Christmas is fast approaching and I think just in time to do some posting about self-discipline as part of my instalment article on the strategy on how to pay off debts. The first step or strategy of paying off debts as I mentioned on my previous post about PAYING OFF DEBTS was Self Discipline before you even start paying your debts. December was the most celebrated month of the year because of Christmas time. I remember my mother used to decorate our home on the first day of the BER month and my father never goes home without bringing big lantern after a month of working far away from his family a month before Christmas. How we celebrate Christmas in the Philippines? If my friends only knew how much I miss Christmas in the Philippines, because Christmas season is the most awaited celebration for us Filipinos. It is the best month of the year for us who worked abroad, and those who migrated to other countries to visit and spend holidays with their loved ones.
One thing I miss about Christmas in the Philippines was the Christmas bonus and thirteen-month pay, as an employee then I am looking forward to this on Christmas time because I know a lot of money coming my way, meaning I can start making a list of how to spend my Christmas bonus. I believed then, that so many are expecting to received something from me and it will be a great disappointment to them if they couldn't receive it (me and my malicious mind). But do you know that nine (9) out of ten (10) regular employees, that after Christmas they will add up more debts than their previous year even though they receive two (2) or three (3) times more than their usual salary during December. Why? because the scenario was like this though they receive more than their expected salary, they will spend more than the money they received during the bonus month and this is the usual mistake most of the regular employees. Been there, done that, I even borrow money just to satisfy myself, believing that it's just once in a year that I was able to give, to make the people around me happy, just to feed my temporary happiness of gift giving, just for the sake of Christmas season. I fail to realize that Christmas is not only during December, that Christmas is within our hearts all year round and it depends on how we wanted to celebrate it every day. That after the holiday I left nothing but debts and I will start the new year with lots of stress and negative vibes.
When my husband and I started to learn how difficult life was especially when you have nothing but debts, I decided to put my feet on the ground and started to analyse the situations, to be subjective to everything, to put reason on every action. Thinking, what is more important, is it money, gift, or friendship and my families future. So on the first Christmas that I didn't make a list of names and things to buy but rather debts I need to pay, a lot of words came out, some are hurtful, some are rather judgemental. Yes, it is true that there is no discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. It was indeed painful when you heard someone calling you madamot (selfish), kuripot (thrifty) in front of your face. I endure all of that because I need to start my life in proper order especially in terms of my financial aspect, instead of spending my bonuses by showing off to those people who doesn't even care. Looking back now I can tell that during those time I also learned who are my real friends because they supported me all the way.
So this holiday season be disciplined enough to think before spending, be wise before borrow money just to have something to give. There's nothing wrong in giving its one of the best attitudes every person must learn and have but make sure that at the end of the day you will not end up crying because you spend more than you can't afford (just a little trick, just make sure you spend within your means). As I always say this to my children "helping others...by helping yourself first" for how can you be able to give if you don't have something to give right. Happy Savings and have a fruitful life.