What Would You Do With a Bonus?

What would you do if you won a pile of cash?

Commuting home the other night, the radio gave away $1,000 to the 25th caller. When I heard the announcement, I regretted that I was driving, because there was no way I could dial and drive at the same time. I really didn’t think my chances were very high anyway, so I wasn’t about to pull over to make the call.

I got home and put dinner on the table, then waited for my boys to get home.

They were late.

When they arrived, Mr. Stapler told me that they stopped at Five Guys for a burger and a hot dog. He didn’t call to tell me he would be late because he lost his phone.

Grrrr …

But it’s hard to stay mad when he told me that he got a surprise bonus at work for a job well done.

Huh?! Does that even happen any more? Yay!!!

All my drive-time fantasies about what I would do with $1,000 were not for naught. Except, Mr. Stapler got $2,000!

What Could We Do With A Bonus?

  1. Save: Put it into our retirement accounts (which we cut in half for our down payment)
  2. Save: Put it into savings for future home maintenance / improvements or towards a new-to-us car when our 1999 Corolla dies.
  3. Save: Replenish the emergency fund (our emergency fund was our Roth IRA’s).
  4. Save: Put it into savings in case we owe taxes next year (I haven’t been diligent about setting aside money from my freelance income)
  5. Splurge: Mr. Stapler wants to take me out on a date (isn’t that sweet?!) — obviously there would be a lot of money left over.
  6. Splurge: Mr. Stapler also wants to buy a ton of new LEGO’s for Little Stapler.
  7. Splurge: Mr. Stapler has been talking about buying a king-sized mattress for a long time. (I don’t care, as long as I can get a bed frame to go with it)

I feel torn between the rational and emotional sides of me.

I feel ridiculous even contemplating splurging with the money. I feel really guilty. I mean, I feel like we splurged on our house, for goodness’ sake. I LOVE THIS HOUSE! I don’t feel like I deserve this house. I feel like someone’s going to come knocking at our door, apologize, and say they made a mistake lending us all that money and trusting us with a nice house.

Yet, I feel like Mr. Stapler should feel rewarded for all of his hard work. He stressed a lot over this project and deserves a huge pat on the back for making it happen. What would be enough to help him feel like his efforts were appreciated? Sending that cash down the dark hole of our savings or retirement accounts seems like it gives all of his time and effort short shrift.

What would you do if you earned a $2,000 bonus for a job well done?

Image by iosphere, via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

15 thoughts on “What Would You Do With a Bonus?

  1. This happened to us this year. We put half towards our vacation this year and the rest towards our mortgage. Felt nice to have the money ready for the vacation and save a ton on all that interest. Even $1,000 can really make a big difference over 30 years of a mortgage!

  2. That’s tough. If it were up to my hubby he would want to get the bed. I know there pretty expensive. I feel like I’m biase because I want a new bed 😉

  3. Congrats to the mister! I would buy something he’s really been wanting (the mattress) and save the rest- whichever place took a little weight off my chest.

    Not the Legos! That’s taking gift ideas away from birthday and Christmas!

    • I know a date would make both of us pretty happy — we haven’t been out for 6 months, since Baby was born.

  4. Do the date, skip the mattress (make it a Christmas present), and put the rest to the mortgage. You should have a nice night out, but the other $1800 ought to go towards ditching the PMI!

  5. I like to have my cake and eat it too so save some and splurge some. I keep reading on pf blogs about mattresses from Tufts and Needle and they have great reviews from Amazon. I was going to try them out when I had a need. The prices are more reasonable compared to some other places but I can’t say how they are from personal experience.

  6. There will always be birthdays and christmases for new LEGO sets for Lil’ Stapler… pass on that one.

    Put some money aside for emergencies, do a little splurge (of his choosing) on a date or an experience.

    Homeownership will have LOTS of financial needs to come up, sometimes out of nowhere. Anything you can do to help with that sticker shock will go a long way!

    And congrats to him!

  7. I was always taught that you should splurge up to 10% of whatever the amount is and the rest should be put towards debt or investments.

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