The Yuletide season is the time of the year for gift-giving, parties, and indulging in holiday specialties like ham and queso de bola. Now that the holidays are over, do you find your pockets empty once again? Are you wondering where your 13th month pay or Christmas bonus went? Are you worried you may have charged too much on your credit cards when you bought presents?
You are not alone. A lot of us, despite having received some extra cash for Christmas, have spent most—if not all—of it during the holidays. Here are some tips to help you recover from your last holiday spending spree:
If you have free time at work or at home, start browsing different sites and blogs about personal finance. Researching on the internet is an inexpensive way to get information, as compared to buying books. There are different websites that educate readers about budgeting and managing their finances better. A couple of helpful blogs are:
RandellTiongson.com – Blog owner Randell Tiongson has 25 years of experience in the financial service industry including banking, financial planning, insurance, mutual funds, and management consultancy.
BrighterLife.com.ph – BrighterLife is Sun Life’s community website, which aims to inspire and educate Filipinos about financial security.
If your boss tells you to work overtime, do it. Consider it an opportunity to earn back all the cash and credit you spent during the holidays.
By law, overtime pay in the Philippines should be an additional 25% on your regular hourly rate. If you work for three more hours a few days each week, you get to earn more on your next payout, which would definitely help boost your finances.
Give your credit cards a break and pay with cash instead—until you have settled outstanding balances. Budget whatever cash is on hand and restrain yourself from spending beyond your means.
If you made a lot of purchases using your card last year, prioritize your credit card payments. If you have more than one card, check the interest rates as indicated in your statements. It is generally recommended that you pay off the balance on the card with the highest interest first. Also, save money by avoiding late fees. Pay your credit card bills a few days before due date.
The holiday rush may be over but malls all over Metro Manila are now enticing customers with “end of season sales.” Department stores and other brick-and-mortar shops are offering up to 70% discount throughout January. Do not think you are missing out if you skip on these special offers. Do you really need new clothes or shoes? Do you really have to buy cosmetic products because it’s on sale? If you still haven’t recovered from the expenses you made during the holiday, it is not recommended that you make purchases for things that aren’t exactly a necessity.
If saving money is one of your resolutions this year, make it happen by creating a budget plan and tracking your cash flow. Classify areas where you have overspent last year and make adjustments based on your spending habits. There are different personal finance tools you can use to make budgeting easy and manageable. Look for online accounting tools and mobile apps that can help you check your progress and track your daily spending.
As we begin another year, make it part of your resolution to manage your expenses better. If you make it a habit to practice self-control and be wiser in budgeting, you are more likely to avoid being cash-strapped the next post-holiday season. Happy saving!
This article is exclusively written for RaheelFarooq.com by Money Max, the Philippines’ leading financial comparison portal which helps Filipino consumers make the right financial decisions as they settle on the best credit card, home loan, broadband plan, and more—fast, comprehensive, and free. Please do check our website to learn more.