When holiday season kicks off, nothing excites a Filipino employee better than the 13th month pay and other bonuses.
Eagerly, you wait for it. In your head, you are already planning on the things that you want to buy. A lot of us use their 13th month pay to surprise our friends and family members with Christmas presents. Some use it to book their much-needed escapade or travel abroad, while others treat themselves with luxury items and new gadgets. But, the wisest are those who take their bonuses as an opportunity to invest.
You waited for your 13th month pay all year long! Don’t be a one-day millionaire. Here’s a list of tips on how you can spend your 13th month pay wisely.
1. PAY OFF DEBTS.
If there’s a pike of debt hanging over your head, now’s your chance to settle the amount you owe, whether that’s credit card debt, personal loans, amortization, or even borrowed cash from family and friends.
You don’t even have to pay it in full, but you can use your 13th month pay to reduce it significantly. It’s a great way to save on interest expenses.
Reducing or eliminating debt will help you start to build an emergency fund and traverse the road to financial freedom.
2. BUILD YOUR EMERGENCY FUND.
Use your extra money to open a separate savings account you can tap into in case of emergency or urgent needs. This emergency fund can prepare you for unforeseen events such as healthcare expenses, home repairs, or even job loss.
Calculate your expenses every month. Your goal is to build an emergency fund that can shoulder at least 6 months of your living expenses.
You don’t have to allocate your full 13th month pay to your emergency fund. Up to 40% to 50% of it will help you get started. Make it a habit of depositing even a small percentage of your future income until you surpass your goal.
3. PROTECT YOUR FINANCIAL FUTURE.
Take this as an opportunity to protect you and your loved ones from unforeseen circumstances such as a critical illness, accidents, or disability and dismemberment. Let your 13th month pay cover the cost of your first life insurance premium. Purchasing life insurance in the Philippines is one of the smartest investments that you will ever make.
Be wise and use your 13th month bonus to choose a life insurance plan based on your needs.
4. INVEST IN STOCKS OR MUTUAL FUNDS.
Most Filipinos dream of earning passive income, and stocks and mutual funds are the answer. They are among the most affordable investments for Filipino employees to look into. You can choose from a variety of fund structures depending on your risk appetite and individual goals.
You don’t even have to be a stock market expert to earn from stocks and mutual funds. There are fund managers and financial institutions you can turn to who can manage your investment for you.
5. INVEST IN YOURSELF.
You are your biggest investment. Don’t hesitate to spend your 13th month pay on your career or personal growth. Consider using part of your 13th month pay to develop your talents or skills by taking a certificate course, joining a seminar or workshop, or buying books that will enrich your knowledge and sharpen your skills.
Whether you can place your new skills in your resume or not, they will certainly improve your sense of well-being, widen your horizons, and even open new doors for you. Who knows, maybe you can supplement your income with the new skills you acquired.
6. START A SMALL BUSINESS.
Your 14th month pay is the perfect opportunity for you to finally start the business you’ve long been dreaming of! Whether that’s an online store, a new website, a food business, or a sari-sari store, you can use your year-end 13th month pay to jumpstart your road to owning your very own business.
Perhaps you’re an avid baker who’s already selling cookies and pastries to your colleagues. Well, you can make it bigger by launching your products online. Finally, you can pursue your new business venture with a small capital to get the ball rolling.
7. MONETIZE YOUR HOBBY AND PASSION.
It’s the gig economy, and even full-time employees are freelancing to supplement their income. If you’re a talented photographer, you can buy a new camera, lens, or other photography accessories so that you can offer your services in events.
If you’re a content writer, graphic artist, website designer, or software developer, you can invest in a brand-new laptop that can help you work from anywhere you are. Whether it’s a new gadget or appliance, for as long as it can help you earn money, then it’s a wise purchase.
Original article has been posted on BPi website. Minor edits has been done by the author