3 Reasons Why You’ll Want to Prepare for the Holidays Earlier Than Ever

Think you have all the time in the world to prepare before the holidays arrive? Think again! 2020 is a year that moves fast. Once the malls decorate with candy canes and pump carols over the loudspeakers, it may already be too late. Here’s why you should prepare for the holidays as early as you can manage. 

1. It’s a Regular Expense

A regular expense is a bill you can count on to arrive on a consistent schedule. Housing costs like rent or mortgage payments are your biggest regular expenses, and they’re often the first ones you think of because they’re due every month. 

Monthly due dates are top of mind, but an expense doesn’t have to have this regularity to fit the bill. A regular expense is anything that you can predict.

By this definition, the winter holidays are most definitely a regular expense that you should plan for in advance. 

So, the next time you look at your budget, treat the holidays like a recurring expense and ensure you set aside enough cash to celebrate. The earlier you do this, the less you’ll have to save each month to meet your target. As a general rule, you’ll want to limit your spending to one percent of your income.

2. Your Budget Will Be More Stable

Saving small amounts over the course of the year will make it easier than ever to foot the bill on your own without feeling the crunch. Come the big day, you’ll feel less financial stress because you prepared in advance.

You won’t have to syphon money from other expenses at the last minute to afford the festivities. Neither will you have to take out money to make sure your kids have the best holidays possible. 

While an installment loan may be a reliable safety net in an unexpected emergency, you shouldn’t use them to afford the holidays. Reserve these loans for when disaster strikes, like when your pipes freeze right before your family is due for the feast, and you need to pay holiday premiums to get a plumber out in time to save the day.

If you still aren’t sure what qualifies as an emergency, check here to learn more about when it’s a good idea to borrow cash quickly online with short term loans. 

3. You’ll Pay Lower Prices

Black Friday and Cyber Monday may seem like the natural start to the holiday shopping season. As some of the biggest shopping days of the year, you’ll find some good deals to help you save.

But to save even more, join the 60 percent of people who start their shopping before Thanksgiving weekend. The earlier you begin, the more time you have to shop and think mindfully about your purchases. You also be able to take advantage of seasonal sales throughout the year to find what you need at the lowest price.

The festivities may unfold in what feels like no time at all, but don’t be fooled. They can have a long-lasting impact on your finances if you don’t prepare in advance. And when it comes to the holidays, there’s no such thing as planning too early. Kick-start your plans early this year to save without feeling like a grinch!

Prepping for the Holidays: Christmas Gift Guide

It’s not quite time to deck the halls with boughs of holly just yet, but it’s never too early to start planning your Christmas shopping.  In fact, there are people who start shopping for their Christmas gifts as early as the start of the year when the stores go on sale. Other store sale events also happen several times during the year for those who want to get a lot more ticked off their Christmas list without spending a lot of money. There are several more sale events before the season rolls in; Black Friday is only about two months away.

The online world is not far away when it comes to these sales. They are actually even more aggressive than retail outlets when giving discounts. Check out sites like ZALORA that already have their Christmas catalogs out. Most of these sites carry popular local and international brands that would not at all be considered stingy gifts. That’s high value gifting on a low budget. What matters most, after all is not how much you got them for but how much you really thought about giving that gift to a particular person.

If you have not started your list yet, here’s a quick list of gift ideas for the most loved men, women, and children in your life:

Spouse

 photo zaloraspousewatches_zps3c70eba9.jpg

His and Hers watches from www.watchco.com

Even when it seems like your Christmas budget is drained when you splurge on gifts for your kids, you don’t really forget to set some money aside to get your spouse that extra special gift for Christmas. It’s always great to give jewelry – the real elegant looking ones that make your spouse feel like a million bucks. It could be an expensive dress watch for your hubby or a pair of sparkly solitaire diamond earrings. Or, you can actually get something his and hers if you are the kind of couple who want to declare your undying love for each other in public. If a couple’s statement shirt is out of the question, perhaps you can choose to have matching monogrammed bracelets instead.

 

Men and Women

 photo zaloragiftideasmenandwomen_zps6635aa14.jpg

Under Php 500 Gift Ideas from ZALORA

Accessories for gadgets are great gifts that any recipient would find useful.  Protective cases, mobile blings, electronic cloth wipes, power banks are just some gift ideas for both men and women.  Various fashion accessories make wonderful gifts for friends and colleagues as well.

 

Teens

 photo zaloragiftideasteens_zps5ea394f7.jpg

Under Php 1,000 Gift Ideas from ZALORA
Freego Varsity Jacket (750)
Urban Edge Full Button Jacket (799.75)
Charlie Jersey Peplum (400)
Collective.Com Sabella Striped Chiffon overlay dress (449)
Atypical Crew Neck with Print (350)
Urban Edge R/N shirt (265.83)

These are the most challenging people to get gifts for. Luckily, there are brands that are always spot on when it comes to teenagers. Sometimes, getting anything from their preferred brands will put you right on target. Jersey dresses and mini skirts are great for teenage girls. There are also fashionable tees and chinos for teenage boys. Of course, varsity jackets are so popular among today’s generation. You can find these jackets in various colors, some can be customized with embroidered initials.

