21 answers

Bonus Yippee!

How does your family do it when you/your husband gets a bonus? Normally we would tuck it away to pay property taxes, but since we refinanced and this is now in our payment we don't have to save for the taxes. If I get the bonus should I get to keep it and spend it however I want? If he gets it should he be able to keep it and do whatever he wants with it?

I was thinking about making a list of 5 wants and then compare them. If we have something that is the same then the money goes towards that item. My other thought is that who ever gets the bonus gets to keep 1/2 to themself and put the other 1/2 towards credit card bills. What do you recommend and why? Right now all of our extra money goes towards paying off our credit cards and I would like to have some fun wth this money if possible.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Lucky: Quarterly there is no way we would make it. I am good with money, but not that good.

Featured Answers

Last time I had mad money I replaced all the windows in my house. I know, not exciting but it was the gift that kept on giving. Saved me around $150 a month on utilities.

3 moms found this helpful

When this happens to me, I use the following order:
look and see what needs fixing (ie. car repairs, house repairs),
then bills - can something be paid off;
food
who needs clothes/shoes
then whatever is left if any belongs to the person that received it.

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers

Did you get a bonus? CONGRATS! You owe me a dollar ;) (teasing!)

If my husband gets a bonus, he gets to do whatever he wants with it... but I 'remind' him that we could 'really use $ in saving, as well as x, y, and z'.

If I get a bonus, it goes towards the family... like bills, savings, and groceries, then I usually take a small amount out to get something for myself, since hey, I earned it!!

Recommend: Save. I'm huge on saving. Even if it's not for bills or debt, save. If you go to sit on your couch and suddenly fall through it, you'll want to spend some money on a new one, you know? Or if you end up with a flat tire... you get the point. You need to have back up, not just relying on credit cards.

I say pay off some debt, save some, spend some! You earned it, have some fun!! :)

5 moms found this helpful

While we dont' get a bonus my husband is only paid quarterly. We make sure that we pay the bills in advance, tithe put money in savings and then budget the rest until next pay day.

3 moms found this helpful

Last time I had mad money I replaced all the windows in my house. I know, not exciting but it was the gift that kept on giving. Saved me around $150 a month on utilities.

3 moms found this helpful

It would be one thing if you were debt free and had your savings up to an amount that would sustain your family for about 9 months for starters.

However, you say you have credit card debt. That is a no brainer for me... Pay off the credit card debt.

It is not "extra money" when you have outstanding debt and no rainy day fund.

Delayed gratification and discipline are hard to do but in the long run, it is much better to have saved and paid off debt than to blow money.

3 moms found this helpful

I just got a bonus. I gave a little to each of our 2 college aged kids. Paid a bill off and used the rest to take us to San Antonio for the weekend. I think I hit all the bases. I was responsible enough to pay what was owed, I took care of our kids 1st, and then we had fun with the remainder. My other thought with the remainder was to buy a new bed frame. But I had put in so much overtime to get the bonus that we really all needed that time together to relax and reconnect. Next bonus, I'm buying a bed for sure.

2 moms found this helpful

If you have credit card debt, in my opinion you have no "extra" money until those are paid off, but opinions differ. We have always put every "extra" amount we have on our debts. But if we had true "extra" money, since we share everything, and we do not make equal salaries, but then again it takes 2 to make a family and I do more kid-related stuff and he does more house-maintenance stuff, I would split it equal.

2 moms found this helpful

When this happens to me, I use the following order:
look and see what needs fixing (ie. car repairs, house repairs),
then bills - can something be paid off;
food
who needs clothes/shoes
then whatever is left if any belongs to the person that received it.

2 moms found this helpful

If you have already built an emergency fund to cover 6-9 months of expenses, and have already paid off all your non-secured debt (including student loans), then go ahead and make a wants list. (Edited to correct grammar)

2 moms found this helpful

It's nice to know that bonuses still exist. My husband and I don't get bonuses but if we have "extra" money per chance, we pay down our debt.

2 moms found this helpful

Let's see...my bonus went toward getting the tractor fixed, concrete edging, shrubs and school clothes. My husband's bonus went toward a new bow for him and snow tires for my SUV and his truck. Everything left over goes into our savings acct.
We keep a list of things we need (like the tractor getting repaired) and things we want (like the concrete edging). We rate our lists and start with our needs first then move onto the wants. I also like to keep a nest-egg in our savings just in case.

1 mom found this helpful

My husband doesn't get bonuses, but he gets a commission quarterly. We spend it like this:
10% tithe
10% hubby fun money
5% wife fun money
75% savings or agreed upon family purchase

He works his a$$ off for that commission so that's why he gets more fun money than I do. I work hard too, WAHM & kids, but I know how much he has to do to get that commission so I think it's fair he gets a little extra.

ETA - we have loans, but no CC debt. The savings is to pay off the loans. When we had CC debt it was 10% tithe, 10% family fun, 80% CC debt. I believe, and studies have shown, that you have to have some fun money while paying off debt or you will become too discouraged and give up.

