• How to Splurge This Christmas But Still Have Money Left in the Bank

    Christmas shopping requires strategy so you end up still having money in the bank.
    by Monica Rios Arcinue .
How to Splurge This Christmas But Still Have Money Left in the Bank
PHOTO BY iStock
  • How’s your Christmas shopping coming along? Only a few more weeks ‘til one of the busiest times of the year, and I bet here you are, still trying to figure out where to start with the shopping without going broke. Here are some tips to help you manage this gift-giving season (or the next!)

    1. Make a list and check it twice  

    If you think Santa is the only one who needs to do this, think again. Before anything else, list down everyone you want to give gifts to, but don’t stop there.  Write down some gift choices for them as well. This way, you have an idea what to look for when out shopping.

    I’ll let you in on a little secret. I’ve kept my gift list throughout the years, tucked neatly in a plastic envelope. I write down what I’ve given and also write what I’ve received. I also update the ages of the kids on the list to make sure I give age-appropriate gifts. Some even have this typed in Google Sheets or MS Excel, but I like the tangible feeling of crossing out a name in my list once I’ve bought his gift.

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    2. Stick to a budget
    I know it’s easier said than done, but you’ve got this OC momma! Set a maximum amount you want to spend for gifts during the Christmas season. Divide this amount among everyone in your list. And STICK. TO. IT.

    3. Shop all year-round
    If you see something that someone will like, go and buy it already – even if it’s not yet gift-giving season. You have one less person to think of during the Christmas rush, and you actually have a gift that you’re sure this person will enjoy. Take advantage of the sales and promos throughout the year.

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    4. Shop online

    Why subject yourself to Manila traffic and the difficulty of looking for parking in malls during the holidays? Stay home and shop in your PJ’s! I like to buy from small and local online businesses, and Instagram, Shopee and Facebook are filled with them. Support local and help a home business succeed. 

    5. But first…check your Christmas supplies box


     
    It helps that you have a specific box marked as “Christmas” where you keep all the gifts you’ve bought all-year (remember, #3). Consolidate all excess wrappers, gifts, tags, and ribbons into this container and check it before buying anything. I once had Christmas tags good for five Christmases because I kept on buying each year!  

    6. Take advantage of rewards cards and points

    Now’s the time to use those points you’ve accumulated throughout the year. Some of us like to hoard these points for use at a later time, and then we realize they’re about to expire and we are forced to buy items we don’t necessarily need. Use these points every Christmas and never have to worry about expiring points again.

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    7. Wrap immediately

    Don’t wait until the gifts you’ve bought have piled up before you start wrapping. You’ll get overwhelmed and end up wrapping your gifts in a hurry. When you’ve already purchased a good number of gifts, wrap them first before shopping again. Plus, setting a time to just focus on wrapping gifts makes sure you don’t take the wrapping for granted. I’m a sucker for pretty wrapping!

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    8. Recycle
    Mom, put those eyebrows down. Let’s be honest, not every gift you receive suits your style or you have use for. You may have doubles already and instead of these items just adding to the clutter in your home, find someone who will appreciate it more and have better use for it. 


     
    And by recycle, I don’t just mean the gifts. Keep nice boxes, paper bags or pretty ribbons from the gifts you’ve received and re-use for the next gift giving opportunity (birthday, wedding, etc.) It would be a shame to just throw them away! You not only get to help the environment, but save money too.

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