Christmas Bonus: What You Can Do with It

Christmas Bonus

Philippines perhaps has the longest Christmas season. It begins right when -ber months come. The hype is amplified when December comes; since most Filipinos are already thinking of how to spend their time and money for the holidays especially receiving their Christmas bonus. It’s that time of year again when we think of spending time with family and friends, just enjoying the Christmas vacation. We might even play some hide and seek with our godchildren, nieces and nephews. We’d probably have to get real good at it if we constantly forget to buy them gifts.

Kidding aside, Christmas is a good time to feel the love and make it go around. I don’t mean the romantic kind of love; that’s for Valentine’s day. But if you really want to make it about that, go right ahead. Okay, what I’m saying is that you’ll have some freedom to spend some time how you want to. It’s also that time of year when people are giving gifts to one another. People do this to show how much they care or just to show how much they have. On one hand, you could spend a lot on gifts and on vacation. On the other, you might think of just not giving gifts at all so that you could save. It’s not really a choice between just two really bad options. There are alternatives and choices in between.

The Perfect GiftPerfect Gift

Many people have this notion that the best gifts are the most expensive. Well, that’s not really the case. You don’t have to break your budget just to make the ones you love feel special. Not all gifts are tangible but it is still worth giving things that serve some purpose in someone else’s life or just something they could remember you by.

There are some default gifts we buy like mugs, shirts, towels, etc. Unless, the people you give them to actually need or want them, these often just get piled up to a stack of things that will never be used. In general, the gifts must either be useful, valuable, long-lasting or personalized.

A mug may be useful but if a person already has several of them, the other mugs just won’t be used. One idea is to give things that people will always need more of. Food may have this characteristic; however, it will not last long. Value is quite arbitrary at times but there are things that most people will consider valuable. These are things that can be sold at a significant price like jewelry. This, however, might be too expensive for our budget especially if you have a lot of people to give gifts to.

There are ways to make these gifts special. Gifts don’t necessarily have to last a lifetime just long enough that it will help people be reminded of you. Do some research on the people you’re going to give gifts to, so that you’ll know what will be useful to them. You can give umbrellas because they tend to get damaged by strong winds or lost when left. You can also give shirts because people grow out of their clothes. For those who work in offices, pen organizers will be very useful. The important thing is that you write sincere messages, even short ones, on the gift tag or in a greeting card.

Vacation

Dream Vacation

A break from the everyday things we do is important to keep us motivated. We need to stop and sharpen our saw or we just might simply need to take time to relax. Time is one commodity we can never buy back. It would be worth spending for if you’d like to experience new things which may not be possible in your old age.

If you already have an allocated fund for travel, this Christmas season may be a good time to spend it. However, if you plan to spend all that Christmas bonus, stop and think about it. There may be other ways to spend your holidays and surely there are better ways you could use your Christmas bonus for.

The key to saving up for these vacations is planning ahead. The first thing you need to decide on is what activities you’d like to try and find out where you can get to do these activities. You must then have an estimate of the cost, so that you can save up. It is a good thing to keep in mind to overestimate the price than to underestimate it. Booking flights in advance may also help you get tickets at lower prices.

Let On My Way Travel and Tours help you plan that next vacation by clicking here.

Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come Christmas Future

You may be familiar with Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol. That’s where we get the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. It is a bleak future that Scrooge is shown; however, even in the story, it wasn’t too late for him to change his ways. You too can avoid a bleak Christmas future where there is very little on the table by sharing what you have now with your future self.

Yes, there are a lot to spend for during this season but before spending, remember to save first. A portion of your Christmas bonus should first be saved, another portion should go into investments. If you haven’t started yet, it would be a good time to start when you receive your Christmas Bonus. If you already have investments, adding funds to them will increase your passive earnings. Savings and investments are forms of sacrifice now that enables you to share what you have with your future self.

So be sure save and invest. Check out other articles we have to help you get started. Click here to read the 9 Investment Vehicles.

In summary, the perfect gift is one that will let your loved ones know how much you care. And the perfect vacation is one that will make you happy just to feel alive.

Holiday Greetings

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International Volunteers’ Day

International volunteers day

In 1985, the United Nations General Assembly mandated the observance of the International Volunteers’ Day. Every 5th of December, we honor the people who engage in activities that promote economic and social development. As my way of celebrating it, I have documented some of my experiences in an e-book. Click here to download a free copy of The Greater Jihad of Muslim Mindanao.

There are many things we celebrate and assign a day to recognize them. Aside from the usual holidays like Christmas and new year, there also are international women’s day, international children’s day, cancer awareness day and so on. There just seems to be a day for awareness for just about everything. Today, we celebrate what I think is a very important awareness day, the International Volunteers’ Day.

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Life Insurance 101: The Basics

How Life insurance works

Why get one

In the middle of LIFE is a big if, because we don’t know what life would bring. What is certain though, is at the end, death awaits. If we are going to talk strictly about traditional life insurance, we may think of policies with no living benefit; they would only have death benefits for your beneficiaries. Life insurance has evolved over time though, so there are more options that can suit your needs. Many even offer living benefits as well. But for most of us, life insurance is a way to ensure that our family is still provided for even when we are no longer around.

