This year-end is probably the most challenging one because of the very high cost of living due to the economic conditions of the world. Even onions had an unprecedented cost per kilo and the working class like us have got to find a means to cope. This year, my personal theme for the holidays is self-love, which meant putting myself first in most things. It has been a journey of self-preservation, partly to deal with inflation, and also to enjoy a simple Christmas celebration without the need for unnecessary fanfare. And it was all worth it. Read more about our dealing with inflation during the holidays.
Inflation During the Holidays
The rising prices of commodities this year have been way off the charts. Income is almost about the same and we are just thankful that money still comes in, despite the difficulties. It’s as if the global COVID-19 pandemic was not enough of a challenge for all of us.
Now, it has come to point that we had to tightly manage what we have in order not just to get by but to have some extra left save for “rainy days.” It’s good to have an online calculator in order to be able to take notes and compute income and expenses, as well as actual savings in order to keep track of our finances. That way, our family budget does not get compromised.
Aiming for Self-Love and Financial Independence
A lot of the things I did this Christmas are all for self-love. I wanted to be able to do things that I chose to do and not the things that I was “obligated” to do because of guilt. It’s part of my inner healing and the journey to love myself more.
Anyway, here are some cost-cutting measures that I did in the days leading to Christmas.
Homecooking is my passion and many of you know that I love to prepare meals for the family. I am for nutritious and restaurant-quality meals. One thing that I have realized is that for 1 kilo of meat, I can prepare already 2 to 4 dishes for the family. It also meant that the cost of one average restaurant meal is already enough to feed us 4 for 3 to 4 meals. So this really saved us a lot.
Making do with what we have
For me, self-love isn’t about buying new things for myself. It’s about being able to recognize my voice as well as my choices and actually acting on them. So in terms of family economics, this went straight to savings as I didn’t buy new clothes for myself. I wore old stuff–whether for errands or for special events. To refresh the look, I just mix and match accessories that I already owned.
Letting go of stuff
There are many things, brand new or used, that are lying around the house. And they no longer serve us any purpose except for gathering dust. Meanwhile, I know that many still need these so I post them online to sell. That made some extra dough for the family that went into some of our miscellaneous needs.
A lot of our extra money in the past went to travel. We had to lay low lately in order to avoid big expenses. But for the sake of mental health, we still do go out but mostly on short road trips that do not cost us a lot.
Times are hard and it does not look like it is letting up. But in order to make both ends meet, it is best to have at least a side hustle for extra income and to always save for rainy days. God bless us all and have a happy new year!