What to Do with a Bonus ?

in Advice, Humor

A reader sent me an e-mail asking for my advice. After I checked to make sure this person didn’t mean to send it to a real financial blogger, I decided I should give my brand of “Southern Fried Advice”, for what to do with a Bonus .

not good use of a bonus

A Gibberish Tattoo from our Friends at Hanzismater

Here is a list of things you could use your bonus for, read afterwards for my comment competition:

  1. Get a tattoo
  2. Get a new car (because you deserve it)
  3. Go on  a fantastic vacation
  4. Go to the Casino
  5. Loan it to a relative
  6. Make a pile of it and set it on fire 🔥

As you can see these will leave you with no money at the end, and various degrees of pain. How (where #1 would be the dumbest) should this list be ordered? (leave a comment or add other lame-brained ideas for this bonus)

OK, enough of me making up stuff that makes me laugh, what should you do with a bonus? It is found money, so you didn’t have any plans for it, so of course you should first, foremost, absolutely, completely, totally and emphatically pay off debt!

If this is “found” money, and you had no plans for it then you will not miss it when you pay down debt with it, won’t you? If you don’t get the bonus right away, that is when it gets hard, because that is when you start the rationalization about how you “deserve” something, trust me, you deserve to be out of debt more than any trinket, or vacation.

I still can’t get over someone asked me for advice, the world is becoming a very peculiar place.

Another tip, big money in 20 years is going to be in tattoo removal, or erasable tattoo technology.


  • Mike Carlson June 16, 2013, 7:15 AM

    I totally agree with you. I’d probably pay off my debt with a bonus so it won’t cut down on my regular paycheck.

  • KC @ genxfinance June 13, 2013, 11:12 AM

    I’d invest it, save it, or spend it on something really useful.

  • Jon June 12, 2013, 10:35 PM

    Cars hold their value too long… you got to spend your bonus on something that gives you immediate gratification and forces you deeper into debt… I like the idea of using the bonus to get a line of credit at a casino.

    Kidding – I agree – Paying down debt is always step #1 – But I do believe in rewarding yourself for hard work so if that is a dinner out or a nicer case of beer I all for it since it will potentially inspire you to work harder/better and thus earn a bigger bonus next year!

    • bigcajunman June 13, 2013, 5:37 AM

      How about a nicer six-pack of beer? Let’s not go nuts here 🙂

  • krantcents June 12, 2013, 4:12 PM

    Am I the only person who puts bonuses into their savings account? BTW, I have not had a bonus in a very long time. As a teacher, I do not get one and I owned my own consulting practice for years before that.

  • Jane Savers @ Solving The Money Puzzle June 12, 2013, 6:41 AM

    I would only recommend paying down debt with a bonus if you were going to stop accumulating debt. No point paying down the credit card or line of credit just to make room for the next purchases.

    Maybe a deposit in to a RRSP fund to keep the person from blowing it as soon as something shiny catches their eye.

    • bigcajunman June 12, 2013, 6:54 AM

      I’m not sure I am on board with that one. Creating RRSP savings, while continuing to accumulate debt strikes me as a “stealing from Paul to pay Peter” kind of deal.

      • Michael James June 12, 2013, 3:12 PM

        It’s sad that some people’s only way to limit spending is to max out all forms of credit they can get. These people need to spend a week getting beaten up by Gail Vaz-Oxlade.

        The most obvious thing for everyone to do with a bonus is send it to me.

        • bigcajunman June 12, 2013, 5:24 PM

          No, you are mistaken, they should send it to ME!

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