No, it's the beginning of March, which means annual increase and bonus time! That extra $100+ in my bi-weekly paycheck and a bit fat chunk of money means bumper spending time!!!! This time last year I had the best intentions in the world. The bonus would mean I could pay off a small chunk of my AMEX balance (which was around $24K at the time if I recall) but instead, I found myself running to the Apple Store with Platinum in hand before the payment had even hit my bank account. I remember still feeling GOOD about it all though. I had a new laptop, iPad, software, digital camera, etc. etc. and I'd got it all WITHOUT going into more debt!!! The bonus had completely cancelled out all my new purchases!!! Woohoo!!!!!
I can't imagine I was ever that dumb.
So, March 2012 is around the corner, and the increase and bonus are again on their way. This time, I'm sending 50% of the bonus to my 401(k). Two reasons:
1. The bonus is very heavily taxed so the 401(k) contribution halves the taxable gross (I would prefer to send even more but my company only allows contributions up to 50%).
2. I had to liquidate my 401(k) last summer to pay the initial chunk of money to AMEX (see ($40,028.05)) and my goal is to make the full $17,000 contribution this year.
As for the annual increase, I'll be upping my bi-weekly 401(k) contributions from 8% to 12%.
Once my 401(k) gets paid, the rest will be going to my debt. I'm not sure how big the bonus will be yet so I don't know how much will be remaining, but I hope to at least be able to bring my credit card balance below $10,000. I will also be settling a small loan I have with a family member.
I must admit I've never been more excited to receive a bonus in my life.