Millions of Americans have prepared their federal and state tax returns with hopes of receiving a refund. In past years, that refund, real or not, was likely to be used to pay for something fun or extravagant. This year, however, 70 percent of consumers responding to a survey conducted by Roper Public Relations on behalf of TrueCredit.com, said they would save for a rainy day.
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“Americans are reacting to an uncertain economy by keeping a closer eye on their finances, and are, therefore, more likely to deal conservatively with a financial windfall,” John Danaher, President of TrueCredit.com, explained in a statement announcing the survey results. “With the national savings rate so low and credit card debt so high, this is an encouraging trend.”
Other findings from the survey, which allowed respondents to select more than one of six possible responses explaining how they would allocate their total refund dollars, include:
- 57 percent report they will buy something they need;
- 40 percent would use their refund to pay down their mortgage or other bills;
- 39 percent will pay off credit card bills;
- 34 percent will take a vacation;
- 31 percent would splurge on something fun.
“Along with being fiscally prudent, consumers should closely track their credit accounts and spending habits,” Danaher adds. “A healthy credit profile empowers consumers with more reliable and consistent financial freedom than occasional windfalls, enabling them to access funds when they needs them.”