Christmas is fast approaching and families are heading into the final stretch of their preparations for Christmas day and the coming New Year. Parties and get-togethers have also become more frequent. As you continue to celebrate this joyful season always observe safety when partying, taking a trip or doing your shopping. Not only will it help you save tons of money, it can also save life and limb. Here are some tips to keep you safe and make you save:
Be vigilant. This is the time of year when criminal minds are at their busiest. Because most people have more money than usual, almost everyone is a potential target. Don’t give thieves the chance to take away your hard-earned money. When shopping in crowded places always keep your wallet or purse close. Put your wallet in the front pocket instead of the back. If you have a bag, keep it in front of you instead of at the side or back. Kung ikaw ay magko-commute lang, iwasang maglakad sa madidilim na lugar at huwag umuwi ng alanganing oras. Most criminals are “nocturnal,” they prefer operating at night.
Don’t drink and drive. The number of road accidents soars during the holiday season mainly because of drunk driving. Figuring in a road accident can cost you a lot of money or cost you your life or somebody else. If you have to drink, don’t drive. Even 1 or 2 bottles of beer, a glass of wine or a few shots of liquor can already impair your senses. Kung alam mong mapapalaban ka sa inuman sa pupuntahang party, mas maiging iwanan na lang ang kotse sa bahay. If you are in a group, designate a driver, who should stay sober and not drink. (Well, a little alcohol is probably okay, as long as he/she stops drinking a few hours before driving.)
Keep your cool. Don’t let alcohol to get into your head when you drink. People who are intoxicated can easily get into a fight and heated arguments between drunks can sometimes turn fatal. Okay lang ba sa ‘yo na may bukol, saksak o tama ka ng baril pag sapit ng Pasko? I’m sure you don’t want to spend Christmas in the hospital or in jail. If you are the type who turns into a vicious ogre when drunk then limit your drinking. Umiinom tayo para magsaya, hindi para maghanap ng gulo. So, chill.
Be careful with firecrackers and fireworks. Firecrackers and fireworks are dangerous, so store them in a secure location where it can’t get lit by accident. Huwag hawakan ang paputok kapag ito’y sinisindihan, lalo na kung ikaw ay nakainom. And do not allow small children to handle fireworks. Masakit sa katawan at sa bulsa ang maputukan. Fireworks and firecrackers should only be used outdoors unless you want your house to become one big fireworks display. Mag-ipon din ng maraming tubig bago sumapit ang hatinggabi ng Pasko at New Year para may pang-apula ng apoy sakaling magkasunog. So you can stay safe from and save on firecrackers and fireworks, consider that you’re “blowing up” money every time you use one. Manood na lang ng fireworks para hindi na kailangang gumastos.
Secure your home. If you’re leaving town for short vacation or staying out late to party, make sure that all doors and windows at home are locked. Iwanan din ang ilang ilaw na nakabukas. Do not broadcast to the whole world that you're going on vacation. Secretly tell a trusted neighbor that your family will be away for awhile and ask that they look after the house. Or you may ask a relative to stay in the house while you’re away. Mahirap kapag walang nakabantay sa bahay, baka malimas lahat ng gamit mo.
Eat and drink moderately. When you’re attending a party almost every day, it’s so easy to overeat and drink too much. Be conscious of how much you’re eating and drinking this holiday season. It doesn’t pay to overstuff yourself for a few weeks in December only to spend the rest of the year trying to get rid of the excess weight. Don’t allow yourself to gain more than 1 to 2 kilos during the Christmas season, so that it won’t be too hard for you to get back to your pre-Christmas weight. Makakaiwas ka rin sa highblood at mataas na cholesterol kapag kinontrol mo ang iyong pagkain at pag-inom. I know of people who suffered a stroke shortly after the holidays apparently due to overindulgence of unhealthy food & drinks. Do your heart, your waistline and your wallet a big favor – eat and drink smart.
May you all have a Blessed Christmas. Enjoy the holidays and stay safe!
---------------------------------------- ALVIN T. TABAÑAG, RFP Founder and Chief-Trainer PINOY SMART SAVERS LEARNING CENTER (International Best Provider of Employee Financial Education)