It's that time of the year when those who work for companies that have performed well may be fortunate enough to receive bonuses. This payment, which is usually added to your October, November or December income, could run to any amount depending on your employer's generosity.
Many researchers consider December bonuses important because they boost employee morale and give them a financial breather during the festive season, which generally has more spending demands than the rest of the year.
Extra cash, however, may tempt you to spend money on items that may turn out to be unnecessary in the long run.
A happy-go-lucky mood may result in a high drinks bill or party favours for the family, but not much to show for all your hard work. Head of financial education at Old Mutual John Manyike advises that, just as in any other month, it's vital to draw up a budget. Base your plan, realistically, on what you can afford.
Whether or not you're expecting a bonus, save up for family expenses, entertainment and gifts, he advises. And before spending a cent on luxuries, fulfil all your regular monthly expenses. Only once you've done that, can you spend on luxuries.
Social expectations can be tricky, Manyike says. Often it can be difficult to draw the line.
"When deciding how much of your available funds to allocate to family obligations, make sure you balance your family's expectations with what you can afford. People need to remember that there is life after December.
Don't fall into the temptation of faking success to impress family members and old neighbours you may not even like with the money you don't have, he adds. Rather communicate openly with your family members and specify how much you have available to help.