What to do first with your holiday bonus

It's bonus season.

According to a survey of 500 US businesses by recruiting agency Accounting Principles, about three-quarters of employers are spreading holiday cheer via check, gifting workers an average cash bonus of $1,081. That's up 25% from last year.

If you're expecting an end-of-year or holiday bonus, Katie Brewer, CFP and founder of financial planning firm Your Richest Life, suggests making a plan for the money before it appears in your account.

Generally, Brewer told Business Insider, you should commit 80% of your holiday bonus to "serious money," using it to pay off debts, increase savings, and top off retirement funds. The other 20% can be fun money, she says.

RELATED: Once you've correctly allocated your funds, take a look at some hot holiday gifts under $100:

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21 holiday gifts under $100
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21 holiday gifts under $100
For your favorite niece who loves the hottest gadgets... 
BUY IT
For your friend who finally got a start on their entrepreneur endeavor ... 
BUY IT
For your significant other who loves classic tunes...
BUY IT
For that friend in your life who always asks for your cable log-in ... 
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For your personal trainer who accidentally lost their old one running a marathon ... 
BUY IT
For your younger sibling who's an aspiring filmmaker... 
BUY IT
For your mom who's a complete neat-freak but a little out of touch with modern technology ...
BUY IT
For your younger neighbor who just started adulting... 
BUY IT

For your favorite filmmaker...

BUY IT
For your friend who never has any games but always offers to host a get together ... 
BUY IT
Your aunt who probably still uses a CD player to listen to the latest music ... 
BUY IT
For your college friend who just graduated from their dentistry program ... 
BUY IT
For your boss who basically lives in the office ...
BUY IT
For your coworker who always loses their headphones ...
BUY IT
For your friend who's still in school ...
BUY IT
For your dad who's always complained that he's never had a proper tool kit ...
BUY IT
For your roommate who always asks to borrow your charger ...
BUY IT
For your favorite techie at work ...
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For your younger cousin who a natural ability to capture beautiful images ...
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For your best friend who is obsessed with healthy eating ...
BUY IT
For you, because you deserve it after buying gifts for everyone else ...
BUY IT
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It's easy to think of a dozen uses for your "fun money." But what about that 80% you're dedicating to building wealth? Where should you start?

Below, we've put together a flow chart to help you figure out where your serious money can make the most impact. The chart assumes that you're making regular payments toward any debt and are without extenuating circumstances, like an expected end-of-year medical bill or other urgent charge to which you've already committed your bonus.

BI Graphics_Holiday Bonus FlowchartSkye Gould/Business Insider

NOW WATCH: A financial expert reveals the biggest money mistake a couple can make

More from Business Insider:
Here are the differences between the 2 types of mortgages you can get
10 simple strategies to help you pay off any kind of debt
Here's how much you need to make to be in the top 1% of every state

SEE ALSO: The 7 dumbest things you can do with your end-of-year bonus

DON'T MISS: How much to tip everyone in your life for the holidays, from your landlord to the mail carrier

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