Working on my budget for the next few months, I realized I have a bit of extra cash coming my way. December-February are historically very good months for my finances. Where is the cash coming from and what do I plan to do with it?

  • Bonus - My bonus from my employer is paid in December. I've gotten a bonus every year but the amount changes based on company profitability. The bonus is paid out in 2 payments with 75% being paid in December and 25% being paid in late January or early February. I've calculated that my bonus payment coming next week should be roughly $3200 after taxes. The February payment will be about $1000. About $2000 of this money will go to my Freedom account and Rental Property Savings account.Freedom Account funds will be allocated towards making sure I have money for all my upcoming insurance payments in 2008 (1yr of auto ins, 1 yr of homeowners ins, Umbrella policy) and my vehicle tag fees. Rental Property Accounts funds will cover my home maintenance plan policy and landscape charges. I haven't decided what I want to do with the other $1200.

  • Auto Accident - I had a minor fender bender a few weeks ago. I didn't make a post about it since it was not a big deal. I was rearended while stopped at a stoplight. The other insurance company completed an estimate and the damages were about $582. I've decided not to repair the vehicle since the damage is strictly cosmetic and does not affect the function or safety of the vehicle. I may take 1/2 of his and buy a nice electronic gadget since I have been so good about denying these urges.

  • State Tax Refund - I usually always get a pretty good refund from the State of Georgia especially since I've had the rental property. Last year, I got a refund of about $2200 but this was offset by the $1500 I owed the federal government. Based on my early calculations, I should get about the same this year. I will owe the feds about the same this year too. I know I need to adjust my withholding but I haven't done it yet.

  • Performance Bonus - This one is not guaranteed but I have it good shot at getting one (according to my boss). Once I have my performance evaluation in February, I will (hopefully) get a % salary increase. (Last year it was only 4%). If I exceed company expectations again this year, I will get a merit cash bonus of 3% of my yearly salary. Last year was nice surprise as I got a cash bonus of about $2500 after taxes on top of my salary increase. I haven't made any plans with this money since it is not guaranteed.

Having this extra cash will definitely help me complete my 2008 Financial Goal of adding an additional $200 to my car payment to decrease the principal balance.

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