Our lives are usually in full swing during Christmas because we consider it as the most wonderful time of the year. As we celebrate, we used to be so kind and charming to ourselves and many other people. Lovely, isn’t it?
You probably had bought some special gifts for your family members, friends and relatives, inaanak and other people close to you. You might had purchased 2 VIP tickets, worth PHP22,500 each, of Coldplay’s Philippine concert on April 4, 2017 as a gift to yourself and your childhood crush (so she’ll like you too) and/or you might want to be dubbed as no other than Pambansang Santa Claus of the Philippines this year. Whatever ‘epic’ idea you have in mind for you to have the time of your life this holiday season, I just hope it suit you every pocket.
F.Sionil Jose, one of the most widely read Filipino writers in the English language, wrote Why Are Filipinos So Poor. On his essay, he bare his heart to us by saying Filipinos are great show-offs! For example, some women tend to be overdressed and immeldefic while some men looked hilariously like a walking jewelry shop. And let me remind you, my dear readers that such “yabang” trends all year-round. Bato bato sa langit ang matamaan ‘wag sana magalit?
But I’m rich as Kim Kardashian!?– Okay, fine. You can stop reading, plunge in your golden bath tub, post a hot selfie and you may go back to that Paris hotel. 🙂
Let’s be honest here. If you’re on the breadline, I strongly encourage you to keep on reading.
There’s a lot of ways to celebrate the yuletide season best. While it’s inevitable to spend money (of course, share your blessings), don’t forget that Christmas need not to be expensive, lest flashy.
So, here’s what you can do to save yourself some of your hard-earned money and hopefully, be financially stable in 2017.
1.Set the right mindset in spending
Every material pleasure has a price and it’s always a question of whether you can afford to pay it or not. I read a good financial book written by power couple Vic & Avelyn Garcia entitled ‘Kasusweldo palang, Ubos na?” and it helped me understand somehow two spending options, namely kurot and dakot. When we say kurot only, only a small portion of your total money was used to pay a certain thing or service acquired. On the other side of the coin, you splash out once you make dakot.
Kidding aside, dakot spending is what your mind should be very aware of. Apparently, you’ll have no money left for savings or emergency funds kasi inubos mo lahat. And in case you get suddenly hospitalized? MyGad. Dakot is nakakatakot so fear that your ignorance can burn your fingers badly.
2.Make a good budget
Just like all other occasions, setting a budget plan is beneficial. How much money you would like to spend for Christmas gift shopping? Did you set a specific amount for each person in your list , i.e., yaya-50k each, pamangkins -1M each, office mates – P10 each, etc.?. Carefully plan and review your budget. You should know the limits and remember rule 1, kurot lang sana dapat ang gastos sa yaman mo.
3.Explore all avenues to save
I don’t want you to think that you should be kuripot when I say explore all avenues to save. Maybe a bit but on a positive way and not to the extent na nilakad mo nalang ang Divisoria mula Pasay Rotonda or instead of gift-giving your dad his dream polo shirt, butones nalang neto ang binigay mo sa kanya dahil nagtitipid ka! C’mon, our goal is to save and make everybody happy so therefore may I suggest, among others, the following tips:
– Buy gift-items particularly clothes during off season sale.
– Stroll into bazaars or tiangges and look for cheap but quality items.
– Recycle unused/partially-opened gifts and/or gift wrappers, and
– Learn and be creative to make your own gifts, ex. Bake cookies, make homemade desserts for your manito/manita.
4.Delimit the feast
How about merry-making with other people like neighbors, barkadas, relatives who are outside your immediate family circle, ex office-mates (…and the list of exes goes on up to ex boy/girlfriends)?
If you are rolling in money, I think it’s not a problem. You may host a grand party in Mall of Asia Arena and invite them to join you jump for joy on Dec 25 because The Savior has born!
If you are paid peanuts however and highly aware of your PHP 5.00 ATM remaining balance, please don’t succumb on peer pressure. If you give in to everyone’s request, in one way or another, you’ll end up bankrupt.
Stay close with your family and celebrate together with them this Christmas. They deserve your presence and more or less, that 5 pesos ATM balance is ‘secured’ till New Year (it’s called financial empowerment.).LOL
5.Give valuable presents
Did you know that the best gift to give this Christmas is your time? So consider a trip with the family to a nearby local tourist spot or volunteer to feed the street children. You can do everything as long as you have time and you don’t limit yourself.
Furthermore, to those who can afford it like OFWs, they should give presents that appreciate in value over time. One of the best examples, according to financial guru Burn Gutierrrez, founder of Rock to Riches website, is investments. Let me quote his interview on Moneymax.ph which states; “OFWs can open stock or mutual fund investment accounts for their spouses and children while abroad. They can also purchase health and life insurance for their spouses or college educational plans for their children online. Explaining to them that these are their Christmas presents for them will slowly but surely make them realize how you really love them and care for them.”
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Christmas time is the season of joy, peace, and hope. It’s just time for every family member and friends to get together and as the church would like to remind us, be renewed spiritually in our chosen faith.
Okay, those words feel trite so how about ask yourself and reflect well on this 5 lettered question – Do I live beyond means?
Be a true Santa to yourself. Don’t pawn your reindeer this Christmas.
I’m sure that my list is not complete. If you know other tips to save or you have any thoughts regarding this post, feel free to comment below.