1 mom found this helpful

Paying bills is ALWAYS first. Then we sit down and write a wish list together of things that we want or need for the house. We talk about it and decide. After that the rest goes to savings.

To us it doesn't matter who got the bonus or extra money. We consider everything as ours and so its our money and we both get a say in how its spent.

1 mom found this helpful

Congrats on the bonus!

I think a lot of what you do with it depends on how much it is. Either way, you should definitely do or buy something fun with some of the money - maybe 25% of it though, not half. Put some in savings as well so you have an emergency cushion.

Unless you have a no-interest credit card and will pay it off before you start owing interest, you really should pay off your debt. All of the interest you're paying on the card is just money down the drain. Take care of that first, and then you'll be able to do a lot more later when you're not paying interest anymore.

1 mom found this helpful

Both my husband and I get bonuses. We use it to help pay off bills or pay college tuition for our kids or Christmas. I generally will get mine in December for the year and he will get his in March for the previous year of sales. Our bonuses are generous but it is a joint affair. We don't keep any of it for ourselves. It goes to the "family". We do set aside some of the money for a "trip". Last year, hubby and I went to London and Paris without kids!! WONDERFUL!! This year we went to the Dominica Republic with the kids WONDERFUL! Next year we plan to take an "adult" vacation. Our kids are older. DD is 23, DS is 19. DD graduates from college in August 2012!! Yep, off the payroll she goes so we get a raise!!! But we need to start focusing on paying all our debt and putting more into the 401K.

1 mom found this helpful

I don't have any debt, but if I did, that's where it would go. This year's bonus went as follows: 1/3 to church, 1/3 to savings, 1/3 to me (I bought myself a Mac).

1 mom found this helpful

I would take about $100 and go spend on whatever - clothes, nice dinner out, early christmas presents... the rest tuck into a savings account (shouldn't we all have at least three months worth saved?) or better yet if you have a good amount, invest... even if its just into a CD account. Walk into your bank and ask about the possibilities. My grandparents did that and would sometimes spend the "extra" when they got the money back on "fun stuff".

1 mom found this helpful

When we get an income tax refund we have a few things we would put a mojority of the money on. We take a portion of it and divide it between my husband and myself. We have no responsibilites to do anything with this money, it is total blow money. We spend so much of our own money each month on things for the kids out of our own pocket that we really do tend to go without most of the year.

For example:
Let's say we get a $1000 deposit tomorrow. The kids have enough clothes because I just spent a couple hundred on them for school clothes and they have stuff wall to wall in their closet anyway. Shoes are plentiful and in good shape, coats, backpacks, food, toiletries, everything they could possibly want has been provided by us already.

We have been wanting a larger TV with a better movie system. We all go to Walmart and look at TV's a pick one out for $500. The kids can each have $100 to blow on toys or snacks, what ever they want thats not a crazy request. With tax and all that is about $765.00. That would leave about $125 each for my hubby and myself. We would take that and spend it on whatever.

I think each adult needs money they can spend on what ever they want and NOT have to be accountable for it to anyone. It doesn't have to be hundreds and hundreds either, it can be a smaller amount.

1 mom found this helpful

When my husband gets a bonus, I put at least half in savings, use a little bit for fun stuff, then use the rest to pay extra on one of the big bills (car, mortgage, etc - whichever has the highest interest rate). If I had credit card debt, I would probably put less in savings so that I could lower the card balance even more.

1 mom found this helpful

I would probably put half of the money in a savings account for a rainy day. The other half I would break up into part for me and a part for the bills.

Once the money is gone it's gone. My aunt used to say if you do have extra money make sure you buy something tangible so that you can see where some of your money went (I have a grandfather's clock from a family member's inheritance).

If you both get a bonus this is what I really would do with it. Plan something big (trip/cruise with picture on frig) and put the money towards that as in delayed gratification in two years.

This way you will win all the way round.

The other S.

1 mom found this helpful

My husband gets annual bonuses. In the past we have use them to pay off car loans and the mortgage. The last one was saved in order to put a down payment on a house. The ideal plan in the future is to take 25% of it and put it in the house (fix/update/save for later), put 50% in savings (or mortgage payoff if we can ever find a new house), and use 25% for fun money (season football tickets, vacations, new electronics, etc).

1 mom found this helpful

That all depends on how much the bonus was and what the current financial situation was.

Since hubby is salary and will occassionally receive a bonus if he has to work a lot of OT, the money will usually go into the household fund or spent on a activity for the whole family.

Do you have a savings account that is well funded for emergencies? If not, then I say put it into savings. You'll never know when you may really need that extra money. You can always continue to save up for the item you really want rather than going into more debt.

How high is credit card debt? I'm a huge fan of credit cards, because for me it's free money and gifts, as it's paid off in full each month and it gives me a great FICO score which saves me even more money. But if you're carrying long term debt, then you need to send that money to the credit card company and pay for those 10 wants that you already have.

Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.