I know so many people are in situations where they have lost their jobs and don’t have any income coming in other than unemployment. I am very grateful and thankful that we can still provide for our family. We have friends who have lost their jobs and are in survival mode and it makes us really think about how wasteful we have been with our money. We discussed our situation and have decided that we would like to have at least $5,000 in an emergency fund and then start aggressively tackling our debt. I honestly don’t think the $1,800 or so we have sitting in savings right now is enough of an emergency fund. We have been trying to find ways where we can save a few pennies and came up with categorizing items to sell on craigslist, eBay or garage sales and then a couple of events happened that made us very happy.
I had a meeting with my boss this morning and he casually mentioned that the company will be paying us a bonus next month. This is the first bonus that they’ve had since 2006. Since I started working for the company in early 2008, I never calculated any type of bonus into my pay. He said based on my salary my bonus will be approximately $3,200 before taxes are taken out.
Coincidentally, hubby also had the same type of conversation with his employer at the same time. His company does very well and employees have gotten an annual bonus every year ranging from $3,800 to $7,500. He won’t find out the exact amount of the bonus until sometime next month but in my mind, I’m expecting the lower end and if it is higher than that it would be a happy surprise.
Now, I’ll be the first to admit that in the past I would have already spent that money in my mind before it even hit my bank account. For instance, one year we booked trips to Disneyland for the family and Vegas for the two of us. This year, I’m a wee bit more cautious since the economy hasn’t really rebounded from the Great Recession and I’m hyper aware of every cent coming in and going.
How will the money be used? The old me thinks that we should be able to use a portion of the bonuses to treat ourselves to something nice. However, as I look around our house all I see is stuff. We have too much stuff that sits there and collects dust and wastes valuable space in the house. So, the new me will do the following:
1. Donate a portion of the bonuses to the local women’s shelter.
2. Put about $500 towards much needed repairs on our house (paint for the walls, re-caulking of bathroom, replace leaking kitchen faucet etc).
3. The rest of it will be transferred to our ING account to fund any emergencies that come up.