A recent Facebook 2019 Holiday Study showed that the average Filipino plans to spend an estimated amount of P16,606 for Christmas shopping, which is a 10% increase from last year’s survey.
One of the study’s four key insights is that Christmas in the Philippines is just way longer as far as e-Commerce and shopping activities go. It showed that people are shopping from November until January.
“I don’t know if it’s all these sales—10.10, 11.11, 12.12–or maybe this is just a product of good marketing,” Facebook Philippines country director John Rubio said.
If you’re one of those people who are planning to splurge this Christmas, you might want to give it a second thought. Make your list, check it twice, and maybe cross out some items off it, too. There are just some things not worth buying during the Christmas season.
Why, you ask? Well, there’s the good old supply and demand, which causes prices to skyrocket, and there’s also this one other thing called “delayed gratification.”
It’s time to sit down, look at your list, and ask yourself: Is it really worth it? Or are you just going through the motions of all the holiday hype?
Here are six things that you shouldn’t spend your money on this Christmas
— and one thing you should really spend on—to enjoy the holidays without destroying your budget.
1. Holiday décor
This is where planning ahead proves very important. You can’t simply waltz into the store last minute for bulk holiday decors, or you’ll end up spending more.
Yes, even with all the “sale” tags, these Christmas decors are still way cheaper if bought them earlier in the year.
There are cheaper alternatives than malls or pop-up bazaars, such as Divisoria, Taytay, and Kalentong. But even so, it’s still not wise to go through the last-minute stress and braving the hordes of people to buy overpriced Christmas décor last minute.
Best to make do with the well-loved décor you now have and wait for the holidays to be over. Many items you’re eyeing now will be on sale as soon as the New Year comes along. That’s the right time to buy Christmas décor and just store them carefully for next Christmas.
2. High-end gadgets
As tempting as it might be to spend your 13th-month pay for the newest smart phone, a better laptop, or a bigger TV, you might want to wait until January or February. That’s when the hype for new and high-end gadgets are over, and you’re sure to find them marked down.
During Christmas, it’s easy to get blinded by the sales and discounts attached to your most coveted high-end gadgets. But it’s important to ask, are they really on sale? Or is it just another lure for you to spend money?
If you’re sure the item is a steal, then go for it. However, if you have the self-discipline to wait for about a month for these items to go lower, then it’s a win for your savings.
If you must buy these high-end gadgets now, make sure you utilize your credit card’s 0% installment plan for big purchases.
Check the list of your bank’s partner merchants and compare prices. Once you see the best deal, this is one of the ways to make good use of your credit card. You might even get an exclusive discount with it and more rewards points, so always visit your bank’s website for the biggest promos!
3. Gym and workout equipment
As sure as the sun rises bright on the first day of a new year, many people will have that renewed feeling of hope that this will be the year they can finally achieve their fitness goals.
Health and fitness retailers, gyms and fitness centers know all about how an approaching new year has people thinking of how they will get fitter and what they might need to do so. Gym equipment, sports equipment, and even workout clothes are prominently displayed.
Some may be marked up, in the hopes that you will be so determined to “start the year right,” you will be convinced that a new treadmill is a need, not a want.
Others are enticingly marked “on sale,” but as we’ve covered before, sales and sale items are sometimes not as budget-friendly as they seem.
If you’re planning to build your own home gym starting December, you might want to wait a bit, or at least until the end of the holidays. Always compare workout equipment prices and remember, any time of the year is a good time to start exercising.
4. Fitness clubs and gym memberships
Another way many people vow to meet their fitness goals is by joining a gym.
Much like with gym and sports equipment, however, you might find that getting a gym membership over the holidays is not in your budget’s best interest.
It’s best to do research and not impulsively join a gym with an aggressive holiday offer. Before taking advantage of these promos, see if you can ask the gym regulars what the regular rates actually are. If it’s worth it, go.
5. Popular toys
If you’re one to easily fall for your kids’ “begging” for the hottest holiday toys, you might want to reconsider bringing them to the mall during this time.
Know that the most popular toys are more expensive during the Christmas season. Of course, you still want to make the holiday special for your little one, so what are you going to do?
You can use this as an opportunity to teach them about the value of money and prioritizing. We’re not saying don’t give them anything; just ask them to choose something that they really, truly want for Christmas and place that under the Christmas tree.
Stick to your kid’s Christmas list. Giving into their pleading and impulse buying a fancy new toy will really put a dent in your budget.
6. Clearance sale or sale items
This season, don’t buy clearance or on-sale items just because. Sure, you will be tempted to buy all these deals showing 50-percent to 70-percent off, bulk and discounted items, and even clearance sales. Add to that the upbeat Christmas music that really gets you into a festive shopper mood, and you’ll easily get swayed.
Before you even enter the mall—or any establishment for that matter, remember that this is all a scheme to get you buying, and participating in this time of peak consumerist season. Remember to stick to your list, so you don’t get enticed so easily.
Either way, don’t be easy prey to all the fun, festive, and enticing mall sales and discounts. And as for gifts, always remember that the more personal the gift is, the more it’s going to be appreciated. So maybe you can get more creative this year instead of buying the typical gifts or on-sale items you see as you shop.
What you should spend on
Hold on to your 13th-month pay aka hard-earned money by thinking about the ways you can keep and invest it. Maybe you can even go for stocks or mutual funds, or just opening a savings account.
The right mantra for the holiday season isn’t really “Tis the season to be jolly!” but rather, “How will this help me achieve my goals for next year?” Because just as the holiday mood is fleeting, so too is your money, no matter how much it has doubled for the month.