Recently updated on: September 20, 2023
The much-awaited season is fast approaching. Unfortunately, with the ever-increasing inflation rate, it is only practical to find holiday money tips and ideas. It is also crucial to avoid overspending and save money while still enjoying the occasion.
However, it is also important to remember that the real essence of the Christmas season is to celebrate the birth of Christ, hence, the first five letters of the occasion.
During this time, we can minimize the consumerist traditions that pressure many people to spend more than they can.
Table of Contents
I. Holiday Budgeting Tips
The first thing you should remember during this season is to budget the money you have and will receive. Set manageable expectations and avoid overspending.
1. Set a fixed budget to spend.
It is very easy to fall into the trap of overconsumption and overspending if you don't have a budget for the holidays.
So, before you receive your 13th-month pay, Christmas bonus, performance bonus, and other extra income, you must allocate how much you are willing to spend.
List down how many children you'll give gifts/money to, how much you will need to spend on groceries and shopping expenses, and other related expenses.
During this time, you must identify if you have enough money to spend lavishly or if you should cut back on your expenses more than last year because the prices are only increasing.
2. Potluck and smaller gatherings.
Big holiday gatherings, family reunions, and get-togethers for friends are common during the holiday season since many working in other places return home to celebrate the occasion.
However, if you want to save a lot, you may need to limit hosting large dinner parties and settle for smaller but more intimate gatherings. Remember that you don't need a lot to enjoy this season.
You can also host potlucks with you and your family or friends. Just decide on a location, and each contributes a dish or two. That way, everyone can taste their specialty dishes, and the burden of hosting will be minimized.
3. Don't spend all your 13th month pay and other bonuses.
The holiday season is a favorite of many because it is also the bonus season, especially for regular employees who are qualified to receive double or even triple their paychecks.
However, the common mistake of many is they overspend their bonuses by buying clothes, gifts, food, and other related expenses.
They often forget that these bonuses are mostly because of their year's worth of hard work, so it's just a shame to spend them all in one go.
II. Holiday Shopping Tips
The second most common reason people overspend during the holiday season is shopping to buy gifts, groceries, and more.
4. Do your non-perishable grocery shopping before December.
It is normal for prices to increase as the days approach December 25, especially after people receive their 13th-month pay and other bonuses.
One way to save money this season is to buy non-perishable grocery items early, like canned goods, pasta, sauces, and others. You can also include your wine and other drinks that historically increases in price as Christmas approaches.
By doing your grocery shopping weeks before the occasion, you are also avoiding the long lines of shoppers at the cashier.
5. Buy your gifts before the holiday rush.
Gifts are one of the biggest reasons people overspend during the holiday season. So, if you can buy gifts before the holiday rush, you will surely save some cash.
You can also avoid crowds in shopping malls, Greenhills, or Divisoria. You can also have a wider selection of items and discounts when buying gifts and related items in bulk.
6. Maximize the Holiday Sales.
The 11.11 Sale happens during "Single's Day." But don't worry if you're single this time of year because the holiday sales in online shopping apps and shopping malls are a great time to buy your shopping needs at huge discounts.
Just make sure you're disciplined enough to avoid buying unnecessary items and have a budget before adding items to your cart.
III. Holiday Gift-Giving Tips
Aside from holiday shopping, giving gifts puts too much pressure on everyone's wallets. Here are some ways to save some on gifts.
7. Giving gifts by group.
Sometimes, you don't have to give gifts to individual people, especially if you don't have enough disposable cash at the moment.
So, instead of pushing yourself to give something that you can't afford, why not propose to give a gift from your group?
Whether it is for a boss, your teacher, a friend's family, or others, you can always give gifts by group. Some of your friends who are also finding ways to save will surely join.
8. Give personalized gifts.
Some of the best gifts are personally handcrafted or thought out. Some people love giving food gifts that they baked or cooked. You may also order some items with a personal touch, signifying that you put thought into them.
Remember that you don't need to spend too much for someone to appreciate your gesture of kindness because sometimes, a cup of coffee, a pat on the back, and a great time are more than enough.
9. Regift some of your unused items.
This is one of the less popular gifting methods, especially for many Filipinos, because of the "hiya" culture. As a result, many people may hold on to gift items they don't need for years or even decades.
Though they really appreciate the gift, they have no use for it and only take up space in their house.
There is nothing wrong with giving away some gifts you received five or ten Christmas ago to people who may have a better use for those items.
Sometimes, you need to declutter and see if you still have unused items stuck in your cabinets and drawers.
Doing this will surely save you a significant amount.
Bonus: You could have started holiday savings in January
The holiday season happens every year, so that is no surprise. The problem is that many people need to remember that there are huge expenses come December.
You can start saving for December as early as your first paycheck in January by placing a fixed amount every payday to ensure that you will only need to spend some of your bonuses as they come.
The things I listed are just some ways to help you navigate the Christmas season's high expenses while saving a few bucks.
What's important is you remember the reason for the season - it is not to spend - but to commemorate the birth of Christ.