NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — According to a survey by the National Retail Federation of over 8,700 consumers, approximately two out of every three taxpayers are anticipating a tax refund this year. The average refund was over $3,000 last year. 44% of those that are expecting a refund are planning on putting at least some of that money into savings, up 2% over last year, and is the highest percentage since the survey began nine years ago.
“After a rocky few years, consumers are now more vigilant about how they spend their money and the importance of preparing for future financial stability,” said Matthew Shay, President and CEO of the NRF.
Other popular uses of tax refunds include paying down debt at 40%, and everyday expenses at 29%. Only 12% of respondents are planning to make a big purchase, like a new television, down 1% from 2011. Just 11% are putting their refund money towards a vacation, also less than last year.
Single mother, Celeste Simmons, says “I will never use my tax refund as spending cash again, I realized I was behind so I started saving 100% of it four years ago and now I’ve accumulated enough for a down payment on a house. There is no other time of year that I have to get ahead.”
Most taxpayers are also eager to get their hands on their refund money. By the end of this month 64.4% of Americans will have already filed their taxes, the highest percentage since 2006. Only 14% are waiting until the last minute to file.
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