It’s 13th month pay season and your hands are prolly tingling with excitement. It’s also shopping season, after all, and you might be thinking: What better way to end the year than by celebrating with your hard-earned money? If you’re keen on being smarter about your finances, though, we’ve listed down some ideas on how to maximize your coveted Christmas Bonus and set yourself up well for the New Year. Scroll through our tips below:
Stash it into your emergency fund.
You’ve probably heard this before: You should have at least three to six months’ worth of living expenses in an emergency fund. This way, you have a fallback in case something unexpected happens, like if you suddenly lose your job or have an unplanned expense. Tip: Put your EF in a separate bank account—not in your payroll—and make sure not to touch it. Need valid IDs to open a new account? Check out the SM Government Service Express for hassle-free applications.
Open a Pag-IBIG MP2 Savings account.
Everyone’s been talking about Pag-IBIG’s MP2 Savings Program and for a good reason: It only takes a minimum deposit of ₱500 to start saving in this voluntary facility, which is designed for Pag-IBIG members who wish to earn higher dividends in addition to your regular Pag-IBIG Savings. It’s a more profitable option compared to your typical bank savings, too, as it can give you up to a 7% annual interest rate versus only 0 to 1% from your bank.
Find a Pag-IBIG branch at an SM Supermall near you here.
Pay off your debts.
Before you go on that much-awaited shopping spree, do yourself a favor and settle your existing payables first—even if just partially. Your credit cards are likely costing you the most interest, so pay those off first. To make this part of #adulting more fun and convenient, you can opt to do your transactions at SM’s Bills Payment counters at The SM Store while doing your holiday errands.
Invest in your health.
If there’s one thing the pandemic has taught us, it’s that health truly is wealth. If you don’t have health insurance yet, consider putting your cash down as a premium for a policy with a trusted provider. Haven’t been to the doctor in a while? You might also want to avail of an annual physical check-up—just to make sure everything’s A-okay. If you’re iffy about going to the hospital, you can have it done at the mall: Check out medical clinics located inside SM Supermalls here.
It’s easy to get swept away by the glitz and glamour of Christmas, but let’s not forget the true meaning of the season. You can spread some holiday cheer by giving back to the community or supporting a cause close to your heart. One way to do that is through the SM Bears of Joy campaign: For just ₱250, you get a pair of specially designed plushies—one for keeping and one for donating to a child in one of SM’s adopted communities. Find Bears of Joy booths here.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with using your holiday moolah for all your Christmas shopping and partying. To get more bang for your buck, though, make sure to take advantage of the aweSM discounts available through SM Deals and earn shopping vouchers and rewards by joining the SM Christmas Village (you can win a brand new car, too!). Plus, more Christmas surprises await—stay updated here.
Don’t forget to follow SM Supermalls on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. SM implements strict #SafeMallingAtSM protocols nationwide and offers convenient shopping options via the SM Malls Online app, The SM Store, and ShopSM. (You can read more here.) For updates on mall hours and entry guidelines, click here.