It goes by different names in every country, but surely, you are entitled to a Christmas bonus from your employer. The rate varies per country too, but the sure thing is you have something extra for the holidays.
What do you plan to do with it?
Shopping or upgrading your jurassic-old phone may be a good idea, but if you are serious about your family’s financial future, then check out these tips on how you can spend your Christmas bonus wisely:
1. Pay off existing debts.
This should be on top of your financial priorities list more than anything else. Keep in mind that it is not a good idea to start the next year with debts, so use the extra money you have and pay off your loans.
The rule is to pay off the loan with the highest interest first, so you can save on interest charges. If you borrowed money from friends, then make sure to pay them before the year ends. Once you’re debt-free, it will be easier for you to save money.
2. Grow your existing business.
Do you have an existing business? Why not use your extra funds to fill up your store by replenishing your stocks or add new items to your existing line? You can also use your Christmas bonus to buy additional equipment for your store, say a new mixer or other baking tools if you’re into baking goodies or heat sealer in case you are into food repacking business.
Better yet, you can try opening a new business. Check out these micro-small business ideas you can try.
3. Invest in appreciating assets.
Don’t settle for savings account only. Sadly, it will never be enough, especially if you plan to stay in the Philippines for good while maintaining a comfortable lifestyle.
In that case, use your Christmas bonus to purchase appreciating assets like stocks, mutual funds, Peso balanced fund, or even in a small property. The good thing about using your extra funds for investment is that there is a possibility that your money will grow in years. You can use the income from your investments to pay off bills, send your kids to a good school, and even put up your own business.
4. Start building your Emergency Fund.
They say that OFW life is uncertain. That’s true. Even if the contract says two years, there are still instances when you have to go back home because the country is having a political crisis or your employer is not treating you well.
This Christmas, make sure you start setting up your emergency fund, which should be at least six months-worth of your monthly salary. In case something happens, this Emergency Fund could help you get through for at least three to six months and help you get back on track.
5. Treat your family (only).
It’s been months (or even years) since you last saw your family. Since you’re home for the holidays, why not treat them for a change? After all, Christmas is all about family and togetherness.
A Christmas lunch or dinner at a restaurant could be nice, but make sure you stay on budget. It is understandable that one gets carried away easily in granting family’s requests, so the best way to go about it is to impose a specific budget only.
One last thing: keep the treat to immediate family members only. There is no need to invite the entire barangay.
6. Treat yourself.
Yes, you deserve it. After all the hard work and sacrifices you did to be able to provide a better life for your family, don’t feel guilty if you indulge yourself into something, like new shoes or a new phone. Think of it as a payment for yourself because at the end of the day, you need to be rewarded too.
Don’t get carried away. Christmas could mean bonus, but this doesn’t mean you’ll forget about your financial goals. The key here is to plan your expenses so you could use your Christmas bonus wisely.