What Your Bonus Cheque Could Be Worth In 5 Years?

If you are one of the lucky few who get an additional send off in the way of a 13th cheque, congratulations!

What are your plans with the extra money? We are pretty sure you’ve had your eye on something as a reward for all the sweat equity, right?

And who can blame you? It’s your money, you’ve earned it.

Unless of course, we could paint a picture of what that bonus cheque could be worth in 5 years. Hopefully, that gets you sitting up a little straighter in your chair? Better yet, how about we assume that you will continue to get a bonus cheque each year for the next five years. How much could that be worth if you invested it?

Let’s create a hypothetical scenario to set the scene.

Rachel works for a company that’s always paid a bonus. In the 15 years, she has been employed, she can’t recall a single year her boss didn’t call her into his office to hand her a 13th cheque.

Truth be told, the money has been a Godsend. Rachel is a single mom and has been putting her only child Zinhle through tertiary studies on her own dime. It’s been a tough road, full of personal sacrifice, but the last varsity cheque has cleared and now Rachel has her sights set on a luxury cruise around Greece for her & her daughter.

Rachel calculates that she might need to save her bonus cheque each year for the next 5 years to be able to comfortably make the trip.

How much could Rachel save in five years if she saved her bonus cheque each year?

Let’s look at the calculations:

Rachel has a lump sum of R15 700 to invest after her company has paid across the PAYE. On average Rachel’s annual increase has been around 10% per annum, so she is confident she can increase this initial investment amount by 10% each year for the next 5 years.

What type of investment is Rachel looking into?

A very low-risk investment is the simple answer to that question. The equity markets are up and down, and Rachel has no appetite for the swings and roundabouts. Her money needs to grow slowly and not take major steps backward.

Rachel is happy investing her money in a Money Market account that will give her an expected 7% return per annum on the value of her savings.

If Rachel can commit to saving her bonus cheque each year for the next 5 years and she can increase that annual contribution by 10% each year, she can save R85 845.12 by December 2022 (pre-tax)

Is that enough money?

Rachel needs to double check that. The travel agent she has decided to book with has assured her that the cost of the cruise doesn’t increase by more than 8% per annum in Rand terms year-on-year, and the price of the cruise, for 2 people, is currently R55,000. That means in 2023 the year Rachel is planning to be in Greece, the estimated cost of the cruise is going to be R80,813








Cruise Cost







It looks like Rachel is covered and she can make this once in a lifetime trip a reality.

The questions you need to be asking yourself are the following:

Do I have any debt I could settle with my bonus cheque?

Ok, we know that taking your bonus cheque and using it to kill off any outstanding debt isn’t a very exciting prospect. It is, however, a very smart thing to do and you will thank your future self for doing it.

What could this bonus cheque be worth in 5 years?

If you can resist the urge to splurge in December, imagine what your bonus cheque could be worth in a year, or two or five from now? Wouldn’t it be handy to be sitting on R100 000 in five years from now? That means you could cut up your credit card and never have to worry about finding a few thousand bucks when things get a little tight.

Today is as good as any other day to start making smart money decisions, so if you are getting a bonus this year, make the most of it and count yourself lucky. 90% of South Africans aren’t. Celebrate by treating yourself to something small and stash the rest of the cash.

Until next time.

The Wise About Life Team


  • Hi admin, I am interested in your investments. What is the minimum amount for investment and period one can start with? How do I bank and withdraw? Do you have a broker system and how do I pay for the service you provide?

    • Hi Kesiametswe,
      Thank you for your query. One of our agents will be in contact to answer you question.


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