Saving for a newer car is my most immediate savings goal therefore, it should take the majority of my bonus money. However, I found myself baulking at putting the entire amount of my bonus into a single savings account. I can do this for smaller amounts of $30 here, $25 there, but add a zero or two and gut told me no.
So what are my alternatives? There were a few things tugging me in different directions. I have been thinking about my charity savings account and how much I would like to give this year. I would like to match the amount I gave in 2008 and challenge myself to give more. By taking part of this bonus check and funding the charity account, I would still have money leftover from my bonus to fund other accounts.
I have been contemplating the acquisition of a new MacBook Pro. My iBook is still working well but I am considering a replacement in the next year or so. Of course I would like a bigger screen, faster processor, more RAM and hard drive space. However, I am being strict with myself and saving for this purchase. Right now, I have $300 saved for a new computer. Saving all or most of my bonus for this purpose would bring me to nearly 50% of the price of refurbished MacBook Pro in my savings account. While not an immediate gratification of my Apple hardware desire, I would be months closer to buying a new laptop. This is an option I could pair with my charity account funding.
Despite some clear cut priorities for saving, I had to seriously consider what to do with the unexpected money. I thought about paying my mortgage down a bit or buying a nice piece of jewelery, but I prefer keeping my assets liquid. After thinking about it and writing down multiple options for dividing the money, I settled on my final strategy:
- 18% was earmarked for charity; some of the money was used immediately for a donation
- 25% was added to my car savings account
- 25% was saved in my found money account (likely for my future MacBook Pro purchase)
- 25% was transferred to my farm savings account
- 7% I could spend how I like
I was able to save for all the items that matter to me, make a donation to my favorite local charity to celebrate my unexpected windfall and spend some on myself for pure indulgences of the food kind. I am pleased with the outcome and am grateful I have money I can both save and spend.
What do you think of my final action plan?