Where Can I Start My Holiday Shopping?

This past Money Monday I shared with you My Naughty and Nice List.  So of course I want to know how is your holiday shopping going? Have you started yet? Are you almost done? If you haven’t started yet I suggest when you’re done with reading this post you stop by Monday’s post and check out how to start!  It’s making me nervous to even think about you waiting til the day before Christmas to start.  I know plenty of people who do though, so you’re not alone.

For me though I am a bit claustrophobic so I tend to make sure I’m done with my list by the first or second week of December!  Anything after that and you might get a homemade gift if I haven’t gotten to your name yet by that time.  This is actually not a bad idea if you share the same phobia of large crowds.  People tend to morph into mean monsters during the holiday shopping season.  If you do have to shop during the month of December, good luck to you!
Since I’m almost done, I thought it would be nice to share some ideas of what to get the people on your list.  This will come to you next week.  In the meantime I wanted to share an event you can look for in your neck of the woods.  It is the perfect spot to start your holiday shopping.  I love to stop at Holiday Shopping Events.  Its a great way to find some really great gifts for your loved ones and of course, yourself!  I normally have to travel all the way to NY to find a good one.  However, this year I’m in luck to have one closer to home.  In Connecticut, one of my dear friends is hosting a Holiday Shopping event in Norwalk, CT for the ladies.  If you happen to be in my neck of the woods I invite you to partake in the festivities!
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PNK Holiday tickets will be sold ahead of time for $10.00 and $15.00 at the door. Please email PrttynPnkSugar@gmail.com for more information!


If you’d like more information on this event be sure to like the Facebook Page PNK Sugar!  Tell her I sent you!  Have you ever been to a Holiday Shopping Event?  Share where you start your shopping below!
Until then,
If you like what you’ve read, warm my heart and follow the blog!  Likes are great for those who don’t want to comment.    Just go to right side panel, look for FOLLOWERS and click Join This Site!      
       
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My Naughty and Nice List

Happy Money Monday!  Here on My Pocketful of Thoughts, Monday’s are reserved for all things money-like.  If you stopped by here this past Wednesday, you read in the Melissa & Doug Terrific Twenty List and Giveaway post that I am almost finished with my Christmas shopping.  If you have small children on your list you should check out the post later and enter to win one of their toys.  Today, I’ll begin to share my planning process with you.

photo credit: armadillo444 via photopin cc

How to start planning your holiday shopping:  

First, make your list of who you want to purchase gifts for.  To start your list, just grab a piece of paper and pencil in the people you think you might have to get gifts for and in pen write everyone you know you are definitely getting gifts for.  Every year my list is modified, but for the most part it remains the same.  My parents, boyfriend, nieces and nephews, my closest friends and on occasion someone new.  I say to pencil in potential people to buy gifts for because these are the people you’re on the fence about.  Maybe you’ve never gotten them a gift in the past but perhaps over the year you’ve gotten closer.  It’s better to have an extra gift or two than to not have anything at all.  

Next is to put together a BUDGET.  Most people do not do this.  For years I did not budget and I would charge my gifts to my credit card and in January I would have this crazy bill.  Please avoid this.  It is bad for your credit health.  While it is the holiday season, you do NOT have to go overboard.  Most people are on a budget this year and are not expecting extravagant gifts.  If you think someone on your list might be expecting a grand gift, than I would suggest having a conversation with them early to let them know you’d like to set a price limit.  One year I was on a super tight budget; I asked my friends if we could share a meal together instead of exchanging gifts. Spending quality time and making memories with loved ones is priceless.

How to plan your budget: 

photo credit: 401(K) 2012 via photopin cc
  1. In pen, write next to each person’s name the max dollar amount you wish to spend.  
  2. In the corner of the paper, write down the amount you wish to spend total on holiday gifts. 
  3. Take the amount you wish to spend total and divide it by the number of months you have left until the holiday season starts.  
  4. If the number you get after dividing it into a monthly goal to save for is too large and not feasible within your current income, then reverse engineer your thinking.  
  5. If I can afford to put aside $50 a month, starting in January than I can spend $600 on gifts.  If I started saving this month, that changes my budget to $100 total.  I would then erase the people I wrote in pencil and reduce the amount spent on each person.  

If you could, I would suggest having your money squared away before Black Friday, so you can snag the crazy deals!  
Lastly, Take your pencil and write in potential gifts in your budget range for the people on your list.  To save money I suggest thinking of a theme for your holiday shopping.  If I have a handful of ladies on my list, I might think of buying luxury lotion from Bath and Body, there I might score a deal of Buy 2 get 1 free.  This may allow you to be a little more generous than your budget would have normally allowed.

    This is what I do to start planning for the holiday season.  I also carry the list around with me in my wallet, so I can jot down ideas throughout the year.  How do you start planning your holiday shopping?

    Until then,
    If you like what you’ve read, warm my heart and follow the blog!  Likes are great for those who don’t want to comment.    Just go to right side panel, look for FOLLOWERS and click Join This Site!      
           
    Join the My Pocketful of Thoughts community by giving a LIKE to the FB Page! Just hit like and feel free to share it with lovely like minded people by hitting send below.

    Join in on the conversation, click here to get started.

    Where to Shop…Parte Dos!

