Bonus

Yes, you read that right.

My husband handed me a small slip of paper the other day and said he was getting a bonus. Oh, right. It’s December. Some workers in Japan, if you’re lucky enough to be working for an organization that does it, get a summer and winter bonus. Hubby is one of those lucky people. I am not. Sigh.

So I look at the piece of paper and my eyes bug out, I know. This bonus is 2.5 times his monthly salary.

Damn.

A bonus that size. In this economy, when people are struggling to make an income. In this pandemic, when people have lost their livelihoods.

Plus, he’s already gotten a summer bonus. Not as much as this one, but it was still pretty good.

“So. What are we going to spend it on?” he asked.

He must have seen the horrified look on my face because he said, “Never mind.”

Good. Because he knows how obsessed I am about getting us to financial independence. Half of it will be invested. The rest of it will be saved, I tell him. He nods.

I smile because I’m very glad we’re on the same page.

I relent slightly. Okay, maybe .0001 percent of it will be spent.

Maybe.

But I know he’s not counting on it.

To be honest, some of it will probably be donated to our favorite charities because in this crazy economic times, I know many people are struggling. We are lucky to have both our jobs still. We’re both working and relatively healthy. I will never forget that fact and will continue to be grateful.

Like I’ve said, I think we are at the stage where we are financially secure–but not completely independent. We still need to work and save, but it’s not completely hopeless in our case.

Sitting pretty…

But back to the main topic of this post. I’ve always treated any type of bonus, or windfall, as something NOT to be spent. As I’ve mentioned, I don’t work for a company that gives bonuses. Hell, this year, we’re not even going to do a bonenkai which is a custom for Japanese companies.

Usually, employers throw a party for their employees to give thanks for their hard work and to forget what happened (all the bad) in the past year. Our office party is usually a big dinner followed by drinking and karaoke. This year, because of the pandemic, none of that will happen.

But I do get a tax return sometime in March. It’s not much–and I know I should really not get it if I were more efficient, but that’s not the point–but I never usually spend it. Before, when I was still paying off my student loans, I split it evenly. Half went to payments, half went to savings. These days, though, I split it into three categories: investment in stocks, real estate, and regular savings, with the possibility of me spending some of it.

Essentially, I don’t spend any type of windfall that I or my husband get. There’s not much that I want to have in the house. All that clutter! Yikes. And I would rather travel, but with pandemic, there’s nothing we can do with that.

So this year, that bonus that hubby got will be quietly tucked into an investment.

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