Consumers expect to save tax refunds this year.


Americans have piggy banks on their minds.

In the National Retail Federation‘s annual tax returns survey, conducted by Prosper Insights and Analytics, 49.2 percent of respondents who anticipate a refund this year said they were planning to “save the money rather than spending it right away, the highest percentage in the survey’s history,” the NRF said adding that of those polled, over 65 percent said they are expecting a tax refund.

The survey also found that 34.9 percent of respondents said they were going to use their refunds to pay down their debt loads while 22.4 percent expect to use the money for “everyday expenses.” The organization noted that 11.4 percent of those polled have plans to book a vacation while 9.2 percent said they expect to spend the money on a “major purchase,” which could be an automobile or an appliance. “Splurges are still in the cards for some, with 8.3 percent planning to indulge on a purchase like a salon or spa service or an elaborate night out,” the trade group added.

NRF president and chief executive officer Matthew Shay said consumers “are building their spending power and boosting their confidence as they set aside their checks from Uncle Sam. Americans this year see refund season as a time to improve their financial health by using their refunds to get ahead on savings goals and plan for bigger purchases in the future. Money saved is money waiting to be spent.”

By demographic, 57.3 percent of the 18 to 24 year olds polled said they would save their refund while 27.4 percent “will use it for groceries, gas and other everyday purchases.” Of that age group polled, 12.6 percent are earmarking their refunds for vacations while 13.4 percent said they would splurge.

“More than half — 52.3 percent — of those ages 25 to 34 plan to tuck their refunds into savings and 45 percent will use it to pay down debt,” the NRF added.

Prosper consumer insights director Pam Goodfellow said, “Millennials are being wise and putting saving ahead of splurging as they look for ways to get ahead. Young consumers see their refund as an opportunity to build their savings without making a dent in their monthly budget.”

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