Most Americans plan to save or invest their 2011 tax refunds, according to a TD Ameritrade Holding Corp. survey. Out of more than 1,000 people over the age of 18 surveyed, just over 50 percent said they expect to get a refund on either their state or federal tax return this year. Among those, 63 percent said they will save or invest at least part of that money.

Only 14 percent of respondents said they would use their refund to splurge on travel or a new mobile phone, but 51 percent said they would use some of the money to pay down debt and 48 percent said they would use their refund to pay for necessities like food or utilities.

"While this pragmatism may be a result of current economic conditions, it's nevertheless good to see that people are more likely to save their tax refund rather than perhaps spending it unwisely," said Lule Demmissie, managing director, investment products and retirement at TD Ameritrade, Inc. "Contributing lump sums like year-end bonuses or tax refunds is one way to bolster a retirement account."

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