tax refund on necessities such as food, which 23 percent are, then you're having too much withheld and should re-do your W-4 form so you'll have a little more money in every paycheck, instead of giving the government an interest-free loan.
Also from the survey: 24 percent of tax refund recipients will use it for travel, and 19 percent will buy clothes and accessories, and Johnson says merchants know people are coming into some money this time of year, and are trying to push merchandise.