As the holiday season begins, Filipinos start spending more on gifts and festivities. Financial management app Lista offers some tips on saving and managing expenses.
“Holiday shopping can become excessive quite easily. However, with careful planning and budgeting, festivities don’t have to drain your finances or push your credit cards to the limit,” Lista Co-Founder Khriztina T. Lim said in an e-mail interview with BusinessWorld.
For Lista, it starts with the mindset. Shoppers should prioritize thoughtful spending over extravagant gestures, emphasizing meaningful experiences rather than materialistic ones.
As Christmas nears, Filipinos will buy gifts, but choosing alternative gifts that demand time and effort can increase their sentimental value, Lista said.
“Investing in moments with family and close friends is a special exception worthy of celebration. Rather than relying on traditional gift shopping, I find more value in curating food baskets for my loved ones annually. Whether it’s a jar of garlic confit paired with breadsticks or a DIY champorado kit accompanied by a heartfelt note, these simple yet thoughtful gestures make for more meaningful gifts than store-bought items,” Ms. Lim said.
Discuss spending limits with family or friends and use sales and discounts to save money. Be cautious about deviating from priorities. Ms. Lim also advised sticking to a shopping list and researching before setting priorities.
“Additionally, suggesting alternative celebrations, such as shared experiences or potluck gatherings, redirects the emphasis towards quality time rather than the financial burden of expensive gifts. This approach can contribute to a more enjoyable and inclusive holiday experience for all participants,” she added.
“It’s also vital to underscore the value of sticking to one’s budget, avoiding overspending, and staying on track with expenditures,” Ms. Lim said.
In terms of financial goals, shoppers should set realistic objectives for both the long and the short term to avoid overspending.
The key is to prioritize essential needs and formulate a comprehensive shopping list. Shoppers can use cash or debit cards to automatically set spending limits. Lista also suggests opting for more budget-friendly celebrations.
“Long-term goals, such as saving for a down payment on a house or a retirement fund, should be balanced with short-term goals like travel or acquiring gadgets. Avoiding burnout or discouragement requires finding the right balance and allowing oneself a chance to experience a sense of accomplishment through short-term goals,” Lista said. — Aaron Michael C. Sy