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(Shopping Guide) Valentine’s Day

valentine's day shopping

Valentine’s Day occurs every year on February 14th.

Valentine’s day has been around for a very long time, though how it all got started is less known. Regardless of how Valentine’s day all began, it’s a holiday full of love and appreciation for those who are most important to us.

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Valentine’s Day History

The origins of Valentine’s Day are shrouded in long forgotten legends and stories. It either began as the anniversary of Saint Valentine’s death or as a Christian adaption of an old Pagan holiday.

Saint Valentine was a priest during the era of Rome. It is said that the Roman emperor banned marriage for young men because he needed soldiers. But Saint Valentine continued to perform weddings in secret for young lovers. When his defiance was found out, he was killed.

Other legends say he was killed because he was helping Christian refugees escape Roman imprisonment. While imprisoned it’s said he fell in love and sent love letters from prison signed, “from your Valentine.” Now we use the name “Valentine” to refer to someone we care about or love dearly.

But Valentine’s Day could also have Pagan origins from the festival of Lupercalia. This Pagan festival was celebrated on February 15th. It was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, and Romulus and Remus. As they did with many pagan holidays, the Catholic church made their own holiday during the Pagan festival of Lupercalia.

Whatever the true story is, the idea of valentine’s day is that it’s a day of romance, confessions, and affirmations.

valentines day gift

There are many ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day. It’s a holiday that can be whatever you want it to be!

You can celebrate Valentine’s Day by practicing some self-love, buying yourself something you want, having a relaxing day at home, or going out with friends. It can also be spent with a special someone on a nice Valentine’s Day date, or with friends and family that you care about.

However you choose to spend your Valentine’s Day, there might be Valentine’s Day gifts you’d like to buy to show your love and appreciation for those you care about. And if you really want to go all out this year, but need some financial help to do so, you can take out a Check City Personal Loan.

Below we’ll go over the most popular Valentine’s Day flowers and gift ideas for everyone!

Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for Her

Whether you need a special gift for your mother, your wife, or your girlfriend, these gift ideas are sure to wow the special woman in your life.

  • Jewelry
  • Clothes
  • Organizers
  • Makeup
  • Vanity mirror
  • Tech she wants
  • Beauty products
  • Spa gift basket
  • Personalized or custom made gifts

Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for Him

When buying a gift for a special someone in your life, the point is to show how much you cherish them. Sometimes this will mean getting them something they’ve been wanting, rather than something strictly romantic.

  • Massage gun or foam roller
  • Clothes
  • Custom made or custom engraved gifts
  • Beauty product gift baskets for men
  • Video games
  • Tech he wants

Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for Kids

Nieces, nephews, cousins, and your own children are also great Valentine’s Day gift recipients. They’ll love getting little gifts to remind them how special they are.

  • Games
  • Toys
  • Fun shirts
  • Books
  • Craft kits
  • Stuffed animals
  • Candy

Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for Coworkers

Coworkers can be some of the most appreciative Valentine’s Day recipients. Many of them probably won’t expect anything from you, so getting a valentine’s gift from a fellow coworker can be a fun surprise to brighten up their workday.

  • Engraved wallet
  • Mugs
  • Socks
  • Calendar
  • Desk toys, decor, or plants
  • Games
  • Designer office supplies

Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for Friends

Your friends deserve some extra appreciation on Valentine’s Day as well. They’ve been there for you through thick and thin and Valentine’s Day is the perfect day to thank them with a gift.

  • Games
  • Food
  • Puzzles
  • Gift box
  • Gift cards for restaurants
  • Custom friendship memorabilia

Gift Ideas for Galentine’s Day

As the world evolves we realize things like, having a boyfriend or a husband doesn’t determine a woman’s self-worth. That’s why Galentine’s Day was created, to remind women everywhere that self-love is just as important as romantic love.

For similar reasons, a day like Guyentine’s Day could be created! To let men everywhere know that their own self-love is just as important as the love they receive from others.

  • Funny shirts or socks
  • Book
  • Mug
  • Journal
  • Self-care gift basket
  • Trip to a salon
  • Lady’s night out
  • Guy’s night out

Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for Pets

As a society, our relationship with our pets is changing. We see them more as family members now and want to treat them as such. For this reason, Valentine’s Day is also a great day to buy something special for the furry friend in your life!

  • Fun clothes
  • Car seat
  • Blanket
  • New toy
  • New treat
  • Ball that rolls itself
  • Nanny cam for pets

Shop at Walmart by Clicking Here

At Walmart, you can get all kinds of Valentine’s Day goodies. They have chocolates, candies, stuffed animals, flowers, and even jewelry!

