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Smart Ways to Use Your Bonus

Updated on June 14, 2024 , 1012 views

If you're like most people, you love when your employer gives you a bonus. Sure, it's nice to have extra money—but it also means you have to think about how to use it. If you don't use your bonus mindfully, it can be gone in an instant. However, if you're smart about how to spend your bonus wisely, that money can help get you closer to retirement and give you some financial breathing room for whatever comes next in life, like starting a business or paying for college.

Smart Ways to Use Your Bonus

This article will guide you through some smart ways to utilize your bonus amount so that it benefits you in the future.

1. Pay Off Debt

If you've been carrying around a balance on your credit card, it's time to pay off that debt. While using your card is extremely easy, paying off debt can be difficult because of the high-interest rates and missed deadlines. But if you keep your debt amount low and avoid taking out new loans, paying the entire amount can save you hundreds or thousands of bucks in interest payments over time. Your bonus is an excellent opportunity to start paying down some of your outstanding balances and building up cash for emergencies or future investments.

2. Invest For Your Financial Goals

Investing bonus in your Financial goals like retirement, international travel or further marriage, etc. is an excellent way to ensure that the money you receive will be used wisely and last throughout the years. While it takes some time for the investments made through bonuses to grow enough so that they can start generating Income, this investment phase gives young investors a chance to see their hard work pay off. Investing in the stock Market is only one example of how people invest their bonuses into their futures. Some even use other forms of financial instruments, like Bonds. You can consider these three main types:

  • Mutual Funds

These are the funds managed by professional money managers attempting diversification across several stocks, bonds, or other assets. You can purchase shares either directly from the fund manager or through a brokerage firm. In Mutual Funds, you must be familiar with SIPs. However, under this option, you also get a SIP Top-up that lets you increase the amount of SIP every year. You can either specify this SIP amount as a fixed amount or a percentage each year over your original SIP amount.

  • Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs)

Although they have a similar structure as mutual funds, they trade like stocks on exchanges. You can purchase shares either directly from the fund manager or brokerage firm. One of the famous types of ETF is the gold ETF that invest in gold bullion and are based on gold prices.

Ideally, the best way to invest in the stock market is with mutual funds or ETFs. Mutual funds are like baskets that contain different stocks and bonds. When one of the stocks inside goes up, so does your investment return.

When you are investing in the stock market, your goal should be to diversify your Portfolio. That way, if one stock crashes, you won't lose all of your money. Investing in multiple companies or mutual funds and ETFs that hold many different stocks inside them is a good way to do this. Furthermore, you can consider investing a lump sum amount in Equity Funds and keeping the same for a long-term to get a higher return.

FundNAVNet Assets (Cr)3 MO (%)6 MO (%)1 YR (%)3 YR (%)2023 (%)Debt Yield (YTM)Mod. DurationEff. Maturity
Aditya Birla Sun Life Money Manager Fund Growth ₹342.011
↑ 0.07
₹23,8521.93.97.567.47.81%9M 29D9M 29D
Aditya Birla Sun Life Corporate Bond Fund Growth ₹103.272
↑ 0.03
₹21,7461. 8M 5D5Y 9M
HDFC Corporate Bond Fund Growth ₹29.7766
↑ 0.01
₹28,9681. 3M 18D5Y 3M 25D
Aditya Birla Sun Life Savings Fund Growth ₹506.197
↑ 0.10
₹12,63323. 16D6M 29D
ICICI Prudential Long Term Plan Growth ₹33.7966
↑ 0.01
₹12,4581. 9M 4D7Y 8M 19D
Principal Cash Management Fund Growth ₹2,145.27
↑ 0.40
₹5,1491. 6D1M 6D
JM Liquid Fund Growth ₹66.383
↑ 0.01
HDFC Banking and PSU Debt Fund Growth ₹21.1135
↑ 0.01
₹6,2051. 3M 11D4Y 5M 16D
Aditya Birla Sun Life Government Securities Fund Growth ₹75.277
↑ 0.08
₹1,7921. 4M 28D16Y 4D
ICICI Prudential Gilt Fund Growth ₹94.0355
↑ 0.02
₹6,3251.647.868.37.49%6Y 3M 4D10Y 6M
Note: Returns up to 1 year are on absolute basis & more than 1 year are on CAGR basis. as on 14 Jun 24
*Below is the detailed list of best mutual funds based on last one year CAGR/Annualized returns & having AUM between 200 - 10,000 Crores across categories (Equity, Debt, Hybrid, Gold etc.)

3. Invest in Liquid Funds to Create an Emergency Fund

If you're clueless about what to do with the 20k bonus, you can invest in liquid mutual funds as it is a great medium to set up an emergency fund. An emergency fund is a pool of money that's available to you in case of emergencies. It can be used to pay for medical bills, home repairs, car maintenance, or other unexpected expenses. Being invested for a short duration, these funds are one of the best investment instruments to avail high Inflation benefits. Typically, during a high inflation period, RBI keeps the rate of inflation high and reduces liquidity. This helps the Liquid Funds to earn good returns.

