Having a long-awaited Christmas splurge seems to be the modern day holiday tradition of single young professionals. But after the season, most of us are back to square one. While some insist that they want to enjoy their 13th month pay without feeling too held back, others tend to be more practical and economical with their choices. But the good news is that you can stretch that big Christmas cash drop without scrimping on getting some holiday treats.
1. Pay off debt
It's key to always maintain a good credit score, especially if you have plans of getting major loans or making huge purchases in the future, like real estate. Paying on time and (ideally) in full gives you a good name among creditors. And getting your 13th month pay is the perfect opportunity to free yourself from your outstanding balance.
Paying off debt while you can is beneficial because credit card debt usually has a high interest rate that could bite you hard one day. Also to lose the burden and have it taken off your plate, make it a point to pay off your debt early — it'll be of huge advantage to you (and perhaps your future family) a lot, especially in the long run.
2. Buy long-lasting things for yourself and your loved ones
It's way too easy to mindlessly fill our online carts in our shopping apps of choice, but the items we purchase sometimes could just appear great and shiny in pictures but turn out to be disappointing in real life.
A P600 pair of suede boots may be tempting to get right away during flash deals, but may end up having wobbly heels and chipping paint — and now you're forced to buy a better quality pair.
Make sure that you purchase Christmas gifts for you and your loved ones from trusted and reliable brands so that they last and you all get to enjoy them for a long time.
3. Purchase Christmas gifts in advance
Don't blow your 13th month pay on goodies with jacked-up Christmas prices. It's good to get your hands on your holiday gifts early on in the year. If you want the best deals, ask your favorite stores when their midyear or monthly sale season is and buy your gifts for your loved ones (or even for yourself) in advance and dodge the dreaded hyperinflated prices during peak season.
Another way to get lower prices is to choose where you shop at – if it's third party stores or shops inside high end malls or airports, then you'll most likely be met with prices that are way higher than the SRP. Purchase your gifts either from duty free stores, factory outlets, or lone-standing malls. Better yet, survey both physical and online stores to check the best prices for what you're looking for.
4. Take advantage of free shipping dates, promo codes, gift certificates, and cashback reward platforms
Young professionals, despite their busy schedules, somehow still find time to stay up late in order to get first dibs on free shipping vouchers in their favorite shopping apps. Take advantage of these specific dates so you can get good deals without paying for shipping fees that could even be pricier than your purchase.
Meanwhile, social media influencers are also known to partner up with brands to give out discount codes to shoppers during monthly or seasonal sales. These are great for a more economical Christmas shopping experience, so be on the lookout for their posts on social media to see their special codes for discounts when you check out of your shopping app.
Additionally, there are gift certificates that you can get as gifts from friends, or a bunch of apps (or even just limited time offers in shopping apps) that allow you to get a portion of your purchases back. Look up some good cashback rewards apps and make sure that they're without any strings attached so you can shop to your heart's content with a little less guilt.
5. Open your dream business
Whether it's a small milk tea shop in your block or an online store for your used clothes, you can take your 13th month pay and use it for your dream business. It doesn't have to be grand and huge right away — a simple, small business is enough to get you started.
Especially if you have multiple sources of income, your 13th month pay is a great addition to your business capital. This is a good way to avoid going into debt after setting up shop and not getting as much ROI as you expected (within a reasonable timeframe, of course).
But don't lose heart just yet, as many CEOs don't take off the first time they try. Give it time and work smart so that your small business flourishes without worrying about sinking your credit score to rock bottom.
6. Have multiple investments
As the saying goes, "Don't put all your eggs in one basket." Diversifying your investment portfolio means less chances of major losses. If you take your 13th month pay and put it in stocks, bonds, dividends, or mutual funds (or better yet, all of those), then your wealth with grow in time and you'll have more money at your disposal in the future.
But this is not to say that you should spend everything away the moment you get back everything you've invested — you should also be wise with spending as much as you're wise with investing. Your 13th month pay doesn't have to be spent so recklessly just because it's Christmas, and especially if you're working towards a more secure and comfortable future.
How Would You Spend Your 13th Month Pay?
It's given that some will save and some will splurge. While certain people will save up for themselves, others will save up for their families. Some might splurge for their loved ones, while other people might spend their money for the sake of self-care. But we must not forget that we have the option to do both: giving away some Christmas money to put a smile on somebody's face while leaving some for yourself and your future.
However you choose to spend your 13th month pay, make sure that you don't drain your resources and end up with even less that what you started with – always stay within your budget. Likewise, if you're way too conscious of spending your money especially on leisure, then maybe this is the sign for you to live a little more and let go of some of your hard-earned cash — after all, you deserve it!