People who are paid every two weeks on a Friday get an extra check twice a year in June and November. If you just received that “bonus” check on Friday, avoid the temptation to blow it. Seize the opportunity to do something you’ll be happy about later.
Need some ideas?
- Put a dent in your debt
Take some the pressure off your bills. “Make extra payments on credit cards, student loans or your mortgage,” says Anand Talwar, a deposits and consumer strategy executive at Ally Financial in Charlotte.
The higher the interest on the debt that is owed, the more sense it makes to pay it off. “If you have a credit card with an interest rate of 15-20%, pay that off with the funds. In essence, that is a great investment return you’re getting,” says Brian Cohen, an investment adviser with Landmark Wealth Management in Melville.
- Shore up savings
If you don’t have an emergency fund to cover 3-6 months of expenses, start one. Or, fatten the cushion you already have.
Joshua Zimmelman, president of Westwood Tax & Consulting in Rockville Centre has another idea, “Contributions to a 401(k) or Traditional IRA will reduce your taxable income on next year’s return.”
- Treat yourself
“Feel free to use 10 percent to reward yourself," says Alexander Lowry, executive director of the master of science in financial analysis at Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts, "but put at least 90 percent of it away.”