The incredibly depressing things people spend their tax refund on
To cope with tax season, we eat and drink our feelings.
Almost one in five people say they cope with the frustration of doing their taxes by eating junk food, according to a study from Adobe Digital Insights, the research arm of Adobe. And more than 1 in 10 deal by getting their drink on. The 18-24 crowd is the most likely to scarf junk food while preparing taxes; the 25-34 crowd by taking down an alcoholic beverage or two.
Even when they get a tax refund, most people barely enjoy it. More than six in 10 people spend their refund on bills (35%) or school-related expenses like repaying their student loans or paying tuition (26%), according to Adobe Digital Insights. Another 14% saves it or invests it.
That leaves fewer than one in four people who spend it on something fun: vacation (13%) or shopping (10%).
Can't wait to get my tax refund and spend it on nothing but bills. 😃💸 #turnup
— Manda Panda (@manda_face123) April 5, 2017
Trying to figure out how to spend my tax refund and it's all going to bills #adulting 😒
— Erin Rae (@erinrhaug) March 12, 2017
The sad reason they’re being so responsible with their tax refunds: They’re barely treading water financially. About one in three American adults — roughly 76 million people — say they are struggling to get by or just barely making it, according to the Federal Reserve data. More than half (57%) say they couldn’t scrounge up $500 for an emergency bill if they had to, a Bankrate survey found.
Had a nice paycheck until I had to pay car insurance, school, gas, and stuff for work 🙃can I get another tax refund, it'd be a nice surprise
— Iselle H.N. (@SellySeaShells) April 11, 2017
my tax refund came through and i got really excited but then i realized it was JUST enough money to cover my tuition deposit for grad school
— goth dm (@khamchej) March 20, 2017
Plus, many are battling both increasingly large student loan and credit card bill. The average person graduating in 2016 has an average debt load of more than $37,000. Plus, credit card debt hit $1 trillion for the first time since 2008, according to the Federal Reserve, and CreditCards.com industry analyst Matt Schulz says that “Americans’ credit card debt will almost certainly reach its highest levels ever later this year and keep growing from there.”
The good news: Tax refunds can help with a pretty hefty chunk of those bills. About seven in 10 people who file taxes will get a refund, averaging more than $2,900.
This article was originally published in 2017.
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