Moreover, you can effortlessly park your bonus amount in liquid funds. And then, you can choose to go with the Systematic Transfer Plan (STP) to transfer this amount in equity funds periodically. Alternatively, you can reserve this amount for your contingency reserve. It's also good practice to have high-yield Savings Account for emergencies. This way, even if the stock market crashes, your Bank account won't be drained by inflation or falling interest rates.

FundNAVNet Assets (Cr)1 MO (%)3 MO (%)6 MO (%)1 YR (%)2023 (%)Debt Yield (YTM)Mod. DurationEff. Maturity
Axis Liquid Fund Growth ₹2,705.38
↑ 0.50
₹32,6480. 8D1M 8D
Aditya Birla Sun Life Liquid Fund Growth ₹391.645
↑ 0.07
₹46,3600. 8D2M 8D
UTI Liquid Cash Plan Growth ₹3,987.28
↑ 0.75
₹23,3300. 12D1M 12D
ICICI Prudential Liquid Fund Growth ₹359.88
↑ 0.07
₹43,4730. 10D1M 14D
Invesco India Liquid Fund Growth ₹3,340.21
↑ 0.62
₹10,0530. 13D1M 13D
IDFC Cash Fund Growth ₹2,938.23
↑ 0.55
₹15,9480. 8D1M 8D
Note: Returns up to 1 year are on absolute basis & more than 1 year are on CAGR basis. as on 17 Jun 24
*Above is list of best Liquid funds having AUM/Net Assets above 10,000 Crore and managing funds for 5 or more years. Sorted on Last 1 Calendar Year Return.

4. Use it as a Down Payment on a Car

If you have a lot of cash to blow, or if you're looking to buy a new car, consider using your bonus as a down payment. If you have Good Credit and make an offer with cash up front, chances are the dealership will take it. Of course, once again: check your Credit Score. If it's low due to past mistakes (like maxing out too many cards), consider shopping for used cars instead so that you can still get a good deal on wheels. If the bonus amount doesn't cover the entire down payment, you can consider going through a local credit union. Credit unions offer loans at competitive rates and often work with customers who might not qualify for financing at other places because they don't have perfect credit profiles.

5. Buy Yourself Something Nice

If you're going to treat yourself, go all in. If you've just received a bonus and want to spend it on yourself, by all means, do so, you deserve it. You can treat yourself in a small way, such as buying a new pair of shoes or upgrading your wardrobe with some new clothes. Or you can treat yourself in a big way with something more extravagant, like that television—or even laptop computer—you've been eyeing recently. Just make sure when you buy something for yourself, it should last for months (and years) to come.

6. Invest in Real Estate

Wondering where to invest the annual bonus? Investing in Real Estate is one of the smartest ways to use your bonus. It's also a great way to start investing if you're new to it. You can invest in real estate through a variety of means, including:

  • Direct ownership (buying properties outright)
  • Indirect ownership (investing in companies that own properties)
  • Lending money (through peer-to-peer lending platforms)

Real estate has been an effective way for people to create passive income and build wealth over time.

7. Pay for Continuing Your Own Education

Continuing education can be a great way to make a difference in your career or learn new things that will help you in any aspect of your life. As an employee, continuing education is an investment in yourself and your skills that can make you more valuable to the company where you work or might work in the future. Your boss will appreciate how you're investing in yourself and making yourself more marketable as an employee. It also shows that there are other opportunities for people with those specific skills, which might inspire your colleagues at the company to invest similar time into their careers as well.

8. Invest in Yourself by Hiring a Life Coach

By now, working professionally, you probably would have already realized that investing in yourself is important. After all, you have no idea what the future holds for your career or your life. But how can you invest in yourself without spending too much time and money? Life coaching is one of the best ways to invest your bonus money to obtain professional advice, from career goals to relationships. These experts can help if you are feeling stuck or can't make decisions and move forward on the path toward happiness. They also work with business owners who want to improve both their professional and personal lives.

This way, you'll get objective feedback about where you stand today so that you can set goals based on reality rather than wishful thinking or fear-based thinking. The goal isn't just making money; it's making sure that money brings happiness (and health). A good life coach will help uncover blind spots.

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When you receive your bonus, don't go on a spending spree and waste it all at once. Instead, plan ahead and use the money wisely by saving or investing it. You can consider the options mentioned in this article to invest your bonus thoughtfully. This will allow you to save up for big goals in the future, like buying a car, your dream house, or starting a college fund for your child's education.

All efforts have been made to ensure the information provided here is accurate. However, no guarantees are made regarding correctness of data. Please verify with scheme information document before making any investment.
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