How will you spend your bonus? A new survey boils down response data across industries

While charitable giving is an altruistic use of one’s bonus, it turns out the majority of respondents plan to invest this money.

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Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many companies were faced with difficult economic challenges in 2020. However, about two-thirds of employers still planned to distribute annual bonuses in 2021, according to a Willis Towers Watson survey published last fall. Earlier this month, a person posted a survey on Blind, a popular anonymous networking site for professionals, to understand how others plan to spend their bonuses. We’ve detailed the key findings below.

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Bonus spending: Investments, savings, big buys, and more

On Jan. 15, a Blind user posted a survey asking other professionals how they planned to spend their bonus. Options included saving, investing, big purchases, donation, as well as a flame emoji next to a bag of cash emoji (seemingly to illustrate burning this money quickly) although the last option was not illustrated in the raw data Blind provided.

Overall, the raw data includes 1,476 responses in total. The overwhelming majority of respondents (67%) said they were investing their bonuses and about one-in-five (21%) said they were saving the bonus in cash. A mere 8% said they were using their bonus toward a “big purchase,” and 4% said they were donating their bonuses.

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Bonuses across industries

As part of Blind’s networking framework, people are allowed to list their employer. This enables data to be broken down on a sector-by-sector basis to illustrate correlations across industries. 

There were 386 responses from FAANG employees (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google). Among this grouping, nearly three-quarters of FAANG respondents (70%) said they were investing their bonuses. About one-in-five (18%) were saving the bonus in cash, 4% were donating the bonus, and 8% were using the bonus toward a big purchase.

Overall, Cisco respondents were most likely to opt for charitable spending with 11% of the 18 respondents saying they were donating their bonuses. Close behind, 9% of JPMorgan Chase and SAP employees said they were donating their bonus with 23 and 11 respondents, respectively. 

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VMware and LinkedIn respondents were least likely to invest their bonuses. Overall, 50% of the 12 LinkedIn respondents and 14 VMware respondents were planning to invest their bonus. VMware employees were most likely to go “big” with their bonus spending, with about one-third (29%) saying they were using their bonus toward a “big purchase,” followed by Indeed (18% of 11 respondents).

LinkedIn respondents were most likely to save the bonus for a rainy day with 42% saying they were saving the bonus. Intuit employees were close behind, with 36% of 11 respondents stating they would save their bonus.

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