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Same goes for standard bonuses, even yearly ones. Pretend you're not getting one until after the money is in your bank account. Expecting them will lead to unhappiness, I've seen it happen to too many people. It's crazy how sad & upset some people can get over huge checks of "free" money, when they expected more than what they got. And of course it's dangerous to spend it before you get it. Bonus plans can and do change after the profits are made, bonus pools can and do dilute and/or shrink unexpectedly, people who didn't help can and do figure out ways to jump into the pot after it gets big, management can and does change their minds and decide to invest or allocate profits. I've watched all of these things happen, and the only way to enjoy it all is to negotiate your compensation as if bonuses don't exist, wait to think about bonus money until it's in hand, and then consider yourself lucky when extra money arrives.

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