How to Budget for the 2017 Holiday Season

The holiday season can be an enjoyable time of year. People are decorating their homes, chopping down fresh Christmas trees, and making their wish list for Santa. You can assume everyone would be in the holiday cheer, but for some people, the challenge of buying presents looms large.

“It’s difficult to shop for everyone. Every year, sometimes, I feel like my list gets bigger. I get overwhelmed,” a Target customer at the Gateway Center in Brooklyn, Raenna Fukushima, from Bay Ridge said. “I appreciate my friends and family, and I want to get them something that is amazing, but I’m somehow always on a tight budget.”

Target offered several Black Friday deals and it was crowded as consumers maneuvered through the aisles.

Photo Courtesy of

“The hard part is finding the perfect gift,” Raenna said. “Sometimes you find the best sale items but the size is off, or you end up just giving up altogether because it gets crazy in some sections of the store.” So, how do people manage to budget their holiday shopping?

People who have the patience wait until Cyber Monday instead of hustling through Black Friday deals. And, for Target shoppers, Cyber Monday this year will continue all week long. The store will be offering different deals each day. And for consumers, like Raenna, this helps a lot.

“The only way I can get through the holiday season is by making a list. I start around September and by mid-November, I’m ready to go,” Raenna mentioned before heading to the checkout line. “The best advice I could give for those who are on a tight budget this year is: make a list, put money aside for gifts, and think outside the box. Nothing has to be generic.”

Here are five suggestions to help budget this holiday season:

1. List everyone you want to shop for.

Bloggers, Ashton and Shea of Million Ways to Mother suggested and made a Holiday Budget Planner. It’s printable! Use it to list everyone you want to shop for (friends, relatives, teachers, pets, etc.)


Printable Version, Millions Ways to Mother for FREE!


2. Look at your budget and determine how much you can afford. 


3. Divide your gift budget based on the people on your list.

Mom, dad, and grandma should be a priority. Your co-worker that sits next to you – eh, may not be. Look at who comes first before buying.


4. Get creative!

Don’t think about what looks cute or cheap. Think outside the box. Be creative. Sometimes the best gifts that are handmade or bought from a local mom-and-pop shop are the best options. (For example; or Blogger, Desiree at

Handmade Items


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Photo Courtesy of 

5. Make sure to track your spending.

The best way to not go overboard is to track what you are spending. Don’t throw out receipts. Tally up how much you’ve spent so far. This will help to give you an idea of how much you have left. You may have extra money for last minute gifts. 


Holiday Headquarters National Retail Federation (2)
Graph Chart by National Retail Federation


Don’t make this holiday season hectic. For more tips and tricks about holiday spending this season, check out our favorite hotspot, Pinterest. Pin and share your favorite ideas.


Practice Self-Love in College with Daybreaker Campus

Millennials living on their own in New York need a new way to get up and exercise in the morning. Yoga, music, and dance are just some of the ways students try to relieve stress – but what if you can do that with over 100 people before sunrise. Instead of going to the same old gym, get your heart pumping with a new form of self-expression with Daybreaker Campus.

The Daybreaker Campus experience includes an hour-long yoga session led by top fitness influencers in the wellness industry, followed by a two-hour dance party with world renowned DJs. Alcohol is not involved. Special guests have included finalists from NBC’s The Voice.

For more information on Daybreaker and how to get your school involved visit their website here. Let your campus be a place of self-expression.

Living as a Travel Blogger with Jen Morilla, a.k.a. The Social Girl Traveler

“I’ve learned to live my life. To take something that destroyed me and turn it into something that built me,” as Jen Morilla continues to impact change traveling around the world.

The Social Girl Traveler Photos
Photo Courtesy of @TheSocialGirlTraveler | Yosemite National Park, Feb. 4, 2017 “A girl could get use to this camper van life.” #jucyusa

A young Cuban-American, raised in New York, spends most of her time traveling the world. Morilla has been to 35 countries on six continents, has impacted over 2,000 people in five of those countries, and is well-known for her humanitarian work around the globe. At 22, Morilla graduated from Pace University and went on to study abroad in London to pursue a Master’s degree. In 2013, Morilla secured a marketing job in Manhattan. For two years, Morilla lived the “American dream.” It wasn’t enough.

