While the twinkling lights and music of the festive season may beckon you to swipe your credit card yet again, deep down you know it’s never a good idea to spend your entire bonus before the year is out. And though we hate to admit it, the merriment of December soon loses its happy glow when in the sober light of the New Year the bills come streaming in.
Leading workforce management and productivity solutions specialists, Kelly’s marketing executive, Kim Meszaros agrees and says, “Most employees don’t realise that our jobs are in fact, powerful assets that can assist us to create a safety net giving us peace of mind. When we begin to use our bonuses, and indeed our pay cheques, to merely splurge on festive season activities, we lose the opportunity to establish financial security for ourselves.”
Meszaros offers the following sage advice on how to make the most of your December bonus by spending it wisely:
When storm clouds gather: The thing about that “rainy day” is that sometimes you do need an umbrella. Use your bonus, or at least part of it, to start or bolster your emergency fund. Meszaros recommends a safety net of at least three month’s salary, and more if possible, in a separate savings account.
Clean that slate: Paying off your debts and starting January afresh is a great way to “spring clean” your life. “Begin 2012 on a positive footing and you won’t believe the difference it will make to the year ahead,” adds Meszaros.
Invest in yourself: If you have an emergency fund and debt is not in your vocabulary why not look at putting your money into an investment that will one day yield a return. A reputable financial advisor can assist you to make your money work for you.
Meszaros also points out that managers not only have a responsibility to make their own bonus last beyond the silly season, but also to advise the members of staff who report to them. “Not all South Africans have had the benefit of learning how to manage their finances, particularly unexpected influxes of cash like bonuses. As leaders in our field it is important for us to educate our workforce on how to get the very best out of their bonuses. A simple training session or information pamphlet can go a long way towards helping employees create a secure future for themselves,” she concludes.
While the festive season may have you reaching for your wallet or purse quicker than you can say “compliments of the season”, spare a thought for your credit card bill and indeed your future. Spending your bonus wisely could well be the best gift you receive this December.
(Press release, Kelly, December 2011)
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