What to do with a holiday bonus
Are you getting a holiday bonus this year? It’s always so very tempting to just spend spend spend. After all, the money wasn’t something you planned for, so it can be easy to spend it on something you have been wanting but haven’t had the funds for. And while that’s an option, is it really what you should do with your money?
I like to recommend a 50/50 option – save half and allow yourself to spend half. It’s never bad to have a bit of extra money socked away, and then you can also have a bit of fun with that bonus.
I’m getting a small bonus this year, and sadly I’m not saving any of it. I’m spending it on unplanned car repairs. Not what I had wanted, but it’s nice to not have to hit the savings to cover the expense. I’m thankful that I have the option.
Should you pay a holiday bonus?
At holiday time, it can be traditional to tip the various service providers in your life, from daycare providers to housekeepers to pet sitters. Have you thought about whether or not you should give a holiday bonus? There are all sorts of suggestions of how much you should tip. For example, if someone provides you personal service, like weekly housekeeping or nanny services, the suggestion is a full week’s pay, but that can be tough for a lot of people to fit into their budget. Still, I think it’s important to show people how much you appreciate their services.
Some “experts” will say that if the person providing the service is the owner of the business, then it’s unnecessary to tip because the whole amount of pay goes to them. I don’t think that should apply to holiday bonuses though, but you should do what you feel comfortable with. Personally, while we’re not rolling around in piles of money, we are comfortable and I like to be able to pay it forward.
If you’re considering gifts for teachers or daycare providers – remember that they’ve likely got a lot of students and are probably full up on teacher trinkets, though the teachers in my life say that something small and thoughtful is really lovely. While they may not be allowed to accept cash, a gift card for a local store is always a nice gift. This year, we’re probably doing a small trinket along with a Target gift card.
- How To Recover From Holiday Spending
- Tips to Maximize Your Finances This Christmas
- I got a bonus at work – now what?
Megan is a 40-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.