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What to Do with a Bonus ?

A reader sent me an email asking for my advice. I decided to give my perspective on 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.
  7. Give it all to a deserving charity.
  8. Start a financial blog and hire a writer to set it up for you.

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 have no plans for it, you will not miss it when you pay down debt with it, won’t you? If you don’t get the bonus immediately, it gets complicated because that is when you start rationalizing 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 asking me for advice. The world is becoming a very peculiar place.

Another tip: Big money in 20 years will be in tattoo removal or erasable tattoo technology.

Other Found Money Ideas

Canajun Finances Home » What to Do with a Bonus ?

Feel Free to Comment

  1. 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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. 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.

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