If you’re one of the lucky ones who receives a year-end bonus, you’re likely thinking about how to spend it. Vacation? Shopping spree? It’s hard to fight the urge to splurge if you don’t have a plan for the money you’ve worked so hard for this year. Here are some ways you can make your bonus work for you now — and for your financial future.

Pay off your credit card debt.

High-interest debt can be financially crippling and getting rid of it as soon as possible is one of the most beneficial financial moves you can make. The average credit card variable interest rate was 16.61% as of Dec. 13, 20171 — and payments on interest alone can add up fast. If you can reduce what you owe now, you’ll have more money later. Just think about what you might be able to do in the future with that extra cash.

Invest in yourself.

You’ve worked hard for your year-end bonus and you should reward yourself. But instead of a new luxury item, how about learning a new skill? It may not be flashy, but it can help you grow personally and professionally, boost your value to your employer and potentially increase your future bonus potential.

Create an emergency fund.

Life is tough enough without having to pay for unplanned home repairs and medical emergencies. That’s not news to the more than 55% of employees nationwide who are worried they won’t have enough money available when the unexpected occurs.2 An emergency fund can help. Why not use some of your year-end bonus to create one and save yourself some anxiety later?

Pay it forward.

Research suggests that charitable giving can positively affect health and happiness — and in addition, it could also reduce your taxes when you report your contributions on your itemized return.3

A year-end bonus can be a gift that keeps giving, but only if you make the most of it. Call us if you have questions about any of these approaches. We’re here to help you make the most of your future with a financial plan that can help you reach your goals.

 

Current Credit Card Interest Rates. Bankrate. Retrieved December 18, 2017, from http://www.bankrate.com/finance/credit-cards/current-interest-rates.aspx
2 (April 2016) 2016 Employee Financial Wellness Survey. PWC. Retrieved December 14, 2016, from http://www.pwc.com/us/en/private-company-services/publications/assets/pwc-2016-employee-wellness-survey.pdf
3 (15 November 2016). Wanna Give? This Is Your Brain on a ‘Helper’s High.’ Cleveland Clinic. Retrieved December 14, 2016, from https://health.clevelandclinic.org/2016/11/why-giving-is-good-for-your-health/
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