MANILA - Dear graduates, as you get ready to go up the stage to receive your diploma, your parents may already be asking you what you want as a graduation gift.
Instead of asking for the latest smartphone or shopping money for new clothes, may we suggest choosing a reward that is long-lasting and will benefit you over the long haul? Think of this gift as an investment in yourself -- one that will give you a head start in life.
Here are five graduation gifts that will reward you for a long time:
1. Visit a place you’ve never been to before.
Nothing can give you a wider world view and broaden your perspective as much as travel. Discover different cultures and enrich yourself by going not just to the touristy spots, but learning as much as you can about a given place’s history and traditions. Visit museums, markets, and places frequented by locals. Talk to people and explore as much as you can. Not only is travel enriching, it is also a lot of fun.
2. Learn a new language.
Be multilingual and enroll in a language course, which are offered by many organizations as well as online. Knowing a different language other than your own and English will definitely be an advantage when you enter the job market. Whether you opt for Mandarin, Japanese, French, Spanish, Italian, or German, you’ll be able to give yourself a gift that will serve you well throughout life, You may even be able to find work opportunities in other countries or in organizations that require knowledge of other languages.
3. Give back by signing up to volunteer.
There are numerous volunteer opportunities that let you render some form of service, sometimes in distant provinces or outside the country. You can be assigned to teach children, or work alongside professionals serving the poor and the disadvantaged. This is a good opportunity for you to give back to the community, understand issues that face communities, and directly help people while also learning new skills, meeting new people, and adding something to your resume.
4. Protect yourself at much lower cost.
When you’re young and carefree, insurance is probably the last thing you have in mind. However, now is a good time as any to buy a plan for yourself, simply because the younger you are, the cheaper this will be. As you move to the next stage in your life and become a parent or have more dependents, you will be needing more insurance coverage to protect yourself and your dependents from life’s uncertainties. The insurance plan you get now will definitely be of big help when that time comes.
5. Start investing with a mutual fund.
Time is gold, especially when you’re investing. Give yourself the gift of a long investment horizon by beginning to invest right after graduation. You don’t even need a lot of money to do this, since you can open a mutual fund for as little as P5,000. Top up regularly, buying new units each payday or whenever you get a windfall. Since you’re young, you may want to take a more aggressive approach to investing by going for high-growth funds that may involve some measure of risk. When you’re older, you will thank yourself for starting out early.
You definitely deserve a reward after four years of hard work but instead of rewarding yourself with objects that can only give momentary happiness, invest in a good future that will set you on the path to success early in life.
Grow Your Money is an editorial partnership between news.abs-cbn.com and Citi Philippines to promote financial education and provide helpful information to Filipinos on how to better manage their personal finances.
Visit www.citibank.com.ph for more information.