Six ways to use your Christmas bonus

If you are one of the lucky ones to receive a Christmas or year-end bonus, have you considered what you are going to do with it? It might behove you to plan your spending before you receive it, so that you can really get the most of out of it.

Last minute holiday shopping

If you’re still scrambling to finish your holiday shopping, wouldn’t make your life that much easier if you can use cash in your wallet (thank you Christmas bonus) rather than relying on your plastic to finish it up.

You’ll breathe much easier in January!

Lay down your cards

Nothing can help reduce your overall debt load than a tidy lump sum payment. You’ll get the best benefit from that by choosing the highest interest bearing card that you have and slapping it on there. You’ll make more of a dent by focusing on one, rather than spreading a little bit around.

Dent the mortgage

Most lenders will allow you to make a lump sum payment once a year without penalty. Sometimes it has to be on the anniversary of the mortgage, but there are other circumstances as well. It’s worth asking!  Usually lump sum payments go right to your mortgage principal.

Rainy day fund

Do you have a rainy day fund? There are a surprising number of people who don’t. Even if your bonus isn’t huge, consider starting up an emergency savings fund- which you’ll be more than glad to have if you ever need it.

Summer vacation

The lazy days of summer seem a long ways off, but why don’t you put some money aside now to fund that summer holiday. Debt-free vacationing is the most relaxing!

Fun money

Have you been incredibly virtuous in sticking to your budget this year? Maybe now is the time (and this is the money) to have a little fun with. Buy yourself something nice. Treat the family to a nice dinner out or an overnight get away.