In February 2015, Morilla quit her perfect job and steady income, sold her car, took her savings, and left. Her only plan was to fly across the Atlantic to Europe. With no job, friends or a place to live, Morilla had to think on her own two feet.

“People often ask, why did you leave home, what or who was behind it,” Morilla wrote in an article for HuffPost. The answer: a loss. Her best friend. The death of her youngest brother at 19 due to gun violence. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time. The numbness and pain felt unimaginable. Morilla needed to find that reason to live. She had hit rock bottom.

The Social Girl Traveler Photos (1)
Photo Courtesy of TheSocialGirlTraveler/Facebook in Machu Picchu, Peru on June 19, 2016

The moment Morilla knew life had changed was in April of 2015. She arrived at the mountaintop of El Camino De Santiago and cried. Emotions, physical pain, and understanding that this was her life came to a standstill. That moment was a new beginning. Morilla continued her journey from then on as The Social Girl Traveler.

The Social Girl Traveler started as a travel journal. A way for Morilla to document the incredible places she has been. She used social media, such as Instagram, as a way to express her creativity through photographs and video content. Blog posts, captions, and #hashtags were a way for her to express and connect with people outside the world. The idea of travel forced Morilla to step out of her comfort zone and learn about change.

“As a travel blogger, I am always changing. Leaving the old with the new,” Morilla wrote.

Morilla didn’t want to just travel when she started. She wanted to do something different. Known for volunteering back home and attending fundraisers, the option to make an impact was important to her. Through extensive amounts of research, Morilla became a Courier for Waves for Water. An organization that works with world leaders and strategic partners to provide clean water to communities in need around the world. Through training and learning how to assemble a water filter, Morilla was known as a “clean water courier.”

What Does The Social Girl Traveler Mean Do
Photo Courtesy of The Social Girl Traveler, Mexico |

Looking to create change, Morilla traveled to Indonesia, India, Nicaragua, Mexico, and Guatemala. She carried the clean water filters by Waves for Water and provided 27 filters between the 5 countries. Each filter providing clean water for 100 people for up to 5 years. Morilla’s goal, to reach 50,000 people in two years.

As a travel blogger, conversing with the locals, and taking photographs for Instagram can seem like a dream come true for people looking to leave reality behind, but Morilla explains that you work a lot, but for her, the word “work” doesn’t feel like it – if you love what you do.

“I’m a travel blogger whose purpose is to travel to create impact. I believe in changing the world and playing my part. I work a lot, but it doesn’t feel like ‘work.’ Yes, working is essentially how we survive, but it should be part of our lives, not take over them.”


With the capability to travel full-time, Morilla works with HuffPost, Elite Daily, and is known to be a social influencer. She does mentor young entrepreneurs the importance of exploring their “you.”

Morilla does miss home in New York. The option to travel consistently can have its low points. And, although it may seem that Morilla may have a picture perfect post, doesn’t mean that day was perfect.

“You miss a flight, or it’s delayed. The fear of losing something, such as a wallet. Emotions run wild when you are traveling solo. Things happen. But, I have a simple rule. Five minutes. Five minutes to be angry. Five minutes to complain or cry. Life keeps going.”


Photo Courtesy of @TheSocialGirlTraveler | New York City “I hope that when you see this you’ll think of me. I hope you’ll smile.” -Unknown Thankful for all the beautiful souls in my life!! #thankfulthursday

As Morilla continues her journey to explore, create long-lasting friendships, and saves the world one filter at a time, she wants young millennials to know that you can do whatever you want in life. You can’t let others stop you. Inspired to be an author, TV personality, and public speak, Morilla will do the best she can to follow her passion.

For information on The Social Traveler aka Jen Morilla, you can follow her on social media at The Social Girl Traveler, website at, or find out about her on the Waves for Water fundraiser for Puerto Rico by visiting the link here.