“Uy, pasalubong ah!”
How many times do you have to hear this phrase every time you go home for a vacation or during Christmas season? Surely, a lot of times. Whether or not it’s the season of giving, giving pasalubong to your family (and even relatives and friends), is mandatory and expected. After all, you are earning in dollars.
Does this mean you should use a big chunk of your money buying the latest gadgets and other material things to keep your family happy? The answer is NO.
Here are tips you need to remember when buying pasalubong for your family members:
1) Always set a budget. This is the first step you need to do when buying something for your loved ones back home. Setting a budget allows you to take note of your expenses without hurting your wallet. Just make sure you will stick to it since what’s the purpose of setting a budget if you won’t follow it?
2) Make a list. Apart from making a budget, a list would help you a lot in shopping for gifts for your family back in the Philippines, especially if you belong in a big family. A list helps you keep track of what to buy and its corresponding receiver; thus preventing you from missing out people.
This leads you to the next pasalubong tip.
3) Consider the preference or interest of your recipient. Each person in the family will want something that is different from the others. Instead of guessing and assuming, it is best to ask your family about what they want to receive from you. This way, you are sure that what you gave is appreciated and the money you used to buy it won’t go to waste.
4) Buy something meaningful. It is easy to buy generic things like keychain, refrigerator magnets, or purses for everyone. The question is will they like it? This is why it is important to ask and make a list because you want your family to appreciate what you gave. At the same time, you are sure that they will use it and not just toss it somewhere in the house.
5) Don’t make promises you can’t keep. You know what your kids want and your mother even requested something from you for the first time. While buying something for the family is a good gesture, do not make promises if you can’t buy them. Be honest about your finances and remind your family that you might not be able to buy everything because you are on a budget.
6) Never feel obligated to give. Pressure will always get into your system and feel obligated to buy something for your family and even extended family. Bring yourself back to Tip No. 1 and remind yourself why you are working overseas. It is not your responsibility to fulfill the material needs of everyone in the family just to keep them happy. Set aside something for yourself and for your future instead of focusing on material possessions that will fade, deteriorate, or get damaged overtime.