QoD: How do 18-24 year olds plan to use their tax refund?

May 01, 2019
Taxes, Question of the Day

Now that tax day has come and gone, many folks will be waiting for their tax refund. How do they plan to spend it? Hat tip to Beth Tallman for this question.

Answer: Pay down debt (20%), save it (12%), invest it (11%), make a major purchase (9%)


  • What is one major difference on how 45-54 year olds plan to use their refund compared to 18-24 year olds? What might explain this? 
  • If you were a financial advisor and your client was expecting a $3,000 tax refund (average), how would you advise them to use it? 
  • What might be one flaw with this survey which asked people what they PLAN to do with their tax refund? 

Here's the ready-to-go slides for this Question of the Day that you can use in your classroom.

Behind the numbers (GoBankingRates.com):

The survey found that younger adults are more likely than older generations to want to invest their refunds. When asked what they want to do with the money they’ll get back from the government in 2019, 11 percent of respondents ages 18 to 24 and 13 percent of respondents ages 24 to 35 chose “invest it.” Gen Xers ages 45 to 54 were the least likely to want to invest their refund, with only 6 percent choosing this option.


Our Taxes Unit is updated to reflect the new tax laws; no more 1040-EZ!. Check it out here

About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.