Hours after President Trump said Sunday he had "second thoughts" about escalating the trade war with China, the White House sought to explain his remark because it was...Politicsread more
Clouding the G-7 gathering, which represents the world's major industrial economies, are the tit-for-tat tariffs between Washington and Beijing.Politicsread more
President Donald Trump said that he would have a major trade deal with U.K. after it leaves the European Union.Politicsread more
Despite Kudlow's expectations, China said on Saturday that it strongly opposes Trump's decision to levy additional tariffs on $550 billion worth of Chinese goods, and warned...Politicsread more
President Donald Trump said Sunday he was not happy after North Korea launched short-range ballistic missiles over the weekend.Politicsread more
Carl Medlock used to work at Tesla. Now he's one of the few people in the U.S. that can fix the company's original Roadster electric vehicles.Technologyread more
The announcement for Target also comes on the heels of a strong quarterly earnings report, where it showed it drove more people to stores and got them to spend more money...Retailread more
The Goldman Sachs technology M&A team, led by Sam Britton, has cashed in on its software focus and decades of experience to dominate 2019's biggest deals.Technologyread more
American small and medium-size companies that rely on China are scrambling to adjust their business plans in response to the escalating trade war.Traderead more
Here are the products that stand to be the most affected by China's new tariffs on $75 billion worth of U.S. goods.Marketsread more
The summit comes amid fears over a global economic slowdown, and U.S. tensions over trade allies, Iran and Russia.Politicsread more
When it comes to tax refunds, many Americans say they plan to do something virtuous with the money they get back from Uncle Sam, like pay down debt or put it in the rainy day fund.
We're not completely fooling ourselves: Experts say people who plan to save their refund or use it to pay off bills do that—with at least part of the money.
But whether we realize it or not, having a little extra money in the checking account also often leads to a splurge or two, like a new pair of shoes or a nice dinner out.
(Read more: Look who's paying the marriage penalty this year)
"You also find significant spending among households who say they're saving it," said Jonathan Parker, a finance professor at MIT's Sloan School of Management who has studied how people spend money they get back from the government.
It's not clear whether people are aware that they are spending a bit more than they otherwise would have. Parker said people may just see that their bank balance is a bit higher, or know that they just deposited that big check, and feel comfortable spending a bit more even a month or two later.
"It actually caused spending even though you think you saved it," he said.
For many Americans, a tax refund is a significant financial boost. The Internal Revenue Service said Thursday that it had issued more than 40 million refunds already this year, and average refund so far is $3,116.
(Read more: How patriotic! Paying govt extra-voluntarily)
Many people plan to use those refund checks to get their financial house in order. A survey released this week by financial services firm Edward Jones found that only 8 percent of respondents would spend a tax refund on something fun, like clothes, entertainment or a meal out.
By contrast, 52 percent of those surveyed said that if they were to get a refund this year, they'd spend it on necessary items, like household expenses or credit card debt. Thirty percent planned to save it, and 8 percent planned to invest it; 2 percent weren't sure.
The phone survey of 1,018 Americans was conducted earlier this year and had a margin of error of 3 percentage points.
(Read more: Hate doing your taxes? Blame Congress, not the IRS)
Parker said if you really want to make sure that you are actually saving your refund, the best thing to do is to put it in a place where it's hard to get to, like a mutual fund account or a retirement plan.
If you just leave it in the checking or even savings account, it's too easy to dip in, even unintentionally, for nonessential expenses.
Still, Parker said there's not necessarily anything wrong with using your tax refund to splurge a bit—after all, an indulgence here and there can make you happy.
It's only a problem if you do something like go on vacation instead of paying that overdue credit card bill, or just end up regretting frittering away the money.
"(If you're) not paying your utility bills, then you ought to be thinking differently," he said.
—By CNBC's Allison Linn. Follow her on Twitter or send her an e-mail.