Holidays are a time of giving. Often times we can get carried away with our holiday giving. One way to offset this excessive giving can be to use your holiday gifts in prudent ways. Rather than spending all your holiday money on your New Year’s Eve binger and bail money the next morning, here are five things you can use your holiday bonus money and any holiday gifts you get to your advantage in the coming year and beyond!
Discount It: One of the first ways you can ‘save’ your holiday bonuses from work and from gifts is to move that money over to a separate place. Treat this holiday bonus money like it’s not even there. When you have hundreds or thousands of dollars just sitting in your checking account or (worse) in cash in your wallet, it’s already gone. Do yourself a favor and treat your holiday bonus money like it’s not even there.
Collect It: 10% in Savings: At the end of the holiday giving season, amass your holiday bonuses and gifts. You may find that you have a sizeable amount more than you had first thought. Right away, throw 10% of your holiday bonus amount into savings. If you get $1,000 put $100; if you get $5000, put $500. Savings is always there for us when we need it and we least expect we need it so if you don’t have a savings account, open one up, if you already have a savings account, add to it.
50% Investments: If you don’t have a brokerage account, you need one. Especially if you are young. Unless you believe in the fall of America (in which case the American dollar will be worthless anyway) you should invest back into this country. Not only will it pay off in a long enough time frame, but that money will be there for you in the future when you want to buy a home or have a kid or buy a retirement home. think totally long term and put half of your holiday gifts and bonuses every year into your brokerage account.
40% In Cash: You probably spent too much on your holiday season this year. For this reason it’s important to pay down debt before it balloons out of your comprehension. Do yourself a favor and pay down that debt with 40% of your holiday bonuses and gifts. If it’s you and your spouse and you both net around $2000 each in holiday time gifts and bonuses, that’s $1600 to pay down debt. Probably how much that new flat screen that you put on your charge card cost.
Save on Next Year’s Giving: Once you’ve amassed your holiday gifts and bonuses you’ll probably notice some conspicuously absent names from that list of people who gave you anything this year. If you think back on it, they probably never really gave you much of anything. While giving is nice, you can’t keep pulling oil from a well that’s dry. Remember the people who you gave to who didn’t give to you and this will save you in next year’s exercise!