(NEW YORK) — Using federal or state tax refunds to pay for a vacation seems like a good idea, but just 10 percent of Americans are planning to do so this year, a 20 percent drop from 2011.
The finding comes from a survey of 1,005 U.S. adults commissioned by Taxsoftware.com. Most of the Americans surveyed said they will instead use their refunds to pay off debts or add to their savings or investments.
The decision to pay down debt rather than use the refund to cover a vacation is just one of several dramatic differences between surveys taken in 2011 and 2012.
Here’s a breakdown:
In 2011, 31 percent planned to use the refund to make home improvements. For 2012, it’s eight percent.
In 2011, 23 percent planned to use the refund to buy products such as cars, electronics or furniture. For 2012, it’s eight percent.
In 2011, 15 percent planned to give their refund to charity. For 2012, just two percent plan to do so.
In 2011, 59 percent planned to use the refund to pay off debts. For 2012, it’s 29 percent.
In 2011, 19 percent planned to use the refund to mortgages or education loans. For 2012, five percent.
In 2011, 66 percent planned to use the refund on savings and investments. For 2012, it’s 27 percent.
Respondents were allowed to choose more than one way on how they plan to spend their refunds.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Ahiza Garcia, CNN
David Goldman, CNN
Susie East, CNN
Cristina Alesci Seth Fiegerman and Charles Riley, CNN