By Julienne Rivera and Kyla Victoriano
As Christmas approaches, many people plan events and activities they should include in their Christmas celebrations. Aside from these joyful reunions and get-togethers, one of the aspects of this time of the year is that most Filipinos, especially employees and workers, are looking forward to receiving their Christmas bonuses.
Every Christmas, we observe our tradition of gift-giving, and we do this with the anticipation of receiving our 13th-month pay and Christmas bonuses. People look forward to the money they will receive and plan on what to buy and how to spend it for their family. Oftentimes, some would use it to purchase gifts for their loved ones, special meals, family getaways, or as a budget for a particular time.
However, Christmas is also the most costly time of the year, especially with inflation and other crises affecting the public’s way of life. It is also practical to consider saving and using our money efficiently. As we are still in the middle of a pandemic, having some vital investments that could back you up and your family’s safety and comfortability for the future will be the most fulfilling gift that you can give yourself and your loved ones.
While it is common to use these incentives to help out over the holidays or simply treat yourself and your loved ones to something nice, your hard-earned money may go a long way if you handle it wisely by investing it for the long term.
The idea of saving the holiday bonus for investment is a common practice amongst employees, who understand the benefits of saving. Hence, investing your money is a good way of making money work for you and growing wealth out of your savings.
Preparing for the future
Thinking about investing your hard-earned funds this holiday season can go a long way if you spend and manage it wisely. Upon receiving their 13th-month pay and Christmas bonuses, some people are excited to go shopping and take advantage of the holiday sale or check out all the items in their cart on that shopping app.
However, it’s more necessary for you to budget hard-earned finances —so you know where it goes. Creating a list of things you will be spending on gifts and writing down all your expenses for this holiday season is one of the easiest ways to maintain your budget and celebrate Christmas with your loved ones.
One of the frequent things that people do is invest. They create an emergency fund because they believe it is ideal when incidents and accidents occur and require sudden cash outflow. But if you don’t have the proper amount yet, you can continue saving money and set it aside in a separate bank account to avoid using it for your regular expenses.
You can also use it to pay off debts or start insurance that could benefit a loved one soon. Several types of insurance are available in the Philippines, depending on a person’s needs or budget. Choose which best fits your preferences to make the most out of it when you can finally reap its rewards.
Meanwhile, if you’re planning to invest your 13th-month pay as a gift for a loved one, you can use it to fund any entrepreneurial pursuits you share. It would not only show support but as well as trust, which can boost their confidence. Who knows? One day when their business succeeds, they have you to thank, or you can be their partner in the future.
While we’re on the topic of investing for the future, remember that it’s not always money you’re hoping to return with your choices. When it comes to your loved ones, use the extra time and money you have to build a strong relationship and mutual connection with them. Consider giving experiences as gifts. Instead of material things, look for activities or events where your recipients can visit and grow.
For example, if your sister likes history, this is the best time to look for free museums and offer to take her there. This way, you will not only share meaningful experiences with another but also the recipient will develop and acquire long-term knowledge.
Personal growth as an investment
Although we Filipinos see Christmas as a time to give gifts to others and spread joy all around, we sometimes forget that we deserve reward and pampering too. Another ideal way to use your 13th-month pay is by investing in yourself and becoming a better person.
For instance, technology paved the way for various smartphones to dominate the market and increase everyone’s productivity with the appropriate specifications. If you feel like it’s time for an upgrade from your previous unit, then go ahead and treat yourself. Not only will this purchase boost your morale and productivity for better returns, but it’s also an investment since you can still sell high-functioning devices back to the market.
You can also start investing in a hobby, building a business, or joining a wellness group. These are ways to help kickstart the better version of you in the future. It also paves the way for someone to upgrade their wardrobe or refurbish their house so they can feel more comfortable and confident to seize the day and its opportunities.
Investing in yourself and others is one of the best investments for personal growth. Allowing yourself to learn about the things you are interested in will allow you to gain new knowledge and skills, which can give you returns in the future.
Christmas is not just about giving and receiving presents—it’s also about remembering those who have been part of your success. Investing your time with your family and friends this holiday season will build stronger relationships and memories that you wouldn’t trade for material things.
Moreover, it’s also a time to reward yourself for all your hard work during the previous year. Use this time and the funds you get wisely by putting them where they need to be.
Happy holidays, everyone, and spend wisely!