Every year, most Filipinos are on the lookout of their 13th month pay, which is equivalent to one month’s worth of salary, or pro-rated when one is switching jobs during November to December. It is a mandatory bonus that we can spend on gifts for loved ones, latest gadgets we’ve had our eyes on, or festivities like Christmas and New Year.
We’ve asked some professionals on how they spent their 13th month pay and their answers could give you some practical ways on how you can spend yours this year.
Buy items that would help you earn more in the long-run
Buying a gadget or appliance with your 13th month pay is not wrong, but you can make the purchase more productive if this gadget can help you earn. Getting a laptop for freelance work can also double as a gadget for entertainment where you can watch movies or play computer games.
You can also buy some of the following to help you earn more and enjoy your hobbies at the same time:
- Baking appliances such as mixers, oven, and blender – use this for opening an online bakeshop where you can earn extra.
- Tablet – you can use this for presentations if you have a business or is working in the sales department of a company.
- Smartphone – you can use a high-performance smartphone with a big memory capacity to do freelance work such as blogging, social media management, and virtual assistance.
- Heat sealer and adding machine – ideal for food repacking businesses.
You can also buy items such as airline tickets, seminar tickets, and pay certification fees with your 13th month pay, or use the money to buy anything that you think will help your career in the long run. You will not immediately feel the return on investment with these but they can add value to your career in the future.
Some companies that offer professional learning opportunities are:
Clear debt and build your emergency fund
You can use your 13th month pay in two ways in order to grow your emergency funds:
- Indirectly grow it by eliminating any bad debt that you have so that you can focus on growing your savings in the upcoming year.
- Put 40% – 50% of your 13th-month pay directly to your emergency fund so you can avoid spending it.
This is definitely easier said than done because most people around you will opt to spend their money to enjoy the holiday season. This can cause temptation to spend but remember that you are doing this to avoid financial stress in case of emergencies or unforeseen charges.
Here are some articles that can help you start building emergency funds today:
- Why You Need to Keep an Emergency Fund
- 5 Steps to Build Your Emergency Fund
- The 100 Ultimate Money Saving Tips
Invest your money in appreciating assets
Buying a house is not a walk in the park with the high real estate prices and interest rates with banks. However, this will all pay off in the long run. The key is finding real estate that fits your objective of why you’re buying it and your budget for the down payment and amortization.
You can use your 13th month pay to ease payments on your mortgage. This is a good investment since real estate is unlikely to depreciate value over time. Many banks like Chinabank and Philippine National Bank offer housing loans with low-interest rates. This can help you buy your dream house.
Many financial advisors suggest having investments to grow your money. Remember, do not invest in financial products that you do not understand. Do not buy stocks if you don’t understand how you can make money in the stock market.
Don’t fall for investment scams because you wouldn’t want to lose your hard-earned money to it. According to Chinkee Tan, if you are getting into a scam, you first need to recruit other people to earn and with a promise of getting a Return of Investment (ROI) immediately. All investment products cannot guarantee a fixed ROI so you are being bluffed if this happens.
Give gratitude to your family members
Filipinos are family-oriented and Christmas is one of the holidays where we express gratitude to our loved ones. You can use your 13th month pay to buy gifts for your parents or treat your family to a Christmas lunch.
Just remember, don’t spend all of your money on this. Set a budget and don’t forget to pay yourself first. We could get carried away with requests from our families so having a budget will keep us in check of how we can spend our money wisely to make our family happy.
Here are some articles to help you look around for last-minute shopping for your loved ones:
- Holiday Gifts for Php 500 or Lower
- Gift Ideas for Foodies (That Fit Your Budget)
- Christmas Gift Ideas for Php 350 or Less
- Gift Ideas for Car Buffs
You worked hard all year long to receive your 13th month pay. Spend it wisely and don’t splurge on instant gratification or on unnecessary things because of peer pressure. Put it on the important aspects of your life and to purchases that will bring you abundance.