the big bonus distribution

So if you read my final FUCCD post, I mentioned a completely unexpected big bonus from work (which I only started in January). Who ever heard of a mid-year bonus? Not me! So, hooray! September also happens to be an “extra paycheck” month (I get paid every two weeks on Fridays). Double hooray! While I won’t disclose exactly how massive the bonus was, well, okay it was more than two paychecks (!!!) and certainly more than the maximum deposit I could make using my Chase mobile app. (Yes, it was a really ridiculous amount!) I needed to drive to the closest Chase ATM to deposit it, which is actually a 2-hour drive away, before it burned a big hole in my pocket, and yes, finding a new local bank is another story for another day.

Instead of blowing through all my bonus money irresponsibly, the first thing I did was pay off the rest of the credit cards (which was the plan with the “extra paycheck” anyway), and then figure out how to distribute the wealth.  I spent the last 10 months really cracking down on my spending: I haven’t had a hair cut. I haven’t flown anywhere (my family lives on the other side of the country). I haven’t raced any triathlons (because entry fees are super expensive, I’m out of shape and *was* unmotivated). So while I wasn’t going to blow through ALL my bonus money, I thought it was fairly reasonable to have fun with some of it. Say, 20% of it.

Most of it, though, was distributed responsibly:

  • 47% to the emergency fund
  • 24% to the student loans
  • 20% for fun!
  • the remaining 9% stayed in the checking account for the regular expenses.

I actually made a special one-time-only budget for September in my Mint.com app. I categorized it as “Entertainment” since I already have a monthly “Fun Fund” of $200.

things I spent it on so far:

  • a triathlon entry fee for October (with 20% off coupon code!)
  • new swimsuit and goggles (from Amazon)
  • new bike pedals (super deal online)
  • new socks and underwear and sports bras (from Target)
  • nice camping backpack (from my local REI…had a coupon but didn’t work because it was meant for REI brand only. Oh well. I still really wanted it!)
  • 2 pairs of shoes for Mr. Bacon (from Amazon)
  • baseball tickets to see the Phillies (Mr. Bacon’s home team) at Nationals stadium (still cheap seats but not the cheapest)

So I still try to be a savvy shopper when I am spending money, going to my trusty local Target and Amazon.com, finding discount codes and scouting out the best internet deals. I haven’t actually bought a new swimsuit in over 2 years, my favorite goggles are about that old, and my bike pedals must be 4 or 5 years old…which I got as slightly used hand-me-downs at the time. The triathlon is going to be my only one for the year, and it’s a smaller local race 30 miles away, which will keep the costs down.

Anyway, I’m happy with how I split up my unexpected windfall. How would you do it? More responsibility and less fun?? More fun and less responsibility? Have you ever gotten a mid-year bonus or unexpected windfall?

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