It’s that time of the year again – the season that we’ve all been waiting for. While we enjoy seeing an extra month’s pay in our bank account, this happiness is usually short-lived. Often, our bank account seems to go through a recession rather than economic boom. This happens despite having read countless articles in search of ways to spend your bonus wisely – saving for retirement, investing, buying insurance and more.

I believe this is understandable; after a year of hard work and with this season coinciding with the festive season of giving and Ho-ho-ho-lidays, all we really want is to pamper ourselves and our loved ones. After all, let’s stop lying to ourselves – it’s almost impossible to put a cap on your spending once the floodgates are opened.

Since you’re gonna spend that extra cash anyway, let’s look at how you should NOT splurge your hard-earned money. I mean, are you really spending your money the right way if you’re not having fun with it?

*Read about other Travel Tips, Guides, and Experiences here at: PROJECT #GOANYWHR 

1. Frivolous Christmas Gifts

Source: Google

Source: Google

While we love receiving gifts, picking a meaningful gift is often difficult for acquaintances. First, we go through the phase of serious procrastination and putting many items on the ‘maybe’ list with hopes of finding an even better gift. Then comes the week before Christmas where we find ourselves rushing to tick our friends’ names of our list. Think about it, when was the last time you ever considered buying a Starbucks tumbler for your friend because you were either lacking for time or gift ideas?

Since I was a receiver of two Starbucks tumblers and a giver of one last year, I guess both my friends and I were guilty as charged.    

2.  Wasted Nights

Source: Yutacar, Unsplash

Source: Yutacar, Unsplash

Late nights of alcohol-induced partying may make some of us happy and forget about our troubles, even if it’s just temporary. However, nursing your hangover the following day requires way too much time – a day wasted after getting wasted the night before. Then your credit card bill shows up and you’re reduced to bread crumbs for lunch everyday. I’m sure most of us have been trapped in this vicious cycle of ‘donating’ our cash to clubs only to feel sorry for ourselves sometime later. Does partying in hopes of a ‘good’ night really necessitate such a huge commitment of our finances and time? And is it really a good time when you can't remember most of it?

3. Chasing Trends

Source: The Straits Times, Queuing in Supreme Hope

Source: The Straits Times, Queuing in Supreme Hope

I’m sure we all know one or two friends who decided to buy that iPhone X not because they needed it, but because it was the latest ‘in’ thing. Or the Samsung 8, or the latest Miu Miu collection. You catch my drift, right? And I’m not just talking about the latest material goods, I’m talking about your lifestyle. Going to hip nightspots or visiting the coolest cafes ALL THE TIME just for the ‘gram. Chasing trends can feel good and even interesting initially, but as soon as the financial burden sets in, one should stop and wonder if there's a premium being paid for things that may become commoditised rather quickly.

4.  Using it as Normal Cash

Source: Google

Source: Google

*Related Post: 7 Ways 20-Somethings Should Be Spending Their Youth

Bonuses should not be spent like normal cash, like ever. I repeat, NEVER! Just like any other birthday or dates of significance; bonuses only come once a year. Therefore, plans, no matter big or small, need to be made with it. If not, it is almost guaranteed that it'll be spent on meaningless stuff. Stuff that will make you face-palm 3 months later as it finally dawns on you that your bonus was spent on Uber rides and take-out because you're too tired. After all, you've worked hard and deserve a break from packed trains and having to walk to get your meals. How do I know so well? I think ‘guilty as charged’ pretty much sums it up. So take the word of a fellow impulse spender and think twice!

Just because you can buy it doesn’t mean you should. At the end of the day, it’s about making that extra indulgence money worthwhile. And perhaps, just perhaps, it’s time to spend it on things that add value to your life. Be it buying that next concert ticket or getting a short weekend getaway, make sure it’s something you'll truly enjoy. As they say, collect moments and not things. The next time you decide to key in your card’s OTP details, ask yourself this: "Will I remember the joy and happiness it brings me 10 years from now?"