The average tax refund this year has been about $2,700, according to the IRS. That's up 11% from last year and constitutes a pretty healthy one-time fiscal shot in the arm for the typical family struggling during this recession. If you didn't file until April you may still be waiting for your refund and contemplating how to best use it. More people than ever are using their refund to pay basic bills, according to an AP poll. For example, 31% said they were using their refund to pay credit card debt up from 17% a year ago. The percentage using their refund to pay utility bills and rent or their mortgage has roughly doubled too. If you must, you must. But bear in mind that when you use one-time income to meet recurring expenses you're likely headed for trouble down the road. Better to cut costs and live within your means, and use your refund for a one-time fix. Here are 10 responsible ways to spend your refund for solid financial and happiness returns.