Beyond The Splurge: How To Make The Most Of Your 13th Month Bonus
It’s that time of the year again when the calendar is about to flip to December, and you’re counting down the days until you receive your 13th month bonus. I’m sure you’re already imagining all the ways you’re going to spend it. But before you buy that new gaming laptop or that beautiful new handbag, pause for a moment and consider your alternatives. After all, you waited a year leh!
Your 13th month bonus is a valuable addition to your financial resources. By adopting a responsible and measured approach, you can make sure it doesn’t go down the drain.
Save for big goals
Do you intend to get your own HDB? Are you in the midst of planning a dream wedding? Are you thinking about embarking on a globetrotting adventure? Your 13th-month bonus can be a vital stepping stone towards achieving these lofty goals. Instead of letting it disappear into numerous cheap thrills, you can transfer the money immediately to a dedicated savings account to help realise these big dreams.
Having a separate fund for these major life events will help you stay focused and motivated. Plus, it’s incredibly satisfying to open your banking app and watch your savings grow, knowing that you’re getting closer to making those dreams a reality.
Boost your side hustle
Do you have a side hustle or a passion project that could use a financial boost? Your 13th month bonus can be a perfect source of investment for your entrepreneurial endeavours. Whether it’s launching an online store for your card-game hobby, expanding your freelance business, or pursuing a creative passion project, your bonus can breathe new life into your side hustle.
By investing in your passion, not only can you potentially increase your income but you may also find greater fulfilment in your work. It’s a win-win situation! If you’re thinking about an easy side hustle to boost your income in Singapore, here are some tips.
Pay off your existing debts
Yup, it may not be the most exciting way to use the extra money, but start with assessing your financial landscape. Got any lingering debts, like a pesky credit card outstanding balance or a massive student loan? Your 13th-month bonus provides an excellent opportunity to pay off these existing liabilities. Think of it as a chance to lighten your debt load – your future self will thank you when you’ve got a housing loan to service.
Don’t treat your bonus… like a bonus
One common mistake is treating the 13th month bonus as a windfall, a gift from the financial heavens. It’s time to change that mindset. Consider this bonus as part of your monthly salary instead. Just like how you set aside a portion of your regular salary as savings, apply the same allocation method to this bonus. Or if you don’t, you should start right now – check out some fun ways to save money!
When you think of extra cash this way, you can ensure that you’re not recklessly spending your bonus on fleeting pleasures, but rather using it responsibly to improve your financial situation. You won’t see it now, but trust me, it’s a small mental shift that can lead to significant benefits down the road.
When it comes to long-term financial planning, one of the smartest moves you can make is to invest your extra funds. Consider putting a portion of your bonus into a well-diversified portfolio, Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs), or dividend-generating stocks/Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs). These investment options can provide you with the opportunity to grow your wealth over time.
Investing, however, comes with risks, so it’s extremely important to educate yourself or consult a financial advisor before taking the plunge. A well-thought-out investment strategy can yield impressive returns, ensuring that your 13th-month bonus doesn’t just sit idly in your bank account.
Top up your CPF SA
Did you know that you can top up your Central Provident Fund (CPF) Special Account (SA)? You’re not only contributing more for your retirement; you also get to enjoy tax savings. Use the compounding effect of the higher SA interest to help you secure yourself financially for your golden years.
Support your family
Mum and dad have always been there for you through thick and thin. Consider using a portion of your bonus to support them financially. Whether it’s assisting with their bills, healthcare expenses, or just giving them some extra financial security, your support can make a significant difference. It’s a heartfelt way to give back to those who have supported you throughout your life.
Carve out a small portion to treat yourself
You worked hard for that money. We’re not saying that you shouldn’t indulge in a little self-care. After addressing debts, savings, investments, and supporting your family, it’s okay to set aside a small portion of your 13th month bonus for personal enjoyment.
Whether it’s a weekend getaway, a fancy dinner, or something you’ve had your eye on for a while, this treat serves as a reward for your financial discipline. Just remember to do it in moderation to ensure that you’re still meeting your financial goals.