What's the Deal: Smart ways to spend tax refunds

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- So you filed your taxes and you're getting a refund!

If you're among those getting money back from Uncle Sam this year, let's talk before you start shopping.

The IRS says the average refund is around $3,000 dollars. The folks at Kiplinger say that's a lot of money and there are a lot of smart things you can do with it.

First, if you have credit card debt - throw it towards that. If you pay off a balance that has, say, an 18% interest rate, they say that's like earning 18% on your investments.

Next, if you've been dipping into your emergency fund - now is a good time to refuel it.

Kiplinger says the rule is to have six months worth of expenses on standby.

Also, think about boosting your retirement savings.

Whether you are saving for college or tackling the kids' education costs, Kiplinger says putting your tax refund into a 529 account is an A plus.

The new tax law now lets you use up to $10,000 per year tax free to pay tuition from kindergarten through college.

If there are gaps in your insurance, from health to home, having this chunk of change handy is a good time to fill that in.

And if you really had your eye on something new and shiny or a getaway, Kiplinger suggests pre-paying for vacations, using the money as a down payment for a new car or even put it aside for Christmas and holiday expenses.

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