It’s so easy to get carried away by the holiday festivities and lose track of your holiday budget. Once the holiday shopping commences, everybody just feels extra generous and starts spending like there’s no tomorrow.
Although it’s the season of giving, it doesn’t mean giving until you’re broke. Avoid the stress of blowing your holiday budget―here are some ways to keep your holiday spending under control.
Set a Holiday Spending Budget
It’s hard to get into the festive holiday spirit if you’re broke. And you can easily be broke if you don’t put a handle on your holiday spending.
Spend reasonably by setting your holiday budget. Determine which people you plan to give Christmas presents to and how much you can afford to spend per present. As much as you want to include everyone dear to you on your Christmas list, every name that you add to your list is an added expense that can easily eat up your budget.
This is why it’s important to set a price limit for each gift. If what they want is out of your price range, consider the more affordable alternative. You really don’t want to buy all these expensive gifts and spend the next year paying for everything you gave them.
To save money, avail huge discounts when you shop with your RCBC Bankard credit card. RCBC Bankard credit cardholders can shop anywhere this holiday season and get up to PHP 4,400 cash rebate plus e-gift vouchers.
Decide what to splurge on and what to save money on. Ask yourself the important question: Should you buy everyone gifts they like no matter how pricey, or can you celebrate in other ways?
Scale Down Your Holiday Celebration
Even if things are slowly going back to normal, the threat of COVID-19 is still here. Which means we still can’t hold big family gatherings.
This can be advantageous if you want to scale down your holiday celebrations. Since you’ll only be celebrating with your immediate family, you’ll save money on food and drinks.
You can save even more by holding a Secret Santa gift exchange. This way, you won’t have to give every one individual gifts.
Another way to do this is by holding a raffle. Get everyone to contribute a gift prize if they want to join the raffle. It’s a fun way to give gifts and share laughs with the whole family. Just put your own creative and crazy spin to the game!
Also, don’t forget to send a holiday card to friends and family members you won’t be giving gifts to this year. Let them know you’re thinking of them and wishing them a happy holiday. Make your holiday cards fun, unique, and personalized as much as possible.
Consider Homemade Gifts
If you don’t want to blow your holiday budget, why not give out gifts that you made yourself? They’re thoughtful, unique, and inexpensive, especially if you already have the materials or ingredients at home.
Anyone who’s been financially affected by this pandemic naturally wants to have some wiggle room in their holiday budget. So don’t feel awkward or embarrassed if this is what you can only afford this year. It’s the thought that counts, and anyone who receives your homemade gift will appreciate the time and effort you put into making it.
Make use of your talent and creativity. Bake those cookies, create a lovely photo gift, or crochet a smartphone case! You don’t need to spend a fortune to put a smile on a loved one’s face this holiday season.
Redeem Your Credit Card Rewards
If you’ve saved up enough points on your credit card, now’s the best time to redeem that item you’ve wanted for so long. Better yet, you can redeem it for a loved one so you won’t have to spend on a gift.
If you are an RCBC Bankard credit cardholder, you can use your rewards points to redeem shopping vouchers from The SM Store, Rustan’s, Mango, Landmark, Anson’s and Wilcon. Tick off all the items on your shopping list and use these vouchers to shop.
You can also choose to give to those who really need your help the most. Use your points to donate to the AY Foundation, WWF Philippines, Philippine Red Cross, World Vision Philippines, SOS Children’s Village, or Gawad Kalinga through RCBC Bankard’s Rewards for the Soul program.
Redeeming is easy. Just call RCBC Bankard Customer Service at (02) 8888-1888.
Save Up for Expensive Christmas Gifts
If you’re planning to give lavish gifts but know your holiday budget won’t suffice, you should’ve set up a holiday fund at the beginning of the year. This way, you won’t blow your holiday budget and charge everything to your credit card.
Do this if you have a big family. Create your Holiday Fund as early as January to afford the gifts you want to buy and free up cash in your holiday budget.
To kickstart that holiday fund, open an RCBC account online now. It requires no maintaining balance, with just one valid/government ID. Open an account in minutes with RCBC Digital now.
Remember: Don’t spend money that you don’t have, and don’t swipe more than you can pay off.
Focus on Family Time
More than the gifts and the food, there are more valuable gifts to give, like the gift of time. Spend the holidays with your loved ones and just make new memories that you will cherish forever.
One thing that this pandemic taught all of us is that life is fleeting, and that it can change in just a blink of an eye. This is why the holiday season is the perfect time to reconnect with the people we love. So eat, drink, sing, dance, and laugh together!
Do Volunteer Work
The holidays are for enjoying good food, getting drunk, and spending time with loved ones. Before the pandemic, the holidays also usually meant partying until dawn and sleeping the whole day.
But this year, you can do something different, something meaningful and worthwhile that will allow you to save money at the same time.
Volunteer at an old people’s home, orphanage, or in your barangay. Help in serving food, or provide holiday games, activities, and entertainment. You can even go caroling in your neighborhood or online to spread some holiday cheer. Whatever talent you have, put it to good use. It won’t cost a thing!
Spend Only What You Can Afford
If you want to keep your holiday spending under control, spend based on what you can afford, not on what people expect to receive from you this holiday season.
It’s very tempting to be generous during the holidays. But if you’re not careful, this can lead to financial headaches after the holiday is over.
Cut back on your holiday spending when you can. Opt for inexpensive, practical gifts and low-key celebrations. And you don’t need to buy gifts for everyone you know―not if it means incurring debts that you’ll have difficulty paying.