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With all the gift-giving and merry-making that take place during Christmas, your 13th month pay just ends up passing you by, waving hello and then a goodbye.

It’s hard to imagine how you can actually save some cashola. But, it’s possible. Below are six cool ways —that actually work!—to save money this season.

christmas-money

1. Have a bitch jar. The idea is you pay yourself every time you get stressed, or you end up doing something you’ve promised to stop: smoke a cigarette, miss a deadline, wake up with a hangover, drunk-texted your ex. Name your price. It can be as small a P5 or as big as P100 every time this occurs. You’ll be surprised at how rich your bad habits—or traffic—can make you.

2. Use an app to split the bill. We are right smack in the middle of dinner season and it’s bound to be expensive AF. Avoid shelling out more than what your salad cost you and use an app to split the bill. This way, you can pinpoint how much that salad really cost you and then you can divide add-ons like service charge and VAT squarely among yourselves. Carry this habit onward and you should see your bank account go upward. Hot tip: Plates by Splitwise is the one that works for us. You can split the bill up to 10 people, and it calculates taxes and tips, too!

3. Get creative. If 2016 has bitch-slapped you to your knees, we can imagine you’d want to avail of retail therapy this season. But allow us to warn you: That is yet another slap in the face and on your pocket. And so, get creative with your gifts. Make postcards out of old photos, create playlists and distribute on USBs, bake cookies. These gifts may take a little more effort but they will definitely cost less and mean more. In the same vein, you can save on wrapping paper by being your awesome creative self. Use old maps, glossy magazine pages, and so it goes.

4. Spend on experiences, not gifts. It’s gotta come from the heart, man. If you’re not feeling like going shopping and are only doing it because it’s expected, we say just don’t do it. It will stress you, it will deplete your wallet, and it’s going to show. Instead, treat your boyfriend to dinner, spend full day at food park and should your girlfriend’s chow. Go to a zoo with your barkada, ride the Pasig River ferry in the guise of an adventure. Suggest to your squad a pot luck party instead of the usual gifts.

5. Have a piggy bank. Make use of those mason jars and put all your end-of-day loose change floating in your bag and in your many pockets in them. They may sound so insignificant, but tally at the end of the month, and you’d be surprised at how much they can and will add up.

6. Carry a water bottle everywhere. Not only will it save you money from buying bottled water, carrying a water bottle will also help save the environment (less plastic, less trash!). With the idea that it’s water in that bottle and not iced tea or soda, you can also save some calories. In party situations, having a water bottle by your side will save you from getting drunk and waking up with a terrible hangover.

HEADER: Madel Crudo

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