5 Smart Money Tips to Be Financially Prepared for the Holidays

The ber-months are here and Christmas is fast-approaching! 

Filipinos are often late to parties and events, but it’s a different conversation when it comes to Christmas. The country is notorious for celebrating Christmas earlier than the rest of the world. As early as now, malls have started to put Christmas jingles on repeat and families have started to decorate their homes.

Even though December is still a few months away, it’s important that you start curbing your expenses and save up for the holidays. As fun as Christmas is, it’s expected that you’ll have a lot of things to spend on. If you have presents to buy and places to be, having a large budget will allow you to celebrate the season with joy and comfort. 

Here are some Christmas time tips to get you financially prepared for Christmas.

Start setting money aside for the holidays now

You can never go wrong with planning ahead of time. As early as now, think of how much you would normally spend on the holidays. Consider the out of town trips, the Christmas parties to organize, and all the gifts you need to buy for your friends and family.

After calculating a rough estimate, create a well-devised budget plan and set your money aside. More importantly, don’t just set and forget your budget plan—stick to it.

Trim expenses where you can

The few extra pesos you save from cutting down small, accumulated expenses can go a long way. From the food you eat to the daily habits you practice, these small things can have a big impact on how much you’re able to save. 

Stick to buying necessities during mall sales 

As early as October, some malls and shops already have a Christmas sale. It may be tempting to splurge, but might want to skip the sale if you’re not buying anything necessary.

Limiting your trips to the mall is difficult enough and missing out on cheap Christmas deals just makes things even harder. If you really feel the urge to shop, following the two-day rule should help you out. If you see something you like, wait for a day before purchasing it. New and flashy items may look tempting when you see them for the first time, so give it a day before you decide.

Cut down on your electricity bill 

Practicing eco-friendly habits has its practical rewards. Christmas lights and shiny parols are nice but they can spike your electricity bill to a ridiculous amount. If you want to decorate your home, using figurines, models, and non-electronic knick-knacks can give your home the Christmas cheer without breaking the bank.

Use a basket when grocery shopping

When you need to shop for food and other necessities, stick to your shopping list and use a basket, rather than a shopping cart. A basket limits the number of items you get while a cart can tempt you to get more than what you actually need. 

Here’s another quick tip: Eat something heavy before going to the grocery. If you shop on an empty stomach, you’ll most likely want to buy everything in sight and spend extra on food.

Make homemade/DIY gifts

A nice gift doesn’t need to have a hefty price tag. If you’re into arts and crafts or baking, this is where you can finally put your skills to good use.

Making your own gift can be just as special as giving a purchased one. Other than telling the recipient that you made an effort to make them happy, it’s also a practical and cost-efficient choice.

Declutter and Host a Garage Sale

Christmas is the season of giving. If you’re lucky to have friends that are generous with gifts, you should take the time to clear out your closet. Having a garage sale can help you dispose stuff you don’t use while earning some extra cash. People are always on the lookout for great deals to make the most out of their 13th-month pay so try to take advantage of this situation.

Be on the lookout for discount cards, gift checks, and app promos  

Other than waiting for Christmas sales, you should always be on the lookout for promos, coupons, and discount cards.

As the holidays draw closer, financial credit apps and online retailers are expected to release Christmas promos. Discounts can go as high as 70% so take the time to do some research. If you’re a regular customer of food chains such as Jollibee, Chowking, or Red Ribbon, promos such as Cashadeals can greatly trim your expenses. 

Save now, splurge later!

For the rest of the world, Christmas is still a few months away. But here in the Philippines, Christmas has already begun and the festivities are bound to get bigger. With family gatherings, college reunions, and Christmas parties just around the corner, being financially prepared will let you make the most out of the long holiday season. 

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