What to do first with your holiday bonus

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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... 
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For your friend who finally got a start on their entrepreneur endeavor ... 
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For your significant other who loves classic tunes...
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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 ... 
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For your younger sibling who's an aspiring filmmaker... 
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For your mom who's a complete neat-freak but a little out of touch with modern technology ...
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For your younger neighbor who just started adulting... 
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For your favorite filmmaker...

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For your friend who never has any games but always offers to host a get together ... 
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Your aunt who probably still uses a CD player to listen to the latest music ... 
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For your college friend who just graduated from their dentistry program ... 
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For your boss who basically lives in the office ...
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For your coworker who always loses their headphones ...
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For your friend who's still in school ...
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For your dad who's always complained that he's never had a proper tool kit ...
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For your roommate who always asks to borrow your charger ...
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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 ...
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For you, because you deserve it after buying gifts for everyone else ...
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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

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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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