Credit.com

The Holidays are expensive. Between gift buying, travel expenses, and other end of the year costs, you can end up ringing in the New Year with a depleted savings account. But if you play your cards right, you may be able to offset some of that spending — and start the new year in a better financial position — thanks to an end of the year bonus.

According to a survey from Accounting Principals, a year end bonus is actually a possibility for many Americans. The survey found that in 2015, 67% of companies had plans to give holiday bonuses to employees, with an average bonus of $858. But while these are encouraging odds, how can you ensure that your boss recognizes your hard work and rewards it?

Start by checking out these tips to help make sure you get the year end bonus you deserve!

Keep Track of Your Successes

When it comes to any discussion of raises or bonuses, its important to have plenty of evidence of your value to the company. That way, when your boss asks why, specifically, you think you deserve a holiday bonus, you can present her with facts to support your proposition. Whenever you can, try to include numerical evidence to quantify your argument.

Be Willing to Volunteer for Extra Work

When the time comes for Holiday bonuses to be doled out, you want your boss to remember you as a team player, eager to do whatever needs to be done to ensure the success of the company. That means being the first one to volunteer to pick up any slack, cover any unexpected work, and assist the team at every given opportunity. According to Kim Gottschalk, Senior Regional Vice President at Accounting Principals, "Most companies are willing to reward their hardworking staff during the holidays as a way to thank them for their efforts throughout the year. Prove that you are a valuable employee that deserves a little extra recognition!"

Know How Your Company Handles Holiday Bonuses

Not every company even gives out Holiday bonuses, and those that do tend to have a variety of ways of going about it. Make sure you know your companies policy, and what exactly the bonuses are based on. Do the employees with the best numbers get the bonuses? Or is it up to the boss to decide who deserves a bonus? Priya Malani, an entrepreneur and partner at Stash Wealth, told Bustle that, "It's your responsibility to know the competitive range for bonuses for your position within your industry — so do the research, or ask around. Be clear with your boss about your expectations and then, when the time is right, ask your boss if the company is looking to be on track for bonus season."

Ask Directly

Matt McWilliams

Laura C. Browne, co-author of Raise Rules for Women: How To Make More Money At Work says, "This may sound obvious but most people won't do it. Ask your boss, 'What can I do to help you so I can get a bonus this year?'" While this may sound intimidating, your boss will probably appreciate your initiative, and it ensures that they're aware that you'd like to be considered for a bonus, making it more likely that they take notice of your hard work. However, it's important not to present the idea as a demand, but to instead phrase it as a question of how you can further help the company, and in doing so earn the bonus.

A Holiday bonus can be a huge help that positively affects your life all year long, so it's important to do everything you can now to ensure all the hard work you've done in the past year is rewarded!

PayPath
Follow Us on

Airbnb is a great option while traveling, but you should protect yourself from damage charges from unscrupulous hosts.

Airbnb offers an affordable option for people looking to be more comfortable as they travel.

However, there are downsides to staying in a host's home rather than a hotel. Whereas hotels are designed for constant streams of visitors and often have furniture built to last, at an Airbnb, you may be staying on old or cheap furniture that a host is using in order to maximize their profits.

And while most reputable hotels will have regular room inspections from staff to check for any wear and tear, Airbnb damage disputes are oftentimes he said, she said situations. If you are in an Airbnb and something breaks, there are a few steps you should take in order to ensure that you are not on the hook for damages out of your control.

Keep reading Show less

What Are NFTs?

Art Installation N°1 by Carlos Marcial. Rhett Dashwood / YouTube

If you're keeping tabs on the art and tech worlds, you've probably been hearing whispers about "NFTs" for the past month. Just over the past week they've entered the mainstream lexicon.

Twitter founder Jack Dorsey made the news for selling his first ever tweet. The app has been teasing paid subscription models and newsletter-like features, but tweets for sale is "the next frontier."

The 2006 tweet went up for auction as an NFT, and the current bid is $2.5 Million. But what does it mean to own that? Why would anyone want to? And what even is an NFT?

Keep reading Show less

Long gone are the days when the majority of Americans dreamed about owning a home with a white picket fence.

The traditional American Dream may be on its deathbed, but that doesn't mean a core component of the vision can't survive. It simply takes a diverse perspective. People can still believe they can attain their own vision of success in society with hard work, knowledge, and risk-taking. Investing in today's American Dream may literally mean investing money in our modern economy, starting with our infrastructure.

Real estate investing in particular is a lucrative method that can boost income and secure a better financial future for many. There's always risk involved, but the payoffs can far outweigh the uncertainty. Selecting solid financial investments is about confidence and competence. If you're looking for some advice on this kind of investment, here are a few savvy tips for new real estate investors.

Stick To a Specific Strategy or Niche

Real estate is a challenging sphere of the business world, one that requires several key skills: groundwork knowledge, networking, perseverance, and organization. True knowledge of the real estate market will come with time and experience, but it's a smart idea to select one area of the market and stick to it. This is the best way to attain in-depth familiarity with your specific niche.

First, choose a geographical area close by and then a niche strategy within it, such as house flips, rental rehabs, or residential or commercial properties. By doing so, you can become aware of current inner working conditions in the market and you'll have a better idea of how these trends may change in the future.

Be Vigilant About Viable Financing Options

While it takes money to make money, you don't have to use all your own money. A common misconception about real estate investing is that you must be wealthy to start off. This isn't straight fact, however. A majority of people can test the waters of real estate investing without a lot of initial cash in their pocket.

Aside from traditional financing options from banks and institutions, private lending options can be worthy solutions. Hard money lenders are popular, reasonable choices, and they tend to have fewer qualification requirements upfront. However, be sure to strategically choose a hard money lender to find the best possible fit.

Master the Art of Finding Good Deals

There may be hundreds of thousands of available properties for sale on the current market, but the bulk of them will never amount to the final money-making result you desire. Another great tip for new real estate investors is to use good math to estimate profit. Taking risks is part of the process, but you have the ability to analyze properties and use networking sources to find the greatest deal. You can't win every deal, but you can steadily work towards a thriving financial future.