7 Things You Should Spend Your Annual Bonus On — Besides That Shopping Spree

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It’s that time of the year again. Not only is it the holiday season, but we’re also due to receive our annual bonus soon!

If you are one of the fortunate employees scheduled to receive a considerable amount of bonus, then it is important that you strategically plan how you plan to make the most out of your financial compensation. Instead of spending it on things that you will regret after a few weeks, try outlining a proper plan to target things that you make a meaningful impact on your financial picture.

Related: 10 Great Things to Negotiate Instead of Salary


1. Invest in Your Health

Have you heard of the saying “Health before Wealth”? Well, it is true. Regardless of how financially rich you achieve, it means nothing if your health is affected with an irreversible medical condition.

It is inevitable that our health will decline over time, but today it is possible to slow the effects of aging by investing in your health through carefully planned fitness regimens, healthy eating habits, and prescribed supplements. Consider allocating some funds from your annual bonus to hire a nutritionist, purchase some supplements (with advice from a pharmacist), or vaccinations. A small investment today can potentially lead to lower medical bills and fewer health problems tomorrow.


2. Boost Up Your Emergency Funds

Life has too many unexpected expenses to be without an emergency fund set aside in the bank. Whether it’s getting into a car accident or losing a valuable belonging (such as handphone or laptop), it always pays to be well-prepared financially for any contingency that may occur.

So, the next question is – how much of a cushion would you need? Well, most financial experts have recommended the average person to allocate at least 3 to 6 months of living expenses in a savings account to be safe. However, depending on your lifestyle and risk tolerance, the more the better.


3. Enroll in a Course to Develop a Professional Skill

Another great way to spend your bonus is to invest in some professional development initiatives. Consider enrolling in an online certification course or part-time university programme (which is becoming increasingly common these days) to develop a professional skill.

Not only will this help you to perform better at work and make yourself more valuable to your existing employer, but also strategically build up your resume and develop “hot” skills to remain relevant in the workplace landscape in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.


4. Hire a Lawyer to Draw Up a Will

The sad reality is that most of the population do not have a will and without one, your assets will not be distributed as you might want them to be. Especially after you have worked for several years and started accumulating a significant amount of wealth and assets, you may have to consider drawing up a will – just in case.

While you’re at it, you may want to also consider having the attorney to set up an advance medical derivate (or living will) that addresses end-of-life issues on your behalf. Make sure you also have a durable power of attorney in place (a document that assign a personnel to manage your financial decisions in the event you are alive but unable to handle them on your own).


5. Upgrade Your Home Office

Do you tend to bring your work home at night or work over the weekends? If so, it would be a smart investment to revamp your workspace at home to make it more conducive and productive to work. Consider dropping by IKEA to invest in an ergonomically-viable chair or specially designed desk ornaments (such as table lamps, plants, or stationery holder)


6. Sign Up for a Professional Membership or Attend a Work-Related Conference

You’ve probably heard of the phrase “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”.

Depending on your industry and job scope, a great professional network can play a crucial role in steering your career path upwards. Strategically investing in professional organization memberships or to attend work-related conferences may be a great way to boost your career in myriad ways. Ultimately, the power of maintain social connections motivates us to stay in the game and go further.


7. Contribute to a Charity Fund of Your Choice

Give the money to a charity that supports a cause that you truly believe in. Whether it’s for wildlife preservation, community development, or for the orphanage, research has shown that performing charitable acts can lead to activated pleasure centers in the brain.

Bonus: As long as the charity body is recognized by the government, doing charity can also offset a significant portion of your tax burden when you are performing your tax filing.

Related: The 10 Best Places to Work in 2019, according to Glassdoor


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