Filipinos have started to live with Covid-19 even though the pandemic declaration has yet to be officially lifted by the World Health Organization. The last-minute shopping in the recent Christmas Eve had the pre-pandemic atmosphere because of long queues at checkout counters, except that most shoppers still wore face masks even though wearing a mask is already not mandatory.

Today, on New Year’s Eve, malls, groceries and public markets are expected to be swamped with last-minute shoppers buying necessities for the Media Noche with their loved ones.

When it comes to sharing food with family members and friends during special events, there are Filipinos who would do anything so they could gather at the table with them.

Despite the biting inflation, employed Filipinos have some money to spare as they have received their 13th month pay, and cash conversion of unused leaves. Others also received bonuses.

The holiday season spending also boosted the revenues of businesses affected by the pandemic.

Even though some experts feared an economic recession happening in 2023, Octa Research’s recent survey showed that around 46 percent of Filipinos believe that the country’s economic situation will improve in the next six months. A recession happens when a sustained period of negative growth in real gross domestic product (a country’s output) is accompanied by a significant rise in the unemployment rate in two consecutive quarters or a total of six months.

Octa Research fellow Dr. Guido David said in a Philippine Information Agency report that the other 38 percent of Filipinos “believe it will remain the same while 10 percent believe it will get worse.”

Filipinos’ generally optimistic outlook in life is admittedly a positive trait.

However, too much optimism could lead one to complacency, and one could not make any preparations for the future.

The warning about global economic recession must not be taken for granted as it could happen.

One must remember that the pandemic is still here. In Europe, Russia has yet to stop its unprovoked war in Ukraine, an unprovoked war that has spawned far-reaching effects, including unstable oil prices, not to mention the horror of civilian deaths in the former Soviet Union satellite country.

So managing finances is a must, and doing it is an act of self-love.

However, one must remember that managing one’s flow of money is not entirely a selfish act. It is for one’s family, too.

If a family-first individual is financially sound, then his family is also secure.

There is also a saying that must be remembered often: “Live within your means.” Following this adage could save one from experiencing a financial disaster in the new year.