Wow….I just got a Bonus!!! What should I do?

If you have a situation in life where you have worked hard and earn a bonus, you may question, how can I get the most value from my hard work.  I have worked with many veterinarians who take this new found money and quickly run to pay down their student debt.  This seems like a very prudent and responsible action as we all know that one of our main goals is to get out of debt.  However did you know that paying down your debt will likely not reduce your future monthly payment obligations, and if you are considering practice ownership may not be the highest and best use of your cash.

If you receive a bonus or extra cash, I would first encourage everyone to build their personal reserve account up to a minimum of 3 and a goal of 6 to 12 months of living expenses.  A person who knows they don’t want to be a practice owner could consider paying off their student loans at this point.  If you are considering practice ownership continue to build your personal cash savings, funds in a the  safe asset class and let your money work for you.  The additional cash reserve will allow you to secure a more attractive interest rate in your loan to buy a hospital and may even make you a more attractive buyer to the seller.


  1. This is novel advice and I appreciate it so much! We ALWAYS hear about making sure you pay down debt, but building a personal reserve makes sense especially when working towards practice ownership. @travis_york and @iwidensky would you recommend putting bonuses in a regular savings account, a high interest savings account or …? Thanks!

  2. This advice was incredibly insightful! I have often wondered what is the best way to set yourself up financially for taking loans for practice ownership. Thank you for sharing your insight!

  3. This aligns with one of my favorite sayings in the finance world, “Cash is King”. Having cash gives you flexibility and building that should be a top priority in pursuing your personal financial security.

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