If you received a big refund this year, now is the time to update your tax withholdings at work by filing a new form W-4. This can increase your take-home pay and lower your refund next year. "Stop Overpaying Your Taxes" will show you how to use your withholdings at work to reduce your tax over-payment and give yourself a boost to your paycheck.
If you don't want to risk spending the money on unnecessary 'stuff,' get the money out of your checking account as soon as (or before) it arrives. You can use the money to pay down debt by sending an automatic payment to pay down loans faster or invest in your future by increasing your contributions to your retirement accounts. If you use your refund for a big annual purchase (like a vacation), you can also send the money directly to a savings account at an online bank that pays higher interest.