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Where Money Really Does Grow on Trees
Derek Allen
Derek Allen
Apr 07, 2010

For our last giveaway we asked our readers if they were getting a tax refund and how they were spending it. We received over 350+ responses and quite a few interesting answers. I examined all the responses and broke them down into pie charts. You should be able to notice quite a few trends in personal finance. Some expected, others not so much.

Are you expecting a tax refund?

tax_refund_breakdown

The vast majority of our readers have received or are expecting a tax refund. I expected that to be the majority response, but not at 86%. I anticipated people to adjust their withholdings to have extra cash to get them through each month. Thus, more people would have a small or zero tax refund.

What are you doing with your tax refund?

(These results are based on the 86.04% who indicated they received or were expecting a tax refund)

tax_refund_areas

I found this statistic to be particularly alarming. I expected a lot more people to save their refund or use it to pay down debt they may have accumulated in the recession. It seems that since it appears we are recovering from this recession, people are tired of saving and looking to indulge a bit.

How are you spending your tax refund?

(These are the results for the 75.49% who indicated they were spending their tax refund)

spending_breakdown

This statistic is particularly interesting. The majority of people are using their tax return to pay bills. Does this mean people are depending on their tax return to pay off their monthly bills? Or were they really referring to debt payments like credit card bills? I’m going with the latter, I doubt that many people are struggling to make ends meet each month.

What areas of debt is your tax refund going to?

(These are the results for the 12.27% who indicated they were paying off debt with their tax refund)

paying_off_debt

These results are fairly expected. I anticipated the majority of people using their tax refund to pay off debt to direct it to credit cards. This is the most logical option if you are burdened with credit card debt. The interest rates on these will be the highest.

Are the results what you expected? Notice anything interesting from the data?

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