Even with all those bonuses, saving up during Christmas season in the Philippines is a tricky endeavor. There are simply many things to buy: gifts, food, home decorations, some clothes for the parties, you name it. But we also have to save up for next year if we want to grow our money and meet our 2020 goals. Here are ways to ensure that we get to save more of our hard-earned money than letting the holiday cheer eat all of them away.



1. Share your time.


For busy working people, time is our greatest resource that we can share. Given that millennials have somehow become the burnout generation, showing up for someone means a lot more than a gift. Connection is a human need, gifts aren’t. So treat your loved ones to a good time. Hear their stories, and share yours as well.





2. Serve your loved ones.


If you’re a good baker and a friend needs help preparing for an event, why not come over and help? You’re an IT guy and you know this friend who needs magic done on her near-death laptop? Offer to fix it. Like in #1, the time can also be used to connect with them. The goal is to create value, not just the material ones, instead of buying something valuable and then gifting it.




3. Regift.


Among the ideas posted here, this is the most controversial since it can hurt the feelings of both the gift giver and the receiver. Needless to say, there is etiquette to be observed when doing this.

We can sum up the etiquette into a convenient acronym: No PANTs.

Nothing Personal

Handcrafted items or those with your name written on them are not candidates for regifting. If someone put in so much effort into your gift, chances are you’ll hurt the giver’s feelings if you give it to someone else. For personal gifts, it is probably best to keep them for a while. Only the generic ones are good candidates.


Make sure that the gift is great enough to be appreciated by the receiver; no one likes to receive an unwanted gift. A show of appreciation for the giver such as a thank you note may go a long way to strengthen your connection. As long as the gift is nothing personal, regifting is quite understandable; it’s your good relationship with each other that counts.


In general, old, pre-loved items are better off for sale or for donation. It only makes matters worse to regift them. Rare items are the exceptions though. Rare items such as hard to find books generally fall under the appreciated part.


(Yup, there is definitely no S in there, but No PANTs has the ability to spark imagination, don’t you think? 😛)

Last but not the least, the act of regifting should be thoughtful. Why do we regift? It is because we appreciate the thoughts and efforts of the giver, but we know the item will be much more appreciated by someone else – the receiver.



And yes of course, because we are being practical and we want to trim our expenses to save, but not at the cost of anyone’s feelings.

So if we’re going to consider regifting an item, just remember: No PANTs!


The last one on the list is more related to our consumption.



4. Stay healthy.


Marami raw napapaaway tuwing Pasko dahil maraming hamon.

With the abundance of food to be served, our self-control will definitely be challenged this season. We can eat to be merry, but let us make sure that we don’t have to fight for our life in the process. Stroke and heart attack incidents happen most during the Christmas holidays, so best we avoid such incidents happening to us or our loved ones.



The primary cause of heart-related diseases during the Christmas season is high cholesterol levels. We have meds generally called statins to counter this. According to the 2018 Philippine Drug Price Reference Index (DPRI), the DPRI for an 80mg Atorvastatin tablet is at 23.48 pesos. That will cost 704.4 pesos for a 30-day supply.

While buying and taking statins is an easy fix, why not just let go of that last bite? (We might be talking about each meal though.) That 700 pesos can already buy a good gift. Hanggang saan aabot ang 700 pesos mo?

If we choose not to spend our money on meds, or worse, hospital bills, we can easily save more.


These four ways can help in us saving more of our hard-earned money this Christmas season by avoiding some unnecessary expenses. The key takeaway here is not really to spend less, but to spend wiser.




  • Mayne (2019). Is Regifting Considered Proper Etiquette? Retrieved from https://www.thespruce.com/regifting-etiquette-1216453
  • Philippine Department of Health Pharmaceutical Division (2018). The Philippine Drug Price Reference Index 2018 6th Retrieved from https://dpri.doh.gov.ph/download/2018%20DPRI%20Booklet%20nov-19-18.pdf