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Personal Finance: Winning the Money Game

Money Game

Understanding the Money Game

Money GameTo win the money game, you need to understand the game. Accumulating money literally is a game according to game theory. I’ll be posting more about game theory in a different article in a different category since it is quite a subject on its own. We will, however, use some concepts from game theory to understand the money game.

The money game is basically the creation and distribution of wealth. Some situations would leave you and another person better off after a transaction. We call this a positive sum game. When only one of you is better off and the other is worse off, that is a zero sum game. In a zero sum game, you are competing with others for the same resource.

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Personal Finance: Retirement Fund

Retirement

Here are a few questions that you need to answer honestly. Until what age do you wish to work? Do you already have a retirement plan? Have you started building your retirement fund?

I don’t know about you but I want to retire as early as possible. If you already have a retirement plan, you’re heading the right direction because a bad plan is better than no plan at all. I’m not saying that your plan is bad but it would help if you could compare it to three of the most common retirement plans.

Social SecuritySocial Security

First up is receiving pension from social security. It is probably a program with good intentions but it just isn’t enough. What you get out of this is barely enough to sustain an acceptable lifestyle. In your old age, you should also be prepared to see some expenses you didn’t have when you were younger. Some of the expenses may include hospital bills, medication and gifts to spoil your grandchildren. While this may help, it is not really a viable option for a good retirement.

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5 Stages of the Hierarchy of Financial Needs

hierarchy of financial needs

There are different stages we undergo in life, the same is true when it comes to our financial needs. You may have heard of of Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs but today, I’ll be introducing you to the Hierarchy of Financial Needs.

DependentFinancial Dependency

The first stage that we all go through is financial dependency. Let’s face it; no one is born independent. We all have to rely on our parents or guardians for provision and care. To some degree, we are still always dependent on others for care, support and trade. This, however, should not stop us from trying to move up the hierarchy of financial needs. Getting out of the first stage is crucial especially when entering adulthood.

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9 Investment Vehicles: Investment 101

Investment Vehicles

It’s been hinted on for several articles; now, we will discuss nine (9) investment vehicles you can choose to invest your money in. There certainly are more but today, we will be covering the most viable and relatively easiest to understand. These will just be overviews with quick comparisons at the end, so you can expect that we will make separate articles for some of these investment vehicles.

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Investing 100: 4 Reasons to Invest

Investing

What is investing?

Before we discuss reasons to invest, let us define what investing is. According to textbook definition, investing is expending money with the expectation of achieving a profit or material result by putting it into financial schemes, shares, or property, or by using it to develop a commercial venture but simply put it is allocating money now to earn you income later. In a way it is the way we manifest our discovery of the future and take advantage of this knowledge. It shares a similar attribute with saving that it lets us share what we have now with our future selves. Here, we will discuss why saving is not enough and why you need to start investing.

Beat InflationInflation

The rate of inflation beats whatever interest banks give you so while you think that your money is sleeping safe and sound in the bank, it is actually losing purchasing power. A hundred pesos before could buy more than a hundred pesos today and a hundred pesos today will be able to buy more than a hundred in the future (consider 10 years). Investing is perhaps the only viable solution to get your money to outgrow the devaluation of money.

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Personal Finance: Mindset of the Rich

Mindset of the rich

We continue our series of articles on handling personal finances with further education on how the rich thinks and they think differently from poor people. It’s a good distinction to make that those who are broke are not necessarily poor but if you’re constantly broke, you may suffer from the mindset of the poor. Here, we’ll try to change that and make you more conscious in your decisions to spend by introducing you to the mindset of the rich.

Assets and Liabilities

The first thing that the rich knows is how to differentiate assets from liabilities. A bigger house or a new car may be something you’d want to have; others may even call it an asset but the rich knows that unless it earns them income, those things are assets to other people. A car for example, is an asset to gas refilling stations because car owners have to purchase fuel from them. There actually are a lot of other costs that comes with owning a  car; you’d have to consider getting insurance, maintenance, repairs to name some. If the vehicle you buy, however, is used for business, then it could be considered an asset. There is nothing wrong with buying things for luxury but do not buy them thinking that they are assets. If you follow the way of the rich, you’d buy assets and buy luxuries with the income you get from the assets you have.

Multiple streams of incomeMultiple Streams of Income

There are different ways to earn income but generally they can be classified into two: active income and passive income. Active income is money you earn by working or rendering some service. Passive income, on the other hand is income you earn even when you do not work; this can be made possible by investments in businesses, real estate or portfolio assets. For those who are able to think ahead and plan for retirement, the goal should be to have enough passive income to sustain the lifestyle you want for yourself but starting out, you can work jobs while simultaneously investing in the stock market and building your business.

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Giving Value: Teacher On the Go

Every moment of everyday we have the opportunity to give something of value to those around us. Giving value doesn’t require one to be rich but it requires the willingness to share and some degree of competence in certain subject matters. We all have different talents and skills; I’m pretty sure you’ll find a different way to give value to those around you. In this blog post, I’d like to share with you how I do it by being a teacher on the go.

My line of work requires me to travel a lot and meet a lot of people. This entails waiting even when people are late, so I had to develop patience and learn to occupy myself with different activities while waiting. Among the activities I do is performing some flourishes with coins, cards, ring, basically the small objects I carry around with me. This attracts the attention of some people around me and get some conversations started. How often do you see people balancing a fan of playing cards on top of another fan of playing cards?

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