(SPM Wire)      –     Are you expecting a refund this year on your tax filings? Here are three smart ways to use that cash influx.

• Save it: Whether you funnel the money into a retirement fund, a college savings account or set it aside for a rainy day, it is always smart to turn your tax refund into savings.

• Pay down debt: Before you dream of taking your tax refund on your next shopping spree, review the balance on your credit cards, your student loans or other outstanding debt commitments and consider using the boon to pay down some of these I.O.Us.

• Invest it: Use your refund as an opportunity to save money down the line, with a home upgrade like an energy-efficient washing machine or a programmable thermostat.

This year, don’t squander your tax refund. Instead, use this money to improve your financial circumstances in the long-run.