By Maya Rhodan
March 6, 2017
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Most Americans plan to use their 2016 tax refunds for savings and paying down debt rather than shopping sprees or vacations, according to a new survey.

About half of Americans, 47%, expect to get a tax refund in 2016, according to the study from Bankrate.com survey, and 90% say they will use the money they get back from the federal government for something practical. Thirty-four percent say they will save whatever money they get back and 29% will use the money to pay bills or buy food.

Only 6% of those polled plan to use their refunds to splurge on indulgences like a vacation or shopping spree.

According to Bankrate, about a quarter of Americans had already filed their taxes by mid-February and two out of three of those filers have gotten refunds already. Millennials, the survey found, were most likely to be both early filers and savers.

“This shows a sense of responsibility and overall financial savviness among young adults. They’re setting up a solid foundation for their future financial selves,” said Sarah Berger of Bankrate in a statement. “It can be tempting to splurge with that refund, but saving it is so much smarter; consider it an investment in yourself.”

Those who haven’t filed, about 29% of those surveyed, say they’re holding out until April—this year’s filing deadline is April 18. Less than half of those surveyed who haven’t yet filed say they expect to get a refund this year.

The survey of 1,001 adults was conducted between Feb. 16 and 19. It has a margin of error of 3.8% points.

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