Our company gives out bonuses--if any--last year there was not--at the end of February. Bonuses are the same throughout the company and are based on our firm meeting its target profit margin for the year. We did, so this year, we all got a 15% bonus--one of the largest in the time I've been with the company.
This time of year is also when merit increases in pay are announced. I got a 7.5% increase--not my highest, but still one of the top increases percentage wise. This will take effect with my March 15th paycheck.
We had the option to change our 401(k) elective deferral for our 2/28 paycheck (which includes the bonus). i usually contribute 22% of my pay to my 401(k), but for 2/28, I will contribute nothing so that I have have the maximum amount available after tax to pay down some debt. After the debt is paid off, I should be close to my target for the year--whch of course means setting a new target for 12/31. I've really been focused on paying off debt for the past 2 years and it is coming down nicely, although it's still a ways from being paid off. But I think in about another year of dedicated debt paydown, I will get rid of most of the non-mortgage debt, and the mortgage is coming down nicely as well. It would be paid off in less than 8 years if I paid no more than the minimum required payment, but I usually pay some extra, so it should be paid off sometime between 2025 and 2027, which means it should be paid off before I retire, which is the goal.
I won't use all of the bonus to pay down debt, though--I'll be leaving about a third as a sinking fund for upcoming expenses like home and car repairs and veterinary bills. And I might use about $700 or so to buy a new bicycle or otherwise do something that I can use to improve my health.