Fifty six percent of workers report they'll use their tax return to pay off bills that have accumulated, a CareerBuilder survey finds.
Tax returns can be a needed income boost for cash-strapped workers. Seventy-eight percent said they currently live paycheck to paycheck, up from 61% who said the same a year ago. In addition, economic pressures have resulted in some workers downsizing their investments to help make ends meet. Seventeen percent report they reduced their 401(k) contributions in the last year.
"Workers' wallets are still feeling the ripple effects of the past year," comments Rosemary Haefner, VP of human resources for CareerBuilder. "In addition to scaling back their investments and cutting back on expenses, workers are using their tax returns to help supplement their incomes. Our survey indicates that more workers plan to spend their refunds on everyday expenses than on savings or other items."
While many workers indicated that they will use their returns to tackle bills, others said they will put it into savings (34%), make home improvements (12%), go on vacation (11%), pay back money they owe other people (8%), invest it (7%) or buy a car (2%).