How I'll Spend My Tax Refund: 7 Stories

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Tax season is upon us, but that's not such a bad thing for Americans receiving a big, fat refund check from Uncle Sam. According to the IRS, more than 48 million tax refunds had been issued by the end of February and as of February 28, the average refund this year is $3,034, up 3% compared to the average refund amount for the same time last year.

Of course, tax refunds are not a gift from the IRS—you're simply getting back your own money that you've loaned to the government interest-free throughout the year. Still, refund checks can seem like a generous boost to your finances when they finally arrive in the mail. Not quite sure how you'll spend your tax refund? You might want to take inspiration from the seven everyday Americans MainStreet spoke with recently. From home improvement projects to family vacations, here's how they're putting their refund checks to good use this year.