"It's exciting to contemplate what you'd do with any amount of extra money, but it might cause you to make financial decisions that don't look so good in hindsight," said Kathryn Hauer, a certified financial planner with Aiken, South Carolina-based Wilson David Investment Advisors.
Some of the best-known U.S. companies — including Walmart, AT&T, CNBC parent company Comcast and Bank of America — have announced that because of the reduced corporate tax rate in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, they will award one-time bonuses or increase the minimum hourly rate they pay workers. On Thursday, Home Depot became the latest to announce that it would award $1,000 bonuses to its workers.
Hauer recommends taking time to contemplate your options before spending money in anticipation of extra cash not yet received.
"We start spending money in our head long before we have it," she said. "If we know — or even just think — we're getting a bonus, we tend to be less careful with our purchases and financial choices."