Annual Anxiety

My annual review is happening on Wednesday, during which I will sit down with my boss, get feedback on my performance this past year, and learn if I will receive a bonus and/or raise (hoping for the “and”). During the financial crisis, I remember coming across several articles about Wall Street bankers freaking out because their annual bonuses were going to be less than what they were expecting. As someone who will never be at the receiving end of a $2 million bonus, I felt very little sympathy. The articles detailed how the bankers were dependent on the bonuses to keep up their lifestyles: something had to pay for private schools, the three vacation homes, the Maserati in the garage. The bonus was an annual windfall that would allow them to pay for these expenses.

In a way, I relate to these Wall Street types in that I have been basically been thinking about my potential bonus for the last 6 months, wondering how much I would receive and whether it would be enough to cover some pressing expenses: 1) my credit card balance and 2) the upcoming expenses I’ll incur for three weddings next year (airfare, bachelorette parties, bridesmaid dresses, gifts, etc). I developed some complacency about quickly paying down my credit card: “Oh, well, I’ll pay a little bit more than the minimum now and I’ll just wait for my bonus to completely pay everything off.” Starting to save for the 2015 wedding expenses: “Oh, well, I’ll throw a couple bucks here and there into a savings account and then dump a huge chunk of money in there when I get my bonus.” But what if I don’t get a bonus? Or I do get one, but it’s not the amount I’m hoping for? Then what? Is that the kick in the butt I need to finally make some real changes? Knowing that there may be a windfall is making me lazy, in a way. I shouldn’t be using a bonus to pay off already-incurred expenses. I want to use it to pay off a big chunk of my student loans and maybe have a little left over to treat myself.

Update soon to follow…

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