February updateFebruary 28th, 2023 at 11:19 pm
My company pays our year-end bonus for the prior year in the second paycheck of February--if we get a year-end bonus. Bonuses are company-wide and based on whether the company met its profit-margin goal. Most years, but not every year, we get a bonus, and the bonus is the same (in terms of % of salary) for everyone.
The 2022 bonus was 15% of 2022 pay. I'm using the extra to pay down some debt. I'm still in process of that, since some payments hit my accounts automatically this coming week. Even with what I paid out today, my debts are now the lowest they have been since I began tracking back in 2006, when my debt was my mortgage plus 5k on credit cards. My total debt is down about 15k since the end of 2021.
I also got a merit increase, which will show up in my next check, of 6%, which was at the top end of pay raises given.
For the moment, I'll use the extra to either pay down debt or build up cash savings rather than contributing more to my retirement account. I'm currently contributing 20% of my pay to my retirement, 10% to the traditional/tax-deferred option and 10% to the Roth option. The dollar amount will increase because my pay is increasing.
I'm still not ready to declare myself "financially independent," but it's a step in the right direction.