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The gift that keeps on giving

How to make the most of your Christmas bonus

By Yoniel Acebuche Published Dec 04, 2023 6:14 pm Updated Dec 04, 2023 11:30 pm

Admit it, one of the things you look forward to the most during the Christmas season is, of course, your 13th month pay or Christmas bonus. Well, who wouldn't? You know it's what you deserve after a year of hard work, not to mention overtime and holiday shifts.

And while splurging it on shopping app budols, concert tickets, and whatnots could give you instant gratification, one must remember to use it wisely lest you're good with spending the next few days like it's already petsa de peligro

If you’re wondering what smart things you can do with your 13th month pay or Christmas bonus, look no further. Here are some of the best ways to make it last longer—probably even for a lifetime.

Invest in art

Art is often perceived as something that only the rich can afford. But over the years, art festivals and auctions in the country have provided art lovers the means to purchase pieces that won't break the bank. Auctions, for one, offer access to artworks and collectibles at various price points, all of which possess value that appreciates over time.

You don't even have to go far to take a crack at these events. For instance, Salcedo Auctions' year-end sale returned this December featuring antique collectibles, fine jewelry, and timepieces that fulfill collectors' wish lists.

BENCAB (B. 1942) Holy Family amounting to P20,000-P24,000. Photo: Salcedo Auctions website

Create life-long experiences with your family

Over time, things such as toys and clothes break or fade but shared family experiences will have a memory investment within your family members. Thus, why not use some of your Christmas bonus to organize a family picnic, field trip, or vacation? You may even turn this into a holiday custom that your entire family will enjoy and look forward to every December.

To get you started,  Traveloka Philippines is holding a 50% year-end sale on flights, hotels, and attractions until January 3 next year. Discount coupon is up to P1,600, use the coupon codes upon booking to enjoy the year-end sales. 

If your family wants to explore an underrated gem or revisit a beautiful out-of-town destination in the country, wait no more as the Cebu Pacific welcomes December 2023 with one-way base fares as low as P299.

Available until Dec. 5, the seat sale covers local spots like Kalibo, Bacolod, Cagayan de Oro, Puerto Princesa, Roxas, Iloilo, and Cebu, and among others. The travel period is until May 31. To enjoy the deal, visit the airline company’s seat sale section and click “book now” beside your chosen destination.

Invest in your personal growth

Investing in yourself is key to having a better future. Long after the holidays are gone, you can still apply the skills and information you have acquired in the coming years, so investing in your growth through seminars, training, books, courses, or other programs will pay off. By investing in your development, you are also raising the potential of future earnings. 

One you can attend is the Kapatid Mentor Me ProjectThis is an initiative of the DTI and the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship (PCE) to help the country’s micro and small enterprises (MSEs). 

You can also enroll in a 120-hour TESOL Certification Training Program where you can develop your skills and experience in tutoring English in reading, writing, pronunciation, and grammar. While learning, you may also become an english tutor either online or overseas in the future, with certification from the program. 

If you are interested in learning about management, social media advertising, processes and operational excellence, and data science, among others, you can apply for Sales and Business short courses here.

Grow your money through insurance or investments

Enjoy a comfortable living and increase wealth by giving yourself the gift of financial stability. The pandemic taught us uncertainties and how short our life is, investing your Christmas bonus and additional savings will let you reap more rewards in the future. 

For example, you can invest as low as P1,000 on a beginner-friendly investment. These include mutual funds that pool money together from multiple investors (also called shareholders) into a bigger fund. These funds are managed by companies regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). You can check out SunLife, ATRAM, and PhilAm for this kind of investment. 

Another one is the Unit Investment Trust Fund which is quite similar to the mutual fund. This is subject to guidelines based on the bank's declaration of trust as it is offered by banks regulated by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). 

You can also invest at least P1,000 of your Christmas bonus in a time deposit and let it earn a fixed interest over a specific period or term. In this investment, interest rates are fixed, guaranteed, and higher than those of regular savings accounts which are simple to understand and set up. 

For specific investments, you can also try Pag-IBIG MP2 Saving Programs, SSS Worker’s Investment and Savings Program (WISP) Plus, GFunds of GCash, and Maya Cypto

Health is wealth: Take an executive check-up

Amid a global health crisis, it’s important to be proactive about your physical well-being. An executive check-up is a must, as it prevents the likelihood of getting sick, detects diseases early on, and manages existing conditions more effectively. It involves an assessment of different medical procedures to prevent health problems.

In the Philippines, the cost of an executive check-up varies from Php3,000 to Php15,000. Hospitals provide many packages, each having a distinct set of operations. In general, the cost of the package will increase with the number of tests included. Nevertheless, spending money on preventative treatment is usually a smart move.