MANILA – Christmas bonuses are often spent to purchase lavish gifts for loved ones, but Ernie Cecilia of the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines there are ways to be smart in spending the extra income for the Christmas season.
He said if you want your bonus pay to last long after the holidays, you will have to “P.L.A.N.” your spending:
Prepare a list
Cecilia said that before deciding to brave the Christmas rush to purchase gifts, you should first make a list of people you will be buying gifts for instead of thinking of specific items to buy.
“Kadalasan kasi, ang nililista natin ‘yung gifts na gusto natin pangregalo. Baliktaran natin, unahin natin ‘yung list ng mga taong gusto mo regaluhan, then i-prioritize mo ‘yan,” he told dzMM.
List the amount
Cecilia said once the list is completed, assign a corresponding amount you are willing to spend for that person.
He said this will give you more options in choosing gifts rather than being limited to a specific item.
“Magbigay ka ng range at ilagay mo ‘yung maximum, huwag ‘yung item mismo. Kasi kapag item mismo, parang committed ka na,” he said.
Add up the amounts
Cecilia said adding up the amount you will be spending for gifts will determine the budget of your Christmas spending, and will limit your spending.
“Kasi kadalasan, hawak mo na ‘yung budget and ‘yung bonus mo pagpunta mo sa tiangge, and before you know it, ubos na pala at hindi mo pa nabilihan lahat,” he said.
Need to get cash
Cecilia also advised against using credit cards when doing your Christmas shopping because it may push you over the budget and tempt you into purchasing items that you do not even need.
He said that when buying gifts, especially for children, you have to distinguish between their needs and their wants.
“Huwag ka magdala ng maraming credit cards kapag nagsho-shopping,” he said.
Cecilia said that if possible, bonuses received during the Christmas season should be saved and invested rather than spent on unnecessary purchases.
“Ang bonus, hindi lang para gastusin. Ang bonus ay extra income ‘yun. In fact, ‘yung gastusin dapat kinukuha sa regular income. Dapat hindi ginagalaw ‘yun,” he said.