It's one our favorite times of the year, tax time! Yes, the filing of those exciting tax returns.

How did you do this year? Did you owe something? Maybe you got a refund. And, if so, what happened to it? Spend or save, that is the question.

The Principal Financial Group®. The Principal Financial Well-Being IndexSM: American Workers found that while 44 percent of workers are cautious about the economic outlook for 2015, 34 percent (up 26 percent from Q1 of last year) still remain optimistic about their outlook, with just 11 percent of workers describing themselves as pessimistic this year. Half (49 percent) of American workers consider themselves financially healthy.

Amidst this guarded outlook, among the two-thirds (66 percent) of American workers expecting a tax refund, over half (53 percent) are choosing to save or invest it, a third (35 percent) plan to pay down or pay off short term debt and another one in one in five (19%) are choosing to pay off or pay down long-term debt. Eighteen percent of American workers expecting a refund plan on using it to buy consumer products, up from 13 percent last year.

“Even while Americans express some uncertainty about the future of our economy, it’s reassuring to see that overall pessimism is down,” said Luke Vandermillen, vice president at The Principal®. “The economy would benefit from increased consumer spending, but it is encouraging to see Americans are making prudent decisions with their money.”

The study also found that Gen Y workers are decidedly more optimistic in their economic sentiment (48 percent) compared to Gen X workers (30 percent) and Baby Boomer workers (29 percent).

The Principal Financial Well-Being Index: American Workers surveyed more than 1,110 American workers working at small to mid-sized businesses across geographies and demographics. The Index is part of a series of quarterly studies commissioned by The Principal Knowledge Center examining the financial well-being of American workers, business owners and advisor opinions and practice management. The survey is conducted online by Harris Poll.