What money saving tips can OFWs follow this Christmas season?
- Create a holiday budget
- Differentiate needs from wants
- Buy your gifts at a cheaper price
- Learn to say 'No'
- Think of long-term plans
Whether or not an OFW did an overseas job search in the Philippines to find their current jobs, they know that the holiday season is a busy one. Some might be gearing up to come home for a little bit to be with their families during Christmas or New Year’s; others could be working through the holiday rush. Regardless of their plans, they are expected to spend a few extra cash for gifts or for remittance for their loved ones back home.
Of course, spending carelessly is never good for anyone’s finances. But don’t fret because we have a few tips you can follow during this Christmas season. Read them below.
1. Create a Holiday Budget and ItineraryCreating a budget helps you know where all your money goes in every specific aspect. This should help you not to make any impulsive purchases. Make a list of all the items and gifts you plan to buy. If something is not on the list, then that’s a good indication that you shouldn’t buy it.
For those of you who are going on vacation, creating an itinerary would help you maintain your budget. Plan your visits beforehand and indicate how much cash you plan to spend on each place. As much as possible, try to visit places where you will not spend too much.
2. Differentiate Needs from WantsThere is nothing wrong with splurging money for gifts as long as it is within your budget. However, you should always think first before purchasing an item. Ask yourself if it is a need or a want. Do you think that a branded phone or tablet will help your child’s growth? If you answer “no,” then perhaps there are other things you could get him or her.
There are many gift alternatives you can consider gifting your family members with. Don’t limit yourself to buying a certain item. Be creative with your choices. After all, it’s the thought the counts!
3. Buy Items at a Cheaper PriceThe best thing you can do to avoid spending too much on your gifts is to start shopping as early as possible. By doing so, the prices of the items you are seeking will not be hiked up due to the holiday rush. It’s also less stressful this way. Plus, you get more time to consider whether you should or shouldn’t buy an expensive gift.
In addition, assess where you will be doing your shopping. Are you going to shop while you are abroad or are you going to wait until you arrive in the Philippines? If you’re going to shop for gifts abroad, consider that the items’ prices may be more costly compared to what the local shops are offering them for. Also, you may get taxed for them when you finally land at the airport.
4. Learn to Say “No”This Christmas season, expect a lot of your friends and family members to ask a lot of things for their pasalubong and pabilin. Some of them might even ask you to sponsor Christmas parties or outings, which can add up to your list of expenses. When this happens, be firm in saying “No” to your loved ones. Don’t feel pressured about buying the things they want to get from you.
You can politely tell them that you have a budget to adhere to. Perhaps, you could also explain to them that you’re setting aside money for your savings and investments.
5. Think of Long-Term PlansMost people usually forget about this whenever they come home from the holidays.
To make your money work for you, set aside money for investments and life insurance. This should put your hard-earned cash to better use. These things will also provide you with security not only for your own future, but your family’s as well. You could say that these things might be better Christmas gifts for your family!
Key TakeawayOFWs are looking forward to going home and spending the holidays with their families. As much as possible, they want a worry-free vacation without having to sacrifice enjoying what’s in front of them.
Regardless if you are going home or working through the holidays, be smart in spending and saving your money. Remember, the things that matter most are having time to enjoy Christmas with your loved ones while you get to make special memories together!