The Bonus Changes Are Worse Than We Thought

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A few weeks ago I wrote about the changes happening at my partner’s work. We learned that the bonus structure was changing in a way that would negatively affect bonuses. Well, unfortunately the situation is worse than we thought. My partner is now receiving no bonus at all in this new system and likely won’t throughout the rest of the winter and spring.

We used to receive a couple hundred dollars per month in bonus income through the slower part of the year (which starts in late fall and ends in early summer). When business picked up in the summer, bonuses were $1,000 per month, sometimes more if things were going really well. Under this new structure, we think that summer bonuses will get a haircut too and will only be a couple hundred dollars instead of the $1,000 we’re used to.

We Didn’t Rely on Bonuses

I didn’t think this change would reduce my partner’s bonus income so drastically overnight. I’m grateful that I never budgeted based on bonuses. I would simply decide where to allocate the money when it hit our bank account and put it toward savings or debt repayment. My dad also works in sales and has had inconsistent income throughout his career. Watching him struggle with money management made me wary of counting bonuses as part of our expected income and financial plans.

Because we don’t budget or plan based on bonuses, we’ll still be able to pay our bills and make progress on our financial goals despite this setback. However, this change in bonus structure is still disappointing because it means losing thousands of dollars of extra income each year. The bonuses accelerated our debt payoff and enabled us to reach goals faster. Although we would love to replace that income by side hustling, my partner has been pretty tired lately due to having a bigger territory size and more accounts. It’s sad that the workload increased and the financial payoff decreased, but it seems to be happening to a lot of people. I’m seeing lots of posts online about layoffs and decreased wages, so it seems like the economy in general is a bit shaky.

How We’re Moving Forward

I can probably pick up the slack by taking on additional clients. However, one of my immediate family members is having significant health problems, so it may not be the right moment to load up my schedule. We may just continue to monitor the situation and see what happens. My partner is also planning to ask for a raise due to the increased workload at the next annual performance review, which is in late summer. When the economy improves, my partner may consider looking for a new (likely remote) job to get a pay bump.

What would you do in this situation? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments, as this sudden change has kind of thrown me for a loop.

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