The holiday season has just wrapped up, with 13th-month pay and holiday bonuses making things merrier for you, your family, and your loved ones. But who says you can’t play Santa year-round? Here are seven smart strategies to make your hard-earned monetary benefits last for yourself and the ones you hold dear.
#1: Reward yourself and others.
Rewarding yourself is a good habit to build — a good motivation to keep going and feel proud of your accomplishments, both big and small. It benefits your mental health, raises dopamine levels in your brain to feel happy, increases memory retention, induces better sleep, and regulates your mood and appetite, to name a few. The same can be said of giving.
In wanting to share your blessings with others, you may explore the following:
· Book your loved ones a staycation or spa retreat.
· Treat your siblings or trusted help to a hearty meal.
· Offer the gift of education by sponsoring a child scholar.
· Donate to your favorite charity or those affected by calamities and disasters.
· Get together with a few friends and organize a charity event, volunteering your time and talent in the process.
There’s no need to go big every time; every little effort counts, and it’s the spirit of self-love and sharing that ultimately matters.
#2: Pay off your debts.
It might seem like the Grinch knocked on your door last Christmas and stayed to ruin the entire year. But paying off your debt gives you the peace of mind that comes with not owing anyone money.
Remember though that there’s no need to settle the entire debt amount right away. Here’s a technique: pay off the loans with the largest fees first, particularly if you find yourself in a debt avalanche. This way you save a little from interest rates and pay the rest faster.
#3: Save or get a head start on investing.
Tuck money away for a specific goal or simply boost your savings. Explore opening a high-yield savings account. Save for a house or a trip, beef up your emergency fund, or open a new savings account if you haven’t. Whatever it is, you should get motivated to save even more money for the future or the proverbial rainy days.
If you’re in your early 20s or even much later (better now than never), start investing. But if you’re already in the game, diversify your portfolio to reap greater gains later on from your passive income. Sound options include:
· Mutual funds, where you can start investing for as low as P1,000
· Stocks, a high-risk, high-reward option where you can flex your investing muscle a little more
· Real estate, where you can check if your bonus can cover part of the down payment for a lot or a condominium unit to rent out for added income
#4: Travel or follow your leisure.
Indulge in the gift of experience by booking that flight, planning a beach holiday, taking a cruise, or camping on the mountainside. Create memories alone or with your family or friends, and you will be surprised at how much physical and mental well-being serves as a great non-financial return.
#5: Fund home renovation or a DIY home improvement project.
Use your extra cash to make your home a better place to live in. It doesn’t have to be a significant home improvement plan; you may simply allocate a budget to replace old roofs, wires, and sockets, or plywood. If you’re bored with those old bedspreads, wall paint, or curtains, redecorate. You may also purchase a replacement TV set or refrigerator finally, or buy seeds and supplies for that lush flowering or vegetable plant corner to make your plantito/plantita dreams come true.
#6: Invest in yourself through online courses or a new hobby.
Enroll in an online course you always wanted to take, whether as a happiness project or to increase your chances of getting promoted or landing a coveted job. While free online courses are aplenty, paid ones come with certificates issued by reputable institutions, serving as proof of completion. You may also pay for a subscription to a professional league or a membership to your local chamber of commerce or industry association – a great way to meet new people or network to further your career.
If you want self-enrichment to feel joy and satisfaction, then you should go for the course your heart is crying out for a perfume-making workshop, a basic fashion course, or perhaps an advanced baking class.
#7: Give the gift of wellness.
Prioritize your health and wellness by finally going for that gym membership, shopping for new workout gear, or paying for services that promote good health, from organic food delivery to nutritionist services. You may also ensure a safe, healthy future through insurance, which is often overlooked yet keeps you covered when tragedy or illness strikes.
While there are many options for insurance coverage out there, Sun Life Grepa Financial, Inc. (Sun Life Grepa) is among the few that offers a comprehensive life and health protection plan. Providing financial benefits when you needed them most, a plan like Sun Grepa ICU Protect ensures coverage until age 100 in case of ICU confinement, diagnosis of a covered major critical illness, and untimely passing. On top of all these, you also get to enjoy any one of the preventive health care benefits such as flu or pneumonia vaccination, preventive medical exam, or COVID-19 screening test. You may avail yourself of this plan at a young age to enjoy health protection for life.
The beauty of most of Sun Life Grepa’s health protection plans is the range of benefits for every key stage of your health journey. “From prevention and diagnosis to treatment and recovery, we’re there to meet our client’s needs. On top of that, they get maximum protection through life insurance coverage, providing comfort and peace of mind during uncertainty,” Sun Life Grepa President Richard S. Lim said.