It Kills Me To Watch My Employees Blow Through Their Bonuses

by LANCE BANDLEY, HEALTHY WEALTHY INCOME

image

Bandley was sad to see that most of his employees spent their bonuses right away on things they wanted but didn’t really need.

Today I walked into work and about died from what I saw in the parking lot.

25% of my staff drove up in new cars today.

When I got inside several of them had new tablets and phones.

They had a chance to make a huge financial change in their life and instead they did the exact opposite.

Raises for everyone!

3 days ago I handed out raises.

They weren’t just raises, but large bonuses and a market adjustment.

Across the board, many employees received a 15-30% increase.

I’ve never seen a day like this in my company’s history. It was honestly one of the funnest days of my life. It made for an awesome Friday.

I love giving out raises … it’s not my money and I really like rewarding hard working people.

Here is your raise & bonus … however

As I sat down with each employee and gave them the incredible news I also offered a small piece of advice: Don’t spend it this year.

General life advice

Whenever I have a staff meeting I always give out a little life advice like:

Don’t use all your PTO and have some saved for an emergency.
Plan your days off ahead of time and trips as well to save money.
Don’t spend your raises or bonuses right away.
I tell everyone to take it for what it’s worth but these things have helped me in my life. A lot of times they aren’t getting any advice from anyone, and never have, so I throw it out … but rarely does anyone listen to me other than what they need to do for their job. That is their choice.

Check out my Mustang!

I would love a Mustang. I always wanted one, but personally feel that I don’t really need it. I drive a Camry with 185,000 miles on it and it’s honestly a great car. It has never broken down once and never needed a major repair. My favorite car is a paid-off car, after all. My employee who makes one-fourth of what I do now has the car I want … it’s going to drive me crazy every day at work. He also eats Ramen for lunch because “It’s all he can afford”… sigh.

I guess everyone has a choice and gets to decide priorities: Drive a new car and have no money. Drive an older car and have lots of money. All depends on your lifestyle.

Missed financial opportunity

Rarely in life do you get the chance to hold onto extra money. Everyone was living fine and has homes and decent incomes for their education level. If they could have maintained their lifestyle and saved that extra $7,000-$10,000 a year and invested, it would have been life-changing from this point forward. All I wanted them to do was go one year and save just to see what it was like … just one. I should have said 7 days … or 4 days.

They just received bonuses last month that I watched disappear on Black Friday — the top requested day off of the year in my department.

Pouring Wine
Flickr / mark sebastian
It’s okay to celebrate, just don’t go overboard.

Buy something, but not a car.

If they had just bought a tablet and spent $300, I wouldn’t have so much heartburn. That would have been a one-time expense and done with. I can totally see celebrating a big raise. You have to celebrate in life.

In just a few days they bought cars. What an impulse buy. I always take my time on a major purchase, and they increased their payments and extended them for the next several years so their raise is now completely gone to the car dealership, plus I’m sure a little bit more.

Not everyone spent it all.

I shouldn’t lump everyone into the same boat. I have one employee that still doesn’t know about his raise because he was off on Friday. I called him and asked if he wanted to know and he said no, he would just wait until the next time he was in the office.

This employee has four kids and a modest home that he paid off in his early 40s, so money to him isn’t too big of deal because he always has enough. It’s nice to live that way.

How do you value money? Save or spend mentality

I had to close my blinds today on a really nice day because all their cars are sitting in front of my office windows. It’s really bugging me today.

Whenever I get extra money, we think “save” first. We may buy something to celebrate or go out to eat. We use to just save it, but now we invest everything as well. It took a while to learn that lesson, but I’m glad that we finally got away from fearing the market.

There is often a thought out there that living responsible, frugal lives is somehow a life of misery, and it’s simply not the case. We just have bigger plans later in life and it’s okay to give up minor things now for better things later.

So if you get a raise or a bonus, how about you save it for a year and see if you like having more money at the end of the year more than a new toy? It’s just some free advice from a guy who loves money more than debt.

This article originally appeared at Healthy Wealthy Income. Copyright 2014. Follow Healthy Wealthy Income on Twitter.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s