For many of us who have recently graduated school (hooray for student loans) or are still in school (enjoy that deferment), tax season can be a happy time financially. Many people will get a substantial tax refund from the IRS. And more will squander that money before it has a chance to make it through one statement. Now I’m not saying stick it all under your mattress, but here’s some ways to spend it responsibly and feel good about it.

1. Let it grow 

Consider putting all of that money or part of it into a high-yield savings account. Instead of just holding on to it, why not let it grow while it’s sitting in your savings? Talk to the friendly folks at your local credit union about the right fit for your financial situation.

2. Invest

If you’ve been waiting on an injection of extra cash to take the first step, consider this your investment window. Finding the right investment opportunity for you and your financial outlook is much easier to do if you’ve got the cash on hand. Talk to your credit union to see what advice they offer for starting your portfolio.

3. Pay it off

 This one ties in closely to suggestion No. 1. If you’ve got a credit card/loan accruing more interest monthly than you would *gain* in a CD or similar account, consider paying that off. Take a look at your obligations, maybe one of them can be knocked out all at once with a portion of that tax refund. You’ll stop paying just to have that loan every month and will gain peace of mind.

4. Treat yo’ self

Seriously. While I don’t suggest you spend ALL of your extra money on a new wardrobe, you should spend some of it on yourself. You work hard on your budget, and (hopefully) by this point, have figured out a financially responsible way to spend a good chunk of that refund money. You’ll avoid budget burnout, and let’s face it, enjoy yourself.

Happy tax-refund season! Spend responsibly.