It’s that time of the year again for fun and glittery galore. But now that we’re a little older we begin to understand that the holiday season holds different meanings — from thanksgiving and gift-giving to new beginnings and big decision-making.
For starters, there’s the 13th-month pay, other bonuses and party cash prizes that are so tempting to spend, given our growing wish list and the never-ending holiday sales. But as grown-ups who take New Year’s resolutions to heart, we will opt to do the right thing: to splurge on our future.
This year, skip making hasty decisions and learn about smart ways to make your bonus last.
Keep calm and don’t be overwhelmed by the amount you have
First things first: don’t get too excited. Yes, we have all the reasons to celebrate and feel like we deserve a grand treat after a year of hard work, especially with the jolly holiday air. But when you finally have the much-awaited Christmas bonus, be smart about how you’re going to go about it.
Grab your trusty planner, sit down, and focus on your dreams and future plans. While the glitz and glam can be pretty blinding, think about the peace of mind and fulfillment that financial intelligence and freedom will bring you in the long run.
Balance your finances and don’t shortchange yourself.
Invest in what matters most
It may be challenging to be in the shoes of somebody building their dreams and securing their family’s future all at the same time. But thanks to your Christmas bonus, you can start working on your future today.
To make the right financial decisions, think of three things: emergency, retirement and risk-management funds.
Emergency funds are set aside for unforeseen events such as sudden job loss, car repairs and illnesses. Having money set aside for these instances ensure that you’ll be debt-free as you recover from unexpected expenses. Financial experts suggest separate savings account for this, with the recommended balance worth around six months of your monthly salary.
Retirement starts years before your 60s. It may be daunting at first, but it will give you financial stability when you transition to retirement. By planning funds today for your retirement later, you are making your money work for you and will provide you with elbow room to stay on course with your goals. Start planning for your retirement by looking into investments such as mutual funds, stocks, bonds or other investment facets that fit your current priorities and lifestyle.
Practice the other side of self-care
Investing in yourself is not a waste of money as long as you’re smart about it. The thing we often overlook is the fact that self-love and self-care are all about going for spa and hair treatments, dining out and splurging on other fancy material things.
While you, by all means, should buy the things that you need, self-care has a whole other side.
With your 13th-month pay, you can learn foreign languages, and then teach it as a side-hustle. You may save up for the master’s degree to get the promotion you’ve been dreaming of. You may sign up for cooking, photography, entrepreneurial or other hobby-related classes you’ve meant to attend. With enough skills and practice, you can make money out of it.
This is also the time to start looking after your financial needs. Learn how to manage your finances better by attending financial literacy seminars or consulting a financial advisor. You can begin building your financial pyramid by setting up the base with a protection product, before you build your emergency fund and get into investments.
One of the best products that can help you get started is AIA Philam Life’s AIA All-In-One, tailor-fit for forward-thinking ladies who want to be ready for unexpected incidents. It gives an all-around comprehensive whole life insurance plan with coverage against the four major risks in life, specifically personal accident, critical illness, total and permanent disability, and untimely death, all while being empowered to live a healthier, longer, better life through the rewards of its science-backed wellness program, Philam Vitality.
Indeed, your bonus can go a long way. For less than P100 a day (based on computation for a healthy 32-year-old female), this policy is worth your hard-earned penny.