Shop at Target by Clicking Here

Target has stuff to help make your Valentine’s Day party a blast! You can find fun Valentine’s Day cards for the kids to pass out in class, exchange candies, and cute Valentine’s Day mailboxes to keep everything in!

Shop at Anthropologie by Clicking Here

Anthropologie is a popular place to get your Valentine something really nice. They have fragrant candles, beautiful dresses with Valentine’s Day colors, red jeweled earrings, and more!

Shop at Nordstrom Rack by Clicking Here

Nordstrom Rack is a great place to find quality items for your sweetheart at reasonable prices. You can get matching Valentine’s Day mugs, Valentino perfume, and deluxe candy boxes to make your lover swoon.

Shop on Amazon by Clicking Here

Right now you can watch Amazon Live, sponsored by Hallmark to see first hand the kind of great items you can get for your loved one on Valentine’s Day. Some of the most popular items include a Dash mini heart-shaped waffle maker, a Hamilton Beach digital air fryer oven, and a Wilton chocolate fountain.

Shop at Hallmark by Clicking Here

Hallmark has been a staple brand for cards and gifts for a long time. At Hallmark, you can find thoughtful gifts for under $10, $20, or $30.

Valentine’s Day Flowers and Their Meanings

valentines day flowers

Here we’ll go over a complete guide to Valentine’s Day flowers, so you can figure out the perfect flower arrangement full of thoughtfulness and meaning.

Rose

Roses are by far, one of the most romantic flowers to receive on Valentine’s Day. They also come in a wide range of colors and meanings if you want to get poignant with your Valentine bouquet.

Rose Color Meaning
White Rose: innocence
Red Rose: love
Pink Rose: sweetness
Yellow Rose: friendship
Orange Rose: desire or admiration
Lavender Rose: love at first sight or enchantment
Tulip

Tulips are an elegant flower that can come in literally any color. They are the perfect flower to show sophistication along with simple beauty. Tulips generally signify perfect love, so you can easily just get a bouquet in the recipient’s favorite color.

Tulip Color Meaning
Red Tulip: true love
Purple Tulip: royalty
White Tulip: forgiveness
Yellow Tulip: cheerfulness
Lily

Lilies are a striking flower that can’t help but be noticed. As a whole, the lily flowers represents devotion and purity. They are also associated with motherhood and rebirth, so if you’re looking for a flower to give the mother of your children, this is the flower for you.

Lily Color Meaning
Calla Lily: faithfulness
Day Lily: a mother’s devotion
White Lily: virtue
Pink Stargazer Lily: prosperity
Red Lily: passion
Orange Tiger Lily: confidence
Carnation

Carnations are the perfect gift to get someone who was born in the month of January since carnations are the birth flower of that month. But they are a flower that also comes in many many colors with lots of different meanings you could use.

Carnation Color Meaning
Red Carnation: love
White Carnation: pure love
Pink Carnation: gratitude
Purple Carnation: impulsive
Orchid

Orchids are a wonderful plant to get someone who loves to decorate their home and who wants to keep their flower for a long time. When cared for orchids can continue to bloom for years to come.

Orchid Color Meaning
White Orchid: elegance
Purple Orchid: admiration
Yellow Orchid: friendship
Baby’s Breath

Though the baby’s breath flower doesn’t come in many colors, it is a common flower used to fill out beautiful flower arrangements. It is a symbol of everlasting love and the sincerity of someone’s feelings.

Daisy

The daisy is a bright and cheerful flower that stands for innocence, purity, and cheerfulness.

Chrysanthemum

Chrysanthemums are a popular flower. They make very full bouquets and can effortlessly adorn the inside and outside of your home.

Chrysanthemum Color Meaning
White Chrysanthemum: devoted love
Red Chrysanthemum: deep passion
Violet Chrysanthemum: get-well soon
Iris

The iris may be one of the most regal looking flowers. They have an elegant, royal look that can be perfect for representing your feelings this Valentine’s Day.

Iris Color Meaning
Purple Iris: wisdom
Yellow Iris: passion
Blue Iris: faith
White Iris: purity

The possibilities for how you can celebrate this day of love are vast. There are gifts and flowers for every situation. Use this guide to help you plan your Valentine’s Day to really make it special this year.


Cheap Weekend Getaways on a Budget

Weekend Getaways on a Budget

Sometimes a long vacation far away can actually be more exhausting than relaxing.

That’s why a weekend trip somewhere near you can actually be more rejuvenating.

Not only that but weekend trips are less expensive, you don’t