On Friday, my yearly bonus hit our checking account: $5,109.79. Couldn’t be better timing, either!* Today, we joyfully took all that money out of checking and..
..moved it into savings.
What? That’s it?
Yep; that’s it. Assuming you make enough to cover your needs (and basic wants), there’s no reason for additional income to affect your spending. Once you’ve got your money settled, all additional income beyond that point (bonuses, raises, windfalls) goes to increasing your savings rate and bringing financial independence that much closer. While I would love to put the bonus directly toward my student loans, we need it to cover taxes; however, next year’s will go straight into student loans, and future bonuses will go toward investments.
* It actually comes at the same time every year.
** See Step 4.