The Philippines is known for having one of the longest Christmas celebrations in the world. These celebrations include attending Christmas parties and get-togethers with relatives and friends, eating noche buena, exchanging gifts, and more activities. Because of these celebrations, it can be hard to keep track and minimize our expenses, even as professionals who receive 13th-month pay and bonuses for the Christmas season.
But according to registered financial planner and business anchor Edric Mendoza, there are still ways through which Filipinos can spend less and save more during the holidays. When it comes to spending during the Christmas season, Mendoza says that we should only spend on things that we can afford. Even though the country is slowly returning to normal, we are still in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, and now is not the time to go into debt with our expenses during the Christmas season.
Mendoza also advises that when giving gifts to ourselves, we can look for good bargains or deals, like the sales of websites like Shopee and Lazada or the Black Friday and Christmas sales of stores in malls. When it comes to treating ourselves, it’s important to not to get carried way by our emotions during the holidays so that we’ll have money left after the holidays or we won’t regret our purchases when the credit card bills come in.
If you allocate 50% of your earnings for your needs, 20% for your savings, 10% for giving, you will have 20% left for your wants, which you can then use for your Christmas shopping. Aside from these tips, you can also use credit cards with low caps to avoid overspending during the holidays or use debit cards instead of credit cards so that your purchases only take away the cash you have set aside for your purchases.
You can also keep cash only in your wallet when you go Christmas shopping or use big bills which are harder to spend and can help discourage or prevent any impulsive purchases. Even as we continue attending Christmas gatherings and buying gifts for our loved ones, it’s still important to ask hard questions and spend wisely to make sure that our hard earned salary will remain even after the holidays.
Mendoza says that Christmas celebrations don’t always have to be costly and you can still celebrate the holidays by not only giving your money, but also your time, skills, and effort in get-togethers. Even though these gatherings will be toned-down compared to those in previous years, you will be able to spend less and save more during the Christmas season.