Facebook Pixel

5 Things You Shouldn't Do With Your Year-End Bonus

By HERWriter
Rate This
5 Things Not to Do With Your Year-End Bonus iko/Fotolia

You got a bonus! That’s great! You worked hard for that money, so of course you should get to enjoy it. But before you rush out to the mall to grab the first thing that catches your eye, take a few deep breaths.

Enjoy having the cash in hand while you consider these tips from RealSimple.com to protect your money and put it to work for you.

1) Don’t let your bonus melt a hole in your credit card

Just because you got a bonus doesn’t mean you have to spend it right this second. As soon as you get the money, move it into a savings account so it’s harder to access while you really think about how to use it.

2) Don’t anticipate your bonus amount

Even if your company announced a percentage gift or told you how much your bonus will be, don’t count your dollars before you have them in your hand.

Unless you are the finance manager, you don’t know all the factors involved in calculating your bonus amount including how much will be taken out for taxes. So wait to spend the money until you see exactly how much you received.

3) Don’t create more debt because you got a bonus

Whatever you do, don’t let the extra money from a bonus or commission check lure you into going further in debt. Don’t even consider “spending” your bonus using your credit card before it arrives with the intention of paying off your card when the check comes in. Hold out and spend the cash when you get it.

4) Don’t buy huge gifts

Whether you are shopping for yourself or others, don’t throw all your bonus money into large gifts. You (hopefully!) had a plan for holiday shopping before the bonus came in. Stick to the plan and buy budget-appropriate gifts your family will love.

5) Don’t include this year’s bonus in next year's financial plan

There are two sides to this coin. When you look at your end-of-year earnings, your bonus may be included in the total. So don’t just divide by 12 and assume that’s what you’ll have each month next year, or you may come up short on your monthly budget.

At the same time, don’t assume that a big bonus this year means a big bonus next year. Base your financial plan on your actual weekly or monthly earnings and enjoy next year’s bonus if it shows up.

Now that you have some ideas for what not to do with your bonus money, check out these smart ways to use your bonus as part of a good financial plan.

Next, check out these tips for suggestions about how to make the most of your year-end bonus.


RealSimple. 6 Smart Ways to Use Your Year-End Bonus. Web. December 9, 2015.

Reviewed December 10, 2015
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

Add a CommentComments

There are no comments yet. Be the first one and get the conversation started!

Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

Financial Health

Get Email Updates

Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!