Parties left and right, amazing mall discounts, cool weather. It’s the time of the year when the economy is red hot and also the same time when your wallet is feverish. It’s almost a tradition for people to spend so much money during this jolly season, but here are some tips on how to be thrifty at the same time.
- WATCH YOUR BILLS. Houses cloaked in Christmas lights and lanterns result in a spike in electric bills. Take time to understand how much electricity your holiday trimmings consume, then make sure to switch them on at the time of the day (or night) when they can be best appreciated.
- NEW GIFT IDEAS. While this is a great way to express your appreciation and love to family members and friends, your gift options will be as limited as your finite resources. Cliché but true: it’s never about the price but always about the thought. Gifts need not be expensive. Customize your gifts and go DIY. You can also buy your gifts in advance and take advantage of big pre-Christmas sales and discounts, which start as early as June or July.
- TRAVEL SMART. Hordes of passengers travel during Christmas and the increase in demand will directly and indirectly affect prices of plane tickets and hotel accommodations. It would be wise to book your tickets months ahead to enjoy normal prices, or if you are lucky, enjoy discounted rates. Maybe you could consider staying in and starting a home-based family tradition.
- STAY AWAY FROM DEBT. While it’s tempting, muster all your discipline not to buy unnecessary things, especially using a credit card. Remember interest rates can be a killer. New products, gadgets, clothing collections are usually released during the season. If you don’t really need it, forget it. But if you must indulge yourself a bit, make sure they are still within your budget.
- MAKE MONEY. One thing many people tend to forget is that during Christmas, there’s just so much money going around. OFW remittances is at its all-time high. It’s also when company bonuses are given. With people having more disposable income, this could be an opportune time to make money. Make use of your talent and spare time to cash out on a side business.
Finally, it is important to remember the old adage that says “It is better to give than to receive.” But you can never give what you do not have. So while you are being generous to others, you should also be generous to yourself. Christmas season may be the last season of the year, but it won’t be the last season of your life. Make sure you still have money for the years to come by saving and investing. This will ensure that you can continue to give and be generous to others. Merry Christmas!