Christmas is the only time of the year where the excuse “‘la akong pera” is invalid. This is the time when our parents, godparents, grandparents, uncles, aunties, and even our bosses turn kinder and more generous. It’s indeed the most beautiful time of the year. If your wallet has been too thin the entire year, the holiday season is the only time you’ll see it fat. And if you don’t know where to put your moolah yet, you better consider these options.
Treat the fam to a fancy dinner
We know home-cooked meals are still the best, but in case you lack the time (or skills) to actually cook, there’s nothing wrong with treating your family to a dinner at some fancy restaurant like Toyo Eatery in Makati or Half-Saints in Quezon City. If you insist to cook, consider these easy recipes.
Start a new hobby
Hobby is a word that we haven’t been hearing a lot lately. Yes, we still do the things we listed as our hobbies in our slam books from grade school (exhibit A: Watching TV). But is that even a real hobby? What I mean when I say start a new hobby is engaging in productive yet recreational activities outside your work. You can try painting, sewing, or baking. Maybe you can also consider honing your green thumb. Trust me, having a hobby that you can focus on during your free time will take your stress away.
Get that concert ticket
Troye Sivan, Lauv, Years & Years, and other much-anticipated international acts have announced their tour dates for Manila in 2019. We’re sure you want to watch at least one of the many concerts next year, right? Please don’t drop that passé “willing to sell my kidney” post. Instead, combine your aguinaldo and the money you’ve been saving the entire year for that concert ticket. You might even get a VIP ticket.
Buy that new phone
So, your phone has been acting up lately with such short battery life? Or maybe your phone fell, leaving you with a shattered screen and a broken rear camera? While you can still have it repaired, our mobile phones are unfortunately disposable. Please do yourself a favor and get a new phone. Choose a durable phone with special specs. The OPPO R17 Pro, for example, is perfect for every night owl out there because of its night mode feature—you’ll enjoy your holiday party pictures minus the shitty photo quality.
Donate to charity
Christmas, as they say, is also the season of giving back. If you think you’re content with what you’ve gifted yourself throughout the entire year, share the gift of compassion with foundations and organizations like these ones. You can also give a boop to these doggos.
Have you been finishing your free articles from The New York Times, The New Yorker, and all the other publications with a paywall in just one sitting? Quit the incognito life and pay for quality journalism. It’s worth it! These publications are even on promo this holiday season, so be quick and grab that opportunity.
Would you believe me if I tell you that you can earn without doing anything? Well, yes, you can. I know it’s hard to do a 9-to-5 job, and your earning from that job might just be enough for your daily expenses. As ABBA sings in “Money, Money, Money,” “I work all night, I work all day, to pay the bills I have to pay/ Ain’t it sad? / And still there never seems to be a single penny left for me / That’s too bad.”
If you want to earn more, you can let your Christmas money grow even further through investing in stocks and mutual funds. This can get a little complicated, so it takes a lot of research to get it right. The good thing about investing now is you can start with as low as P1,000. The key to growing your money is in making it a habit to invest a small amount every month.
Save, save, save
If other things from this list don’t appeal to you, saving seems the right and most convenient thing to do. Get that aguinaldo into your savings account and just let it sit until you’ve decided what you want to do with it. Future you will thank you.
Art by Renz Mart Reyes