The post-holiday windfall is a real phenomenon. After an exhaustingly tight couple of months leading into the holidays (buying presents, attending social events, buying more presents), most people find themselves with a little extra weight in their wallets come January. Usually, this extra money arrives through year-end bonuses or profit-sharing plans – but it can also be the accumulation of cash gifts around Christmas.
Whichever way you acquire your extra money, the question remains: What do you do with it? If you’re like most people, you burn through your holiday bonus on a few ill-advised luxuries and then call it a day. But you’re not like most people.
A small injection of personal capital can save you money in the long term– if you spend it wisely. In this article, let’s explore four wise ways to spend your holiday windfall this new year.
Invest in a Minimalist Merino Wool Wardrobe
If it’s clothing, you’re after, go for merino wool. Unlike other materials, merino wool a) is versatile, b) is durable, c) lasts a long time between washes, and d) feels incredibly comfortable. In other words, merino wool makes the ideal minimalist capsule wardrobe for men.
Because merino wool underwear lasts around two weeks before it needs a wash (yes, really), you only need a few pairs in your wardrobe. And a men’s merino wool hoodie works as well in the winter (as an insulator) as it does on summer evenings (as a breathable garment). Add in merino’s unmatched durability, and this might be the only clothing you’ll have to buy – a space-saver, money-saver and time-saver rolled into one.
Reinvest in Your Work Setup for Improved Productivity
If you get money from work, it makes sense to reinvest some back into work. (No, it’s not fun, but bear with us). Especially if you work from home, your productivity – and, by extension, work performance and career prospects –are tied directly to your work setup. Being uncomfortable or inefficient in your home setup can have a knock-on effect on your overall performance.
To reinvest a portion of your bonus, explore ergonomic home office gear like a comfortable work chair, standing desk and laptop riser. To invest in productivity, explore time-management and workflow optimization apps like Monday, Asana, Todoist and Toggl Track.
Pour Your Money into a Hobby That Pays Dividends
Now, let’s get into the fun stuff. If you’re interested in new hobbies but want something that pays clear returns or saves money, consider these two hobbies:home brewing and home exercise
With a small injection of capital (roughly $200 to get started), you can buy all the brewing gear you need – from siphons to carboys, sanitizers to airlocks. Add another $15 for grains, yeast and hops, and you have yourself a multi-month supply of beer. Brewing can save you a lot of money in the long term if you’re a regular beer drinker. Not to mention, it tastes better than most macrobrews.
Finally, consider building out your home gym. You can avoid those steep monthly gym membership payments with a one-time investment in free weights, machines and squat racks. Plus, you’ll never have to commute to a gym again – a win-win.
This new year, spend your holiday bonus or end-of-year windfall wisely with the few tips above. These investments will improve your life in the short term and save money in the long term.