Guest post by John @ The Best Money Blog
After reading J’s article on Lifestyle Inflation, I began to think of ways lifestyle inflation applies when you technically aren’t bringing in any new money.
I read an article a while back that listed sources of unexpected income, one of which was the bonus pay checks you already receive every year.
Do you want to know how you can get a bonus four times a year, on top of Christmas or performance bonuses? The answer is simple, do exactly what you are doing now.
You Already Get Bonus Pay
I am going to use my personal pay schedule as an example, but the concept applies if you get paid either weekly or bi-weekly. For those of you getting paid once a month, like teachers for example, well…better luck next time.
I get paid 1 time a week. That’s 52 paychecks per year. There are 4 weeks in each month, or are there? Four months out of the year, I receive 5 paychecks. How can this be? Am I just that good of an employee that I warrant a quarterly bonus? I like to think so, but alas, that is not the case. 12 months X 4 paychecks each month = 48 paychecks a year. So what about the other 4 weeks of the year?
Believe it or not, the majority of people never even think of this, but there are certain months where you will receive an additional paycheck. It’s almost as good as being in 2nd grade again and finding a $20 bill on the ground at recess.
The majority of people make a budget based on receiving 4 paychecks per month, so when the 5th one comes in, it should be considered bonus cash.
What to Do With Your New Found Bonuses
There are plenty of things you can do with the extra money:
- Buy some toys
- Give it to charity
- Go out to eat
- Burn it for warmth
- Put it into savings
- Invest it
- Add it to your retirement fund
- Put it towards paying off debt
- Cash it for $1 bills and roll around in it
The possibilities are as plentiful as oil in the Gulf of Mexico.
As I’ve said many times on this blog already, this is where your attitude and self-discipline towards your finances come into play. You need to learn to think of this money as if it does not even exist. Immediately put it to use in a way that will benefit your financial standing.
Those of you who are paid bi-weekly will only see 2 of these bonuses, but they will obviously be double the amount as if you were paid weekly.
When Is Your Next Bonus?
Mine is at the end of July. I will put some of it in savings, some towards paying off my truck, and probably use some of it for home improvement projects to increase the value of my house. I might even spend it on something stupid like a late night McFlurry run, but by acknowledging the fact that this surplus amount exists, I will be able to make a conscious decision to use it wisely.
Think of where you want to put your next bonus paycheck before the fact. Then figure out when you will receive it. That way, you are expecting it when it comes and already have a place for it to go. This makes spending it wisely a much more simple process.
What are your new plans for your non-bonus bonus?
John blogs over at The Best Money Blog which exists to share tips and ideas for managing your personal finance, frugality, saving money, and earning passive income.
(Doodles by Lauren Manning)