With just a few days before the happiest day in the universe, many people are starting to count their remaining cash from their once seem never-ending hard-earned commissions, bonuses, and other windfalls. Wala yata talagang forever.
And since the year 2017 is about to end, you also need to check your budget for the New Year’s Eve celebration. Meron pa ba natitira? (Do you still have remaining cash?).
Here are some bad money decisions that many people made during the last Christmas season. Take time to read and learn not how to be penniless before and after Christmas day.
1. Buying expensive items as Christmas gift for self.
A priest once said in his Simbang Gabi homily that buying yourself Christmas gifts is not really a gift to yourself. A gift is something that one person gives/receives to/from another, and not to yourself.
If you already bought a pair of good pants for yourself in November, there’s no good reason for you to buy another pair in December especially if it’s already out of your budget and financial capacity.
Many people have splurged like this last year leaving them with nothing in their wallet in January this year.
Christmas Tip: If you really want to reward yourself, perhaps you can go for a cheaper option that is still within your reasonable budget. Spending more than you should would only bring you more pocket-aches and financial distress.
2. Buying more than enough food to cook
Food is heaven especially this Christmas. It’s the common blessing that brings forth peace and happiness from friends and enemies alike.
But many people make a lot of mistake by buying food and ingredients that are more than they could consume.
If you have four members in the family, preparing food that is good for 20 or 30 people may not be a very good idea. Remember how you stacked your food in your fridge last year and ended up throwing most of them in the middle of January of this year?
Moreover, a lot of people still eat out even though they already have bought food to cook at home for Christmas eve and Christmas day.
Christmas Tip: Don’t cook, wait for your neighbor to give you food. Kidding aside, cook food that should only be good for the number of your family. If family members are not really gastronomic monsters, it may save you a lot if you just buy value meals for each of them.
3. Giving too much to ina-anaks (godsons and goddaughters)
Many working professionals and OFWs become ninongs and ninangs just because they look and sound financially successful to their neighbors, circle of friends, or distant relatives.
Feeling ecstatically happy, these ninongs and ninangs return the favor by giving a share of the pie of their bonuses to their inaanaks.
One ninong I know gave P1,000 to each of his 5 inaanaks to let the kumpares and kumares know how generous he is. This ninong earns P25,000 only, and that P1,000 x 5 (P5,000) had really hurt his spending budget when 2017 came in.
Christmas Tip: Never give something that you don’t actually have. There are many good and affordable items available from Shopee online stores and thrift shops that you can choose from as gifts to your inaanaks.
4. Shopping to feel and look good.
Shopping is a great way to celebrate and share the spirit of Christmas. Not only will you give happiness to your loved ones (and yourself), you’ll also help a lot of struggling mall employees (and their masters) by purchasing their products.
But as always say, anything in excess is bad. Overspending is good for the mall owners but bad for your already thinning wallet.
Christmas Tip: If you are sad and feeling lonely, don’t go to the department store. Go to church instead or read a good book, (like the Bible of course!). Set a budget for a frugal shopping spree and buy only the necessities. Also, why not set a budget to buy yourself a health or life insurance? Having one can be the best gift for yourself this Christmas and beyond.
5. Committing to many Christmas party invitations
We love to party! But many people last year attended more than 2 Christmas parties because it’s cool. They got to meet and exchange gifts with old and wrinkling classmates, tsismoso/tsismosa fellow homeowners, or friends from different organizations.
A lot of these people who attended many Christmas parties have found out that they really didn’t have enough to cover their expenses for the rest of December. Many among them had to borrow money with a promise to pay on the 31st of December, just to be able to survive until the January 15 payday.
Christmas Tip: Again, check your budget before saying yes to Christmas party invitations. If it’s necessary to attend all of them, explain to the persons inviting you that you only have limited budget for parties and may not be able to contribute much. Wag magyabang (Don’t show off.).
Have you started to see yourself in the brink of falling to these money pitfalls this Christmas season? Hold on to your pocket and reflect on what needs to come first in your list of spending priorities.
Have an abundant and happy Christmas!
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