The most wonderful time of the year is approaching and so is the most awaited 13th-month pay. Many of you may have already started looking for the coolest new gadgets, gifts to reward yourself for a year of working hard or Christmas presents for your family and friends. You are very excited to shop for all these things.
Although there’s no rule on how you should spend your 13th-month, there are smarter ways on how you would spend it. After all, you worked hard for it and you can make sure it works hard for you, too.
We listed down the ways on how you can maximize your 13th-month pay!
Pay your remaining debt
Christmas, aside from receiving and giving presents, is also an opportunity to pay off debt. Instead of spending your 13th-month pay on the latest shoes and coolest gadgets, use it to pay whatever balances you have and wipe out all your debt. You can keep the money that you might have to pay for interest. You will be less stressed and will face the new year head-on with a clean slate.
Increase your emergency fund
Another smart way to use your 13th-month pay is to increase your emergency fund. Many financial experts say that you need to save at least 3 months of your living expenses in case you lose your job or for any unexpected emergencies. It can be a bit challenging to save money that could cover your 3-month expenses but putting your 13th-month pay for your emergency fund is a big start!
Consider other investment
If you are already debt-free and have built an emergency fund, putting your 13th-month pay on other investments would be the smart thing to do. Rather than spending on things that will only matter today, you might as well put it in something that will give you a great return in the future. You can ask your financial advisor on which investment is right for you.
You can also consider a side business. Your 13th-month pay can be used for capital. You can start with an online store, a load station or a food business. Remember that there is nothing wrong with starting small. It is the only way to reach something big.
Invest in yourself
The best investment is the investment you make for yourself. Take a few of your 13th-month pay and use it to expand your knowledge by getting a new book, attending a seminar/conference or enrolling yourself in an online class.
Investing can also mean taking care of your body. You may also consider getting a gym membership, fitness subscription or anything that would help your body stay fit and healthy in the long run.
Treat your parents
It would never be a waste of money if you spend it to create lasting memories with your family. If you are visiting your parents this Christmas, bring them to a nice restaurant and share stories about you. You’ve probably thought of buying them a new watch or bag but they would surely prefer your presence over any material things.
Contribute to a charity
Give at least 5% of your bonus to a cause or a charity you support. Besides sharing your blessings, you may find that it will improve your mood and will give your life more meaning. If it is your first time, do some research on causes that are near to your heart. As they say, “the secret to living is giving.”
Don’t let yourself get carried away with the trends that only bring short term happiness. This season may be our favorite time of the year with the holidays and getting the much awaited 13th-month pay but it is not an excuse to consume things that we don’t really need. The true essence of this time is spending time with family and enjoying each other’s company. Keep also in mind that memories last longer than any material things, so despite all the adverts you see, make sure you spend your money on the things that have long term benefits — and that you make time with the people that truly matter.