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Financial Security

Smart Tips for How to Use Your Holiday Bonus or End-of-Year Raise

Provided by COUNTRY Financial Portfolio Manager, Chelsie Moore

December 28, 2018

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – Did you receive a holiday bonus from youremployer, or are you getting a raise this year? If so, congratulations! Take simple steps now to make that new income work toward your financial goals with these tips from Chelsie Moore of COUNTRY Financial. 

  1. Start with paying down debt. “Begin with any debt that has a high interest rate, like a credit card,” said Chelsie. 
  2. Establish an emergency fund if you don’t already have one. “If you already have one, but it’s not enough to cover 3 – 6 months of expenses, add to it with your bonus.”
  3. Create a budget – know how much of the new income you want to save vs. spend. “This will allow you to enjoy a portion of your hard-earned bonus or raise, and still take advantage of saving some too,” Chelsie stated.
    *Bonus tip: flip your frame of mind: “Normally people thing of their cash flows as: Income – Expenses = Savings. Flip the equation around so you’re thinking of it in terms of Income – Savings = what you can spend.”
  4. Pay yourself first. “If you received a bonus, consider saving it now,” Chelsie said. “For a raise, increase or start regular auto-deposits at the time you receive your paycheck. You didn’t have the money last year, so save it before you get used to spending it! A good place to save may be an employer sponsored plan, especially if you’re not already maxing your employer’s match if one is offered. You could also auto-invest into a retirement account like a Traditional IRA or Roth IRA.”

For more tips on saving, spending andinvesting, visit  

Chelsie Moore is a Portfolio Manager at COUNTRY Financial in Bloomington, Illinois.


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Carrie Skogsberg

About COUNTRY Financial

COUNTRY Financial is a marketing name for COUNTRY Life Insurance Company®, COUNTRY Mutual Insurance Company® and their respective subsidiaries, located in Bloomington, IL. COUNTRY Financial serves about one million households and businesses throughout the United States and offers a wide range of insurance and financial products and services.