While you typically send more money to your family in the Philippines during the holidays, times are tough and you can send less this time around. What can they buy with your $300 Christmas gift?
'May PERAan' is SBS Filipino's new podcast series which features financial experts seeking to answer the most common questions about money and finances.
"Christmas is such a joyous time in the Philippines, even if we don't have a lot of money. However, when relatives who live abroad send money or gifts, it really means a lot," finance journalist Michelle Baltazar shares.
With job losses and work challenges this year, many are unable to give as much as they used to.
Michelle shares how far $300 will go in the Philippines.
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- Forego gadgets.
- Look into useful and unconventional gift options, such as books.
- Consider stock market or bond market investments for your family.
"When it comes to gadgets, it would depend on the brand and the make; however, be aware that batteries will inevitably die in five years," Michelle shares.
Instead of spending the $300 on gadgets, she suggests an unconventional idea.
Michelle shares that there are a lot of nice and useful things that can be bought which are less expensive.
"You can buy books that can change how people live or think. It can be a finance book, a career book, or even a dictionary. It's giving the gift of knowledge.
"My second suggestion is a bit radical. The Philippine government is encouraging people to invest in the stock market or the bond market; and I know you can invest in the stock market and bond market for as little as P500."
While you may not be able to purchase a whole lechon for $300, Michelle says you can still give them something valuable, such as the gift of changing the 'poor' mindset.
"Teach them how to grow their money and to think about their future.
"Because we live overseas, sometimes, we think we have to compensate our absence with money. We need to think past that. Non-financial gifts, such as time and attention, are important as well."
Disclaimer: This article is for general information only. For specific financial advice, you should consider seeking independent legal, financial, taxation or other advice to check how the information here relates to your unique circumstances.