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5 Financially Smart Ways to Spend Your Bonus

handing a present

Holiday season means a lot of different things, but for the lucky ones, it means receiving a bonus from their employee. Depending on your position, company and last year’s success, the amount will vary for each employee. All the same, it is money you didn’t have before. In order to make the most out of this year’s bonus, read our 5 tips outlined below.

1. Pay off debt

Debt doesn’t go away easily, that’s why every chance you get its smart to try and lessen the looming cloud. Whether its credit card debt or student loan debt your holiday bonus will be put to good use knowing you are just a little bit closer to saying bye to all of your debt.

2. Invest

You might not know a lot about investing, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start. Opening an index fund, an investment fund that’s based on pre-selected index of stocks, is the perfect option for beginners looking to join the investment game. This year’s holiday bonus can be used to kickstart your investment strategies you have been talking about for years.

3. Drop it in your emergency fund

A holiday bonus is a good type of surprise, unfortunately there might be some other, this time expensive, surprises coming up next year that you need to prepare for. Dropping the bonus into your emergency fund is a smart way to build that balance for unforeseen circumstances in the future.

4. Start or add to a 529 plan

Depending on your family dynamic, holiday bonuses could act as a kickstart to your 529 plan. A 529 plan is an untaxable way to save for education expenses. Planning for your kid’s future now can help save you some money when it comes to tuition costs later.

5. Just save it

And finally, there is nothing wrong with just putting it into your high-yield savings account. Even the decision of placing the money in your savings account instead of your checking account is financially rewarding. This way the money is put away and is separated from your every-day spending.

Although your bonus might seem like extra cash, you worked hard for this money, don’t just throw it away. If you’re looking to get a little bit further ahead with your goals in Goalkeeper, this year’s holiday bonus could always be put to that big purchase.

About the author

Kathleen Barrett

As the Director of Marketing at LendingClub, Kathleen has had experience in the financial services industry for over ten years. Ten years ago, while working for a non-profit focused on helping consumers work their way to financial freedom, Kathleen found her passion for financial education. Her current role puts her at the forefront of online banking trends, allowing her to share her expert advice for your personal financial needs.