Conn. (WTNH) — Tax season kicked-off this week. You may be filing early this year with hopes of getting a refund sooner. Before you run out and splurge, we are Stretching Your Dollar with the five best ways to spend that extra cash.

Don’t splurge — be smart! That’s the advice from financial experts about how to spend your tax refund check from Uncle Sam. As you file and think about that return on the way – if you’re lucky to get one – here are some reminders on how to spend it.

First, start an emergency fund to be better prepared for unexpected expenses. The advice is to have three to six months-worth of an emergency fund.

Next, pay off your debt. Whatever you owe money on, work hard to get ride of it and avoid paying double-digit interest rates.

If you’re a homeowner, upgrading your place is a smart way to spend. It’s likely your most valuable asset, so pour money into projects that will raise equity.

Put the money toward your individual retirement account.

Lastly, have fun. After all, fun is in the word refund. Its a good idea to set a goal, like paying off a credit card or loan, and then setting a reward for meeting that goal.