Deck the Halls with Plans and Budget, Falala~

UP JFA Pisopedia
4 min readDec 22, 2022


It is no secret that we Filipinos love Christmas. We prepare for it from the start of the “ber” months until December, a whopping three months long! But why do we prepare for it as early as September? As Amihan season comes and the cold breeze sets in, it’s almost time for the most hyped up holiday of the year, Christmas. And when Filipinos hear Christmas, they hear gifts.

We live in a materialist society where gift giving is one of the biggest parts of our Christmas. We go shopping for little and not so little trinkets to give to each other throughout the season. Gift giving, a mainstream tradition stemming from religious roots, is ever present in our society. From workplace monito-monitas and secret santa to school children’s exchange gifts, this tradition goes beyond the home. But why is this so prevalent? Filipinos are hospitable people and we see gift giving as an extension of our hospitality. By giving others gifts, we express our love and care for the people around us. That is why we prepare for it early because that is how important gifts and Christmas are to us.

How to Manage these Filipino Spending Habits?

Did you know that an average of PHP 37,106 of Filipinos’ monthly income was said to be spent during the Christmas season in 2021? For 2022, WorldRemit’s study on the actual cost of Christmas in the Philippines shows an expected breakdown of 51% allotment on Noche Buena preparations, 40% on gifts, and 8% on holiday decorations (WorldRemit, 2021 & 2022)

Others will argue “it’s the season of giving, anyways” or “it’s just a one time thing a year,” but budgeting holiday expenses is just as important as seeing the table packed with delicacies and plenty of gifts underneath a tree. We can still celebrate a memorable holiday even with a budget plan. With that, here are tips we can use to regulate our spending habits during the holidays:

  1. Review Christmas expenses last year, and plan.
    Reviewing last year’s expenses can estimate the average finances for the household. Keeping track of expenses might be a handful, but determining costs can help distribute income efficiently and effectively, where unimportant things purchased through impulse behavior last year can be avoidable. A thorough review of previous expenses can help individuals better understand where their income was exhausted or if it is worth spending in a particular category. After reviewing the costs, we can draft a rough plan to manage our finances better.
  2. Create a detailed plan.
    One great way of getting a good grasp on your finances is evaluating the importance of the costs to which your money is allotted. It is essential to take note that even if Christmas holds the title of the season of giving, the concept of giving should still be within our means. Feel free to make a detailed list of people you will buy gifts for or what menu to prepare for Noche Buena, because this will help set out the budget afterward to avoid any unnecessary expenditures.
  3. Set a holiday budget limit, and persist!
    It is undeniable that the Christmas vibes make us want to buy lots of things, but self-discipline is our foundation here. That is why it is crucial to set a holiday budget. A simple budget will already do; you need to list your income and all expected expenditures and subtract it from your budgeted income afterward. In this portion, you can write all specifics, such as the gift-giving list, Noche Buena preparation, decorations, and more. Most importantly, commit to your budget! Always be mindful of your expenses. Consult now and then with your budget to stay consistent with what was stated.
  4. Try saving early, and save as much as possible when buying.
    Since Filipinos anticipate Christmas as early as September, it is good to start your holiday savings as soon as possible to accumulate more funds. Although, we still have to keep in mind that these savings should be maximized, and budgeted wisely. Also, one pro-consumer tip for gift-buying: to save effectively, it is advisable to take advantage of sales to discounts, vouchers, and great deals!
  5. Credit? Not the best choice.
    The aid of credit cards is indeed a life-saver for all consumers with insufficient funds, but it is not advisable to fund all your holiday spending through credit because eventually it will pile up, and would create bigger problems for the upcoming year. Let us be sharp and smart with our credit usage!



UP JFA Pisopedia

Pisopedia is an online learning platform for Filipino students to learn more about personal finance.