It's no surprise that most people are excited about all the new possibilities another year can bring. For millennials, however, the first few months of 2018 will be extra special. Why? They apparently have big plans for their federal income tax returns, according to Jackson Hewitt Tax Service.
But before you go rolling your eyes in disgust and assume the worst, results from the company's survey of tax payers ages 18 to 34 suggest they're more money savvy than some think. Rather than splurge on fidget spinners and guacamole, 43% said they plan to use their refund to repay holiday debt.
This is pretty notable considering that just 31% of everyone Jackson Hewitt surveyed had similar plans.
Last tax season, The Motley Fool reports the average refund was $2,782. Taking a closer look at the past 10 years combined, though, the average jumps to $2,851.80 or almost 10% of the median American's annual salary of $30,000. Talk about impressive!
It's still a little early to file your taxes yet. While the IRS hasn't announced an official start date to receive 2017 returns, most people begin the process at the end of January, and it takes around three weeks to get a refund (that is, unless you owe the government). Yet with the PATH Act delaying refunds for both EITC (earned income tax credit) and ACTC (additional child tax credit) filers until mid-February, some millennials may need to consider an alternative money source if they need to pay down bills more quickly.
Rather than wait for your tax refund, here are a few steps to get you on track now:
1. Write down all your expenses, and look for ways you can cut out some non-essential purchases.
2. Consider consolidating your credit cards, giving you one balance to prioritize.
3. Create a pay-off plan, picking an end date to keep you motivated.
For more advice, make sure to visit Refinery29's practical guide to getting out of debt.