Naturally, "once the money hits your bank account," it's tempting to spend on wants, not needs, the former CNBC host and best-selling author writes in a blog post. Instead, she writes, put at least a portion of those funds toward building financial security.
For example, "if you have unpaid credit card bills that charge you interest, writes Orman, "I want you to seriously consider using your tax refund to pay it down, because credit card debt is getting out of control again, and more expensive."
The average U.S. adult owes nearly $6,000, according to an estimate from CreditCards.com. And for those that carry a balance, the average interest rate has climbed to 15 percent and could keep rising.