Good Tidings for Christmas
Pa-rum pum pum pum! Can you hear the sounding joy? Together with the cool air lingering around every humble abode, the fancy decorations garnishing our front yards, and the soothing carols resonating all day long, here’s another bit of good news to make our hearts flutter: it is, once again, the time for our long-hoped-for Christmas bonus!
This year makes the long wait extra special. After all the nerve-racking uncertainties brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, all of us who braved the threat found comfort and unique excitement at the thought of those “extra bucks” we expect to receive at yearend. It served as a thrill of hope that kept us sane, sturdy, and going amidst the picket fences of 2020.
Typically generous and naturally inclined to gift-giving most especially during the yuletide season, Filipinos habitually look forward to the year-end bonus so that they will have funds for aguinaldos to be given to their inaanaks. Some others use the money to go on a planned vacation, to buy a pair of those newly released shoes or the latest smartphone, to finally get that new household appliance long requested by Nanay or Tatay, or to indulge in their own kind of self-pampering activities. After all the hard work the entire year, surely, we deserve all of them!
Ding Dong! Bonus for Goodness Sake.
But with the situation that we are in right now, realizations have surely started to sink in. One thing was made crystal clear: we can never be sure of what will happen next. One day we are normally travelling to work; the next day we are imprisoned inside the four corners of our houses. One day we are healthy, alive, and kicking; the next day we are sick and must do mandatory tests and quarantine. One day we have some savings; the next week we must withdraw much, if not all, due to an emergency. Security has somehow become a fantasy.
With this insecure reality, we might want to re-evaluate the intended allocation of our year-end bonus. Here are five wise choices to consider in spending our 2020 Christmas bonus:
1. Sleep in Heavenly Peace, Clean Off Debts!
If ever you are stuck with some remaining debts, better pay it off already, most especially if these liabilities incur corresponding interests. These may include the commonly known “Judith” or our monthly bills or outstanding loans—payable on their due dates, hence the nickname. It is important to immediately clear these balances so that your cash flows will remain liquid, and that your inflows can finally outgrow your outflows. Besides, there is never a wish better than living a life of lesser financial worries to deal with.
2. Celebrate the Birth of Thy Savior, and Thy SAVINGS!
With the much-expected bonus that we will get this season of the Savior’s birth, it is timely that our SAVINGS also be born. These savings may serve you a lot of purposes. It could be your emergency fund, most especially now that the pandemic is still lingering. It could also be a discretionary fund that you can use whenever there is a need to. And as always, it could be a reserve that somehow earns a small amount of interest if left untouched in a bank, or invested.
Just as the purpose of the Savior bore fruit after his long crusade towards the redemption of mankind, it will also take time and patience for us to SAVE that much amount, the purpose of which will be realized in the future. What matters right now is that we started it!
3. Be Your Own Santa!
At the end of the day, your bonus is still YOUR bonus. You have surely barrelled through a great deal of work all year round—so you definitely deserve some self-pampering. That is why this year-end, you are your own Santa!
But just as the song goes, Santa is “making a list and checking it twice… gonna find out who’s naughty or nice.” It means that Santa has his priority list. Similarly, as your own Santa in a period when there is still a health crisis, you must also set limits to the self-indulgence that you will be making. Yes, you deserve some treats, but you also have to weigh the pros and cons of allocating funds for luxury, for savings, and for other means of securing something for your future needs.
4. It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year to Invest!
The notion of investing often scares us since it connotes a sum amount of money initially required. Not all types of investments necessitate huge amounts. But if you are to delve into a decent investment, now that you have that “surplus” fund is the perfect timing to invest. You just have to know which kind of investment best fits you risk tolerance. There are mutual funds which are less risky, Pag-Ibig and SSS investments which are government-regulated, stocks which are of high risks but can gain you huge returns, and the in-vogue VUL (variable universal life) that is an insurance policy blended with investment components. Depending on your priorities and goals, with your Christmas bonus, the choice is yours.
5. With Internet that is Right, May Your Days be Merry and Bright!
This could be a new entrant in the list, but it is clever to include this one alongside the changes going on because of the pandemic. Almost everything has shifted digital. We study, work, meet, transact, play, and shop online. That is why it is of paramount importance to have the appropriate internet connection that will suit your daily needs. To every student, teacher, businessman, worker, employee, friend, relative, and family member, having a steady and fast internet connection is the name of the game. Now, more than ever, is the time to subscribe to a fitting internet plan.
Reality check, the Philippines is one of the countries with high internet subscription costs compared with other nations5. With this and our current economic status, not everyone can afford to get connected.
What’s next? The answer is again, to find a suitable internet plan for your needs. For instance, Streamtech, the newest wave of fiber internet, has come and is powering homes and offices with premium fiber internet connection and services at affordable prices. Recently, it offered Plan 10 Mbps only at PhP 999 that is exclusive for residents of Lumina and Bria Homes. Understanding the residents’ need for high-quality connection at a very affordable price, Streamtech extended a helping hand. Visit the Streamtech website now for more details on how you can enjoy upgraded internet experience and better connectivity!
This instance manifests Filipinos’ resilience to the dynamic changes of this new era. Our versatility guarantees a holly jolly Christmas all the way!