Go Ahead! Spend Your 13th Month Pay The Way You Want It

Updated: November 16, 2023

The emails and direct messages have started to come. People are now asking me where they should spend their Christmas bonus and 13th-month pay.

Some already have a good idea where they’ll put the money. And they’re asking for my opinion if that’s a smart move. Meanwhile, some are confused and conflicted. They’re lost at what to do.

After more than a decade of replying to people about how they should spend their 13th-month pay, I’ve finally come up with the best response. And that is to spend it how they want it.

Yes, go and put your money where you feel it would serve you best.

In other words, decide on what your priorities are. And use your money to fulfill those personal needs. Because after all, it is your money and it is your life.

Spend according to your priorities

If your priority is to have some peace of mind in the future, then use the money to build an emergency fund, or buy life insurance, or get a long-term healthcare product.

But if you believe that the most important thing for you right now is to upgrade your smartphone or get a new laptop, then go ahead and buy those gadgets.

If your priority is to provide for your family, then invest the money towards your child’s education fund, or your family’s future home, or perhaps a retirement fund for you and your spouse.

But if what you want more than anything right now is to travel, then go ahead and book those plane tickets and plan for that vacation with your family and friends.

If your priority is to get rid of those pesky collection agents, then you should certainly pay your loans and debts with your 13th-month pay.

But if those don’t bother you at all, and your utmost concern is updating your wardrobe, then go ahead and enjoy shopping this holiday season.

If your priority is to quit your job and be an entrepreneur, then use the money to learn how to start a business, or use the cash as your startup capital.

But if upgrading your current lifestyle appeals more to you, then go ahead and use the money to purchase your dream car, or finally signing up for that gym membership, or getting that beauty procedure you’ve always wanted.

Personal finance is personal. And how you spend your money should be your personal decision; but it should be a well-thought-out decision.

Your life is a result of your decisions and actions.

I agree with French philosopher and Nobel Laureate, Albert Camus, when he said, “Life is a sum of all your choices.”

We don’t have control over a lot of the things that will happen to us, but we have control over how we’ll respond to them. And those decisions and actions that we make drive our life story.

So, you just received your 13th-month pay… now ask yourself:

Which emotion would you like to feel?

Is it the excitement of having a new gadget? Or the calmness and peace of mind from having money saved for financial emergencies?

Which experience would you like to have?

Is it the adventures of travel and the wonders of other cultures? Or experiencing that proud moment and accomplishment as you stand in front of your very own home that you just bought?

Which is more important to you?

Hearing the praises and compliments of your friends when they see you in a new outfit? Or stopping the harassment of debt collectors who are calling your home and your office, and talking to your family and friends?

Which one is your priority?

Leveling up your lifestyle and perhaps, building other people’s perception of you, by buying a new car or enrolling in a gym? Or building a business that can replace your salary, so you can quit your job?

Your money, your decision.

Spend your 13th month pay the way you want it. But when you make that decision, realize and be aware that you’re probably saying “No” to something else.

Your time and money is limited. You can’t have everything that you want, all at the same time. But you can certainly decide which ones are so important and should become your top priorities.

In the end, whichever and however you decide. May you never look back with regret at this moment and wished you’ve chosen differently.

What to do next: Click here to start your financial journey with IMG Wealth Academy


  1. When reading this thought provoking article, business owners and online freelancers were on my mind. I doubt many business owners give themselves 13 month pay? Most certainly freelance do no receive it. Then I began to think how the business owner, even though they may still be struggling with building their enterprise, have gotten to where they are because they INVESTED their 13 month pay, possibly for many years into what they have created. The freelancer also may have used 13 month pay to purchase (invest in) the tools they needed to work online. No 13 month pay for them but now they but they have gained freedom to manage their own schedule, perhaps spend additional time with family and hopefully earn much more working freelance. In fact, sometimes less is more! You might earn a little less in you own enterprise but if you have drastically cut commuting expenses, expensive work clothing, lunches out etc, you may very well have MORE in your pocket at the end of each month!!! I would call that a great investment.

  2. As always, thanks for your insightful post Sir Fritz! I can really relate with your posts about money (and life). As a freelance writer, I don’t exactly have 13th month pay, but I do have a regular client who gives me a “Christmas bonus” every year. Isn’t that nice of him? This year, I will probably do a little bit of everything — put some of my extra money into my emergency fund, buy something practical (a pair of glasses), and put some money into my travel fund (for next year) :)

  3. A good portion of my 13th pay will go to bills and dental bridge. It’s been way overdue. Oh, need some of the left overs to build account balance. For travel purposes. Lol.

    I agree that it should be a personal but well thought of decision ^_^

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