by Fred John Santos, NOVEMBER 2021
Filipinos celebrate Christmas season earliest and longest in the world. Every year, we mark September 1, more than three months before the actual Christmas day, as the start of the Christmas countdown. Indeed, the holiday might be the most wonderful time of the year for us, but there’s is one thing that every working employee looks forward to — the 13th-month pay and Christmas bonus!
As the government now loosening the COVID-19 restriction and we are nearly getting back to the pre-pandemic Christmas celebration that we’ve used to, this means that we would have probably gotten back to our spending holiday traditions as well: shopping, travels, Christmas parties, gatherings, and gift-giving. Thus, where should you spend that extra money you’ve waited all year?
If you don’t want to start the new year empty-handed, here are some tips from Ms. Nik Madrinan, a recovered shopaholic, now a Money Mindset Coach and a YouTube content creator, on how to spend your 13th-month pay slash Christmas bonus in a smart way:
- SETTLE YOUR DEBTS
This should be your number one priority when you received that extra cash in your payroll account! Pay off the people you owe money to, credit card debts, bills, loans, so that it will no longer be a hindrance in making your future financial decisions. Definitely, you will feel lighter and happier celebrating Christmas debt-free.
2. BUILD YOUR EMERGENCY FUND AND FREEDOM FUND
If you are looking forward to allowing yourself to have a freedom of choice to do what you’ve wanted, not relying on anyone, and having the capacity to provide for yourself, this should be your next priority after paying off your debts. Your freedom fund should go beyond your emergency fund. Take into consideration the cost of your dream life. 50% of your bonus is recommended to be allocated in paying off your debts and building your freedom fund.
3. LEARN LIFE CHANGING SKILLS
This is the best time to invest in things that you want to enhance in your life: business, self-improvement, personal development, and side hustle. Enroll yourself in a photography class, baking and cooking courses, seminars, and other things that you’ve been putting aside because you can’t afford it. Think about how you can fast-track your goals and dreams with the skills you need to be equipped with.
4. INDULGE IN EXPERIENCE
Treat yourself, your family, or your loved ones! Book an outdoor activity: staycation, travel via land, sea, or air, and other things that you personally enjoy doing outdoors. Benefit from the fact that you have really the extra money to spend on.
5. INVEST YOUR MONEY
Before you invest that extra cash, remember that your priority is to settle your debts and build your freedom fund. Also, do not invest your money to pay off your debts! Get life insurance, invest in stocks, real estate, and other investments that might benefit you and uplift your financial health near future.
Have you decided where to spend it? Well, there is absolutely nothing wrong with spending that much-awaited peso bills, but always make sure that you make the RIGHT SPENDING DECISIONS to make the most out of it.
Learn more saving and investing tips! Watch Nik Madrinan’s (Tha’s So Nik) YouTube vlog here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jz3JwZqLztI
About the writer:
Frederick John Santos. A former media practitioner: he is a previous Social Media News Writer in an AM Radio Station. Now with MPT South, he writes to give information and updates of MPTS’ toll roads among its motorists, stakeholders, and media.