Its Christmas season again which I think is the most festive time of the year. And let’s admit it, one of the best things we are excited about it is our 13th month pay! For Filipinos, this additional month worth of salary is considered as our Christmas bonus. In fact, it is required by law to be paid not later than the 24th of December every year.
For some lucky employees, especially those from big private companies, they are not just receiving 13th month pay, but even up to 22nd month pay. But, no matter how much Christmas bonus you’ve received, my question is- What was your memory of your previous year’s Christmas bonus? If you’re not able to answer it within 30 seconds, then I challenge you.
Why not make your 13th month pay more memorable this year?
I know this is quite hard since we are used to make this season as time of spending as well. We are tempted to go shopping because “SALE” is all over the biggest malls in the metro. We buy gifts for our inaanaks, family and friends. We stock up on groceries as preparation for our grand Noche Buena. But I hope, before all these, you’re able to plan first on how to spend your most precious Christmas bonus.
If you don’t have a plan on how to deal with it, then, you might just end up spending them all. Here are some tips I wish you can consider before using your bonus:
- Change your mindset. Think of your 13th month pay as something to help you with your financial status in the future. Yes, it is given by companies to help you with your Christmas expenses, but also consider saving some as a gift for yourself.
- Think of your goal. Once in a while assess your goals. You may want to have a brand new car in the next 5 years, or a house and lot after 10 years. You may also like to travel out of the country in the next 2 years and even have a Million Peso as savings fund. One of the best times think about it is during this season.
- List down your Holiday Expenses. Enumerate and list all your expected expenses. Review them and analyze which can be lessen, can be delayed, and which can be deleted.
- Enjoy it. As I always say, you can have the best of both worlds as long as you do everything in moderation. Spend portion of it based on your listed expenses, but also ensure to save some of it for you and your family’s future.
- Check out the best investment vehicle for you. If you’re a newbie in investing, you may want to invest it to a Mutual Fund offered by Certified Investment Solicitor (CIS) or UITF offered by banks. If you’d like to be hands on with stocks, you can open a COL Financial or BPI Trade account and do stock investment transactions online. You may also want to save it in a time deposit account which is preferred for a short term goals (when you also plan to spend it within the next 2 or 3 years). For long term goals, where you plan to use your investment 10 or more years from now, I suggest you to get a VUL plan (Investment and Insurance in one plan) offered by Financial Advisors of reputable Life Insurance Companies.
- Make it a habit and be disciplined. The most important thing is to do it on a regular basis. You may also do the same with your regular monthly salary, which I highly suggest, in order for you to achieve your goal faster. Saving and investing on a regular basis will form a good habit that will make your future lifestyle better than today.
Hope you find these ideas helpful!
How else can we use our Christmas bonus to maximize its benefit? You may share your thoughts and inputs on how we can properly use our 13th month pay by leaving a comment below.
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