Christmas is in the air! It was a not-so-big announcement in a 30-minute emergency meeting between the school admin and the faculty, but it’s something at least to be grateful for — a Christmas bonus equivalent to seventy-five percent of our basic pay, of course on top of the expected 13th month pay. Actually, I was on a leave when the announcement was made.
I can no longer remember the last time we had a bonus, five years ago maybe. When the senior high school program started, private schools bled for a year or two because of the gap in college enrollment. Since then, we hadn’t received any bonus and never hoped for any. So, the announcement was a bit of a surprise.
It’s not a big money I know, but it’s a big help. At least I can have some extras for other financial goals. If you want to know more about how much private school teachers are paid, check this article — How Much Do Private School Teachers Make?
To share, here are the small ‘piggy banks’ where my 13th month pay and Christmas bonus are for:
Piggy #1: Cash Gifts. I have such a not-so-practical approach when it comes to gifting my parents and my aunt during Christmas. I just give them cash gifts. I do this so to prevent the chances of packing gifts they neither like nor at least need. Plus, they can also make use of such extra cash for their basic needs, or additional budget for New Year’s Eve maybe.
Of course, this is not the most practical though or maybe less practical for many who may not have enough for the season, but I always make sure that I have in my budget for this. For my aunt, I do it as a sense of return for all the favors I had when I was under her roof back in college.
Piggy #2: Charity Outreach Budget. Our annual charity outreach program for Mangyans in Paluan, Occidental Mindoro is back after the pandemic years of struggles. My friend and coworker has been busy since the start of November with all the goods and donations which we will distribute to the small communities this December.
We’re targeting to have it on December 26 onwards just between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. We had a prior quick visit this year though, during the Holy Week. Although I need not to contribute a huge sum for this cause but work and effort, I have to reserve part of my bonus for our transportation. I guess PHP4,000 is enough for back and forth as we usually survive the days out of the generosity of the people there. Locals are very hospitable, really.
Piggy #3: Additional Savings. I don’t know, but lately I’ve been feeling the urge to get serious about saving for the future. I feel some degree of job burnout, and at any time, I might resign from work. At least with decent savings, I can get through the days and months while on a big transition if ever.
I already have in my emergency fund an amount enough for about six months of tight budgeting, but soon I decide to put up a business rather than getting another employment, this will be far from enough. Yes, I have been thinking of rather starting a small business.
Piggy #4: Installment Payment Reserves for the Lot. In one of my previous blogs here, I shared about my real-estate investment that I was half-convinced I could complete given the five-year installment plan. You might want to read the full article here — 100-SQM Subdivision Lot: Getting Into Real Estate Investment.
With the 13th month pay and Christmas bonus, I plan to make some cash reserves for the installments so I can have something for like a buffer should I push through with my resignation. For now, I get my installment payments from the monthly earnings from blogging.
It’s not a big money I know, but it’s a big help. At least I can have some extras for these financial goals. How about you? How would you spend your 13th month pay? How about your Christmas bonus, if you also have?