Happy April 15!  A recent survey shows that the average American is getting  just under $3000.00  as a refund.

The retail federation hopes you'll buy yourself something nice. research shows that in this economy only about 7% will oblige.   The rest of us have a fairly even split as to where we think that refund check should go:

    1. Pay down high-interest rate debt.
    2. Fund your retirement account.
    3. Fund an emergency savings account. Putting aside your tax refund in an emergency account can help tide you over should a job loss or unexpected expense occur.

Here's what Greg McBride,senior financial analyst, Bankrate.com has to say:

"I find that troubling, considering how woefully under-saved for retirement our society is," McBride says. "The recent survey from the Employee Benefit Research Institute

showed that 54 percent of Americans have less than $25,000 saved for retirement. The tax refund is the biggest windfall people are going to get all year," he says.

Three percent of those getting a refund took a refund anticipation loan. For people with incomes under $30,000, that number jumps to 6 percent.

"Here is what that really means: You gave your money to the government for free all year and now you need it back so quickly that you're going to pay a high interest rate just to get your own money back that you could have had all year," says McBride.