 

Terrific (and even Terrible) Tots

 photo giftideaskids_zpsdc6adeb0.jpg

Gift ideas from Amazon.com
VTech KidiBeats Drum Set ($17.99)
Disney Doc McStuffins Doctor’s Bag ($19.72)
The Little Blue Box of Bright and Early Board Books by Dr. Seuss ($13.97)
Play-Doh: Case of Colors ($6.49)
LEGO Bricks & More Builders of Tomorrow Set 6177 ($29.99)

Toys are always hits with the tots. But, you have to make sure that the gift you choose is age appropriate. You also have to make sure that you are not giving something that will be inconvenient. This is true whether you are looking for gifts for your own tots or for your nieces and nephews. No matter how cool you think a multi-track racing circuit with and RC racer is, it will not be a good gift for a 3-year old. Try educational toys that match their developmental stage. Or you could go with clothes and books too. If you are choosing a gift for someone else’s tot, take your cues from the parents to see what the child likes or what he needs.

 

Christmas shopping can be fun and stress-free if you start early.  You can also avoid crowded malls by shopping online.  ZALORA already has its holiday gift guide to help you look for the perfect gift for everyone on your list.  Take advantage of the great deals they offer now!

Halfway Done Through Our Christmas List

We were scheduled to go to the Kids Craze Christmas Warehouse Sale this morning.  Unfortunately, our laundry is as high as a mountain already and our house in complete disarray.  So hubby and our little man went toy shopping while our little princess and I did the laundry and attempted to put some order in the house.

Here’s the loot the two men brought home from Kids Craze:

Photobucket

I was a bit sad not to have been able to go to the warehouse sale but my spirits were lifted when I got to do a little bit of shopping as well.  I say a little bit because I went out late and hubby wasn’t with me so I had to buy only what I could manage to carry home by myself.

Here’s what I managed to lug going home:

Photobucket

I managed to save 38% (yes, I computed!) from the regular retail price of my Body Shop purchases by using my Body Shop Rewards and SM Advantage Cards.  Not in the picture are a few toys I bought at SM Department Store.  I found some cool Spiderman coin banks for only 50 pesos each and a one-of-a-kind doll house that opens up like a tool box.  I’m so tempted to get my little princess one for herself but promised hubby I won’t be getting the kids any new toys.  Oh, and SM Department Store also provides free gift wrapping to all shoppers so I have a few less gifts to wrap.

With these new purchases and the items I’ve bought and kept in our gift box throughout the year, our Christmas list is already halfway done.  However, this means I have to face my dreaded Christmas Rush crowd while shopping for the rest of those on our list.  Fortunately, my husband likes to shop and would be willing to do the shopping while I burrow in our cozy home.

She’s Making A List And Checking It Twice

Not to worry though, ‘coz we always have a little something even for the naughty ones.

Christmas really wouldn’t be complete without the traditional gift giving.  Although every day is a good time to share our blessings with others,  Christmas will always be the best time to share what we have received during the year.

We’re already quite late starting our Christmas shopping.  It’s November already but we haven’t even prepared our list yet.  Years ago, half of my Christmas list would already be wrapped by this time of the year.  There are definitely more important things to do now than just shop for Christmas gifts.

Lest I am left with no choice but to brave the maddening Christmas crowd come December, on to my list we go.

First off are the little ones who never fail to make Christmas merry and bright.  Barbie dolls would surely delight little princesses but we just don’t have enough funds to buy dozens of them.  Hopefully, accessories, stationeries, and other girly knick-knacks would still put a smile on their faces.  Boys will always be boys and will always be fond of toys.  Cars, trains, helicopters and other vehicles are sure-fire hits for these little men.  Clothes would be nice too but, frankly, kids would rather play with toys.

Now tweens are trickier to buy gifts for.  Some like books, some would just put those on the shelf to collect dust or turn it into something they can use – such as a mousepad.  Slapwatches are in the fad now but it’ll put a huge hole in our pockets if we buy those for all the tweens in our list.  Perhaps, socks or cases for their cell phones would do.  A personalized mouse pad, re-writable CDs, and screen protectors would also be pretty useful for the techie tween.

Most teens now have their own iPads which make protective sleeves for iPad perfect gifts for them.  If that still proves beyond the budget, ear buds would still be great for their ever-present iPhones or other music players.

The adults I have no idea what to give yet.  My sisters are most probably going to get the same gifts in matching colors, again. AND I would have one of the same myself also.  Hubby’s gift would depend on how much I have saved come Christmas time – I’m really hoping I’d be able to save THIS much soon.