How Much Should You Spend for the Holidays

Ever wondered if there’s any guideline on how much should you be spending for Holidays like Christmas and New Year? If you have, at least I know I’m not alone. 😀 Good thing that I found an interesting article on Kerygma Magazine that tackles on this issue.

Entitled ‘Budgeting for the Holidays’, it was enough for me as a start although I have some issues with it. Let’s try that. According to the article, here are some advice that can help us budgeting for seasons like this.

  1. Know how much you can afford. Some financial planners say that you should spend no more than 1.5 percent of your annual income for the holidays. However much you decide to spend, make sure you decide before you get caught in the holiday rush.
  2. I tried to compute for this but looks like if I follow it religiously, my ‘inaanaks’ might gather in EDSA and put a big protest. It’s just too small I think. It’s like if you’re earning like P10,000 a month, that’s P130,000 per annum including 13th month pay. And 1.5% of P130,000.00 is only P1,950.00. For me, I’d say you can probably set it a little higher at 3% – 4% of your annual income. That should be like P3,900 – P5,200 to cover everything from gifts, food and entertainment. So if your 13th month pay is P10,000, you’d still have a savings of P6,100-P4,800.00.

  3. Make a gift list and set an amount you expect to spend. Keep track of your actual expenses and compare it against your budgeted amount. If you overspend in one area, reduce cost in another.
  4. My wife and I always do this ever since. Making a gift list and setting a budget on each gift. Altho most of the time, you can’t help but spend a little higher over your budget. But the important thing is that, you have a figure that you can always check with.

  5. Trim your expenses. You can cut back on your expenses by giving your time. Or you can draw names and give fewer, nicer gifts.
  6. Haven’t really done this one. But maybe yes, if you won’t include the names that are likely not to show up, then you can indeed save some.

  7. If you’re travelling, determine first how much that will cost you. Include all the minor expenses that you will possibly incur.
  8. Good thing that ‘gas’ has dropped from its previous cost. [based on prices in 2008] Otherwise, ‘gas’ alone can kill your budget.

  9. Avoid holiday hangover by planning and budgeting your entertainment. You don’t have to bust your budget to have a great Christmas.

    Always remember that the spirit of Christmas is all about Love. Some things can’t be bought by money, so if you can opt not to spend on some that are less important, try to do so.

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Garry Zaldy de Castro is an advocate, Financial Advisor, Certified Investment Solicitor (Mutual Fund Representative), blogger, IT practitioner, husband to Aileen and a dad to Jacob and JohnD. He started Financial Planning Philippines in 2008 just to share his financial learning to friends, relatives and anyone who wishes to be financially independent.


  1. dati nung wala pa akong GF. ang laki nang natitipid ko sa mga gifts kasi wala akong nireregaluhan. mama ko lang. ahahhaa.. pero nung nagkagf ako and asawa na ngaun. laki na nang gastos ko sa mga regalo. pero sabi ko dun sa asawa ko ngaun(parang my susunod pa ahh. hheehe) magtipid na sa pagreregalo. like hindi masyadong mahal na bibilhin . pero kaakit akit naman ang iyong ibibigay.. if you are here in the philippines. much better if we will buy gifts in divisoria. napakamura dun and maraming choices. unlike if you go to malls. like SM etc. triple the price and mabibili. or pwede ring habang maaga palang abangan mo na ung mga sales in mall. kung wala kang time pumunta in divisoria. .
    cute nang baby mu. kamukha ku. . .lol

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