    With all the deal sites out there, we no longer have to be strapped down to a particular day like Cyber Monday to find the right gift for the holidays.  My only tip to you is that if you see something you like or that screams ‘buy it for danny’ (fill in a name), then get it RIGHT AWAY.  Do not wait and think about it.  I have done that on a couple of deals and then I decide let’s do it, and then its SOLD OUT.  Check out my PS in The Giving Season is Upon Us…where to shop for your holiday gifts for you and for everyone on your list! for how to handle seeing a lower price after you’ve made your purchase.  Keeping that in mind I give you another batch of sites to find the deals!
    Ideeli – I have purchased quite a few things over the last few years from this site.  It is by far one of my favorites!  Here you can find clothes for women, men and children.  Shoes, jewelry, outerwear, high designer items, new designer items, travel, houseware, experiences and they are always adding more things.  YOUR INVITATION  
    Ruelala – This is a site I recently discovered.  This covers items for men, women, kids, clothes, accessories, footwear, home, wine, gourmet food, local services, travel and special fixes :)  This site has a nice feature 9.95 covers shipping for a month.  YOUR INVITATION 
    Groupon –   This site offers tons of great things that are in your neck of the woods.  Support your local businesses in your area while making memories to boot and not hurting your wallet.  YOUR INVITATION
    LivingSocial – This is another great site for getting to know your local businesses and if you buy a deal, refer it and 3 friends also get it, yours is free!  How awesome is that!
    Vacations To Go –  Get daily deals to vacations of all price ranges, including river cruises, hotels and resorts, escorted tours, and African Safaris.  Feel free to email Alan any inquiries, he’s emailed me back on numerous occasions.
    Until then, Happy Shopping,
    PS: Look for the Discount Shopping Page!

    The Giving Season is Upon Us…where to shop for your holiday gifts for you and for everyone on your list!

    While Cyber Monday has come and gone, fear not there are plenty of sites to get daily deals for the best gifts for your friends and family. Some deals are so good you might just want to get it for yourself!

    Daily Candy –  Here you will get an email of articles of things to read that come from their site. Topics range from fashion, beauty, food & drink, home & garden, travel, culture, gift ideas and deals. I am signed up on their New York version but many of the major cities are represented; just pick the closest to you!  The nicer feature is the deals that you get from different vendors in the area that you live in. Be creative and pick up some deals to create memories with various experiences around town. I have actually picked up quite a few deals on here, including Christmas gifts!

    Gilt.com – Invitation only website that has a few categories to choose from…clothes, accessories, jewelry, shoes, luggage, beauty products, men women and children …all higher end goods at deep discount prices, don’t have an invitation? But of course you do :) YOUR INVITATION

    Gilt Taste – Get the goods on meats, seafood, cheeses, prepared goods, pantry items, sweets, produce, beverages, wine and equipment…

    Gilt City – Another great website that gives you deals for your city…choose your local and enjoy exclusive dining experience, sold-out show tickets, luxury salons, spas, cool shops…etc YOUR INVITATION

    PARK & BOND – A site for the fellas; clothing, accessories, footwear, designers, vintage watches :)

    JETSetter – Luxury Travel Deals – YOUR INVITATION

    Portero Luxury – Premium Pre-Owned Prized Bags, Totes, Scarves, Wristwatches, wallets, cluthes and other things including vintage. You can also sell items on this site. Does not require an invitation.

    Lot 18 – An invitation only Wine Store that has recently added gourmet items and experiences.  YOUR INVITATION

    Snique Away – An invitation only Discount Travel Site YOUR INVITATION

    Open Sky – Tailored Shopping by creating a team of celebrities that recommend their favorite things and how to get it at a discount. YOUR INVITATION

    This is just the tip of the iceberg!  Stay tuned to more places to shop for yourself and others this holiday season and into the next year.
    Until then, Happy Shopping!

    PS  If you happened to notice that Cyber Monday seemed to extend for the entire week and you feel like you should wait for a better price, don’t.  I have made several holiday gift buys over the last few weeks only to find it at a lower price the next day.  Check out the return policy of where you purchased the item.  Some places will give back a price difference after a certain amount of days, typically seven.  However some vendors have strict no price difference policies.  If you run across the latter, simply contact their customer service.  Let them know you just purchased an item that has appeared at a lower price than what you purchased it at.  Ask them what is the best way to go about getting the price difference.  Be clear and let them know that you are aware that they do not issue price difference refunds for items purchased when the price drops but that you were wondering if there was an easier way than returning and repurchasing.  You would be surprised how accommodating vendors can be.  If they happen to be a stickler for their policies than re-buy at the sale price and return the one at the higher price.Good Luck and feel free to share your story!

    Give a pair of shoes to a child in need with TOMS on this Soulful Sunday

    While we are all out thinking of what to get our family, friends or even ourselves for this holiday season I would like to plant the seed of doing good at the same time.  Kill two birds with one stone and feel good about it to.  I overheard a conversation in August about how TOMS gives a pair of shoes to a child in need with every pair purchased and I thought how awesome is that; Get your kids school shoes and do a good deed at the same time.  While it left me feeling warm and fuzzy I completely forgot to write about it.  Although I am sure I am not the first to hear about TOMS, I personally had never heard about them so that means that out there somewhere you might not have either.  A friend of mine came back from her cruise in Europe in September and told me how comfy they were, but even more, they were super cute.  COMFY AND CUTE, say no more right?  TOMS offers shoes for women, men and kids so why not give a gift that keeps on giving?  Isn’t that what the holidays are about anyways, giving instead of receiving?  Nordstrom has a large assortment on line as does the official TOMS website.  I’m going out and getting a pair for myself.  Merry Christmas to me and to a child in need.  GO TOMS, lets help them out with their ONE TO ONE program!

    Until then,

    PS: Not into buying shoes for people, how about glasses?  With every pair of sunglasses you purchase TOMS will help give the gift of sight to a person in need with their ONE TO ONE program.