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My relationship with money now Fast-forward to today: I track every dollar coming in, every dollar going out, and, at any given time, I have between 2-3 different streams of revenue on the side to supplement my full-time income. While I’m sure my parents would read that and beam with pride, sometimes I wonder if it’s healthy to be so preoccupied with learning everything there is to know about finance and – more importantly – applying it with such fervor and relentlessness that the ultimate price becomes all of my free time and brain bandwidth. It took a little bit of time for me to isolate a more grown-up way to measure my contributions, but post-graduation, my salary and net worth replaced my GPA as the metric by which I more or less judged my value in the world. Instead, she just morphs into a grown-up with a full-time job who layers side hustles into an already-lean schedule because somewhere along the line, she decided output was a pretty good proxy for worth.
Today, I want to offer an approach to bonuses that prioritizes your humanness and your goals, and hopefully offers a little reprieve from the guilt that accompanies taking your bonus on an expensive date to the Louis Vuitton store and forcing it to pay (which, I’m not proud to say, is how I spent my first bonus… It probably goes without saying that if you’re paying down high-interest debt (e.g., a credit card with a high, interest-accruing balance), your bonus probably has nobler goals than what we’re about to launch into. Where You’re Investing, and Why” outlines the priority order of where you should be most concertedly focusing your attention, but it hopefully goes without saying that your emergency fund trumps all else – if yours isn’t Herbie: Fully Loaded already (usually, about $15,000), then that’s home base for your 40%. A $30,000 bonus once a year would be enough to put a 20% down payment on a $300,000 house after just two years – in that sense, you’re investing and spending it (#trippy) because a home can be an investment, but you’re obviously also forking it over and no longer have liquid cash on hand.
a high-end alcove tucked away in the second floor of the airport with an abundance of free premium liquor and quality restaurant food that comes complimentary with your price of entry, a swipe of the Platinum card and a valid same-day boarding pass. Even within a space like this one, class exists: It’s fairly obvious who lives the Centurion Lounge lifestyle outside the Centurion Lounge too, and who bit the bullet for a credit card that just enabled the brief glimpse of affluence as a book-end experience to a vacation (i.e., me). You know it’s the white jeans and Brooks Brothers button-downs who will be leaving the lounge to find their seats in First Class so their luxury travel experience (and luxury life experience) can continue, while the rest of us find our way to Coach and pay $5 per Bloody Mary like the rest of the cabin. Stressed parents of young children wrangling excess luggage and tiny hands in the security line, solo travelers affixed with backpacks navigating the crowds, people waiting in line for overpriced fast food… the experience of those not in the lounge is the spectacle that the lounge-goers enjoy as they sip their complimentary mimosas and use the free Wifi to catch up on news before boarding their flight.
Graduating with no student loans and a strong aversion to credit card debt (again, thanks to my parents who reinforced at every swipe that the credit card was to be paid in full every month), I had never worked to pay down debt personally Let’s say you’re in the following situation:$38,000 in student loan debt with a 4.45% interest rate on a 10-year term and a $393 monthly payment (if these numbers feel surprisingly close to your situation, that’s because I used national averages)$5,700 in credit card debt with an 18% interest rate with a minimum monthly payment of $142.50 (again, averages gleaned from a sloppy Google search)Thankfully, the internet abounds with fantastic loan calculators. Let’s try putting that toward the credit card debt instead, so you’re paying $342.50 toward your credit card every month instead of $142.50.Now, your credit card debt will end up costing $6,607 over 20 months (fewer than 2 years, compared to more than 5). That’s $5,500 in interest (a savings of a little less than $4,000) and 84 months of your life.”You had saved $4,000 by putting the extra $200 per month toward your loan for 7 years, paying off the debt 3 years ahead of schedule.