Still Hanging Onto Holiday Money? Here’s How to Spend It

Posted January 29, 2013 by Marcy Twete in Life After Five

Perhaps your company gave you a large bonus in December, or maybe your grandmother is just really generous. Either way, if you received a bundle of cash last year for the holidays, chances are you haven’t spent it yet. Women, though we’re stereotypically great shoppers, tend to sit on money, especially if it’s a large sum. We’re afraid to spend it.

Traditional Excuses Not to Spend the Money

  • What if something bad happens?
  • Do I spend it on one big thing? Or a bunch of little things?
  • I should buy something meaningful, because it’s from someone meaningful.

The truth, though, ladies, is you’re going to have to spend the money! Sure, you can save it, and I’m not advocating against it. But when someone gives you a gift or a bonus, it’s intended to be used. Now, you might use it as a downpayment on a house or a car a year from now, but at least know how you’re going to use it. That’s why I was excited when our friends at The Wardrobe Code wrote “How to Spend Your Holiday Bonus” and gave the perfect ideas at every dollar level. Of course, being a wardrobe site, they’re advocating stocking your closet, and we agree!

If you have a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars, think about upgrading the way you look. Here are some tips from The Wardrobe Code’s article:

Bonus: $500 – $1,000

With up to $1,000, you can begin to add some substantial pieces to your wardrobe. One option would be to stick with the shoes-jacket-blouse menu, only up the quality and cost of each item. Another choice is to buy all of the above and add two pair of skirts and/or pants.

Again, choose quality pieces with longevity – but with details that appeal to you. Building a wardrobe isn’t just about checking off the boxes of what’s missing, it’s about curating a collection you love.

Bonus: $1,000 – $2,000

Now we’re talking. For a bonus up to $2,000, your best bet is to continue to focus on key pieces like shoes, jackets, blouses, pants and skirts – just add more. Since you’ve got some cash to spread around, my advice would be to make a plan that looks something like this:

  • 2 pair of shoes, (DSW or Zappos) – $300
  • 3 blouses (J. Crew & Ann Taylor LOFT) – $300
  • 2 jackets (Bloomingdales, J. Crew) – $600
  • 2 skirts, 1 pair of pants (Nordstrom) – $450
  • new handbag (Cole Haan, on sale) – $300
  • Total – $1,950

To check out their advice on other dollar levels, click here.

About the Author

Marcy Twete

Marcy Twete is a career fundraiser turned corporate responsibility executive, a career and networking expert and the author of the book "You Know Everybody! A Career Girl’s Guide to Building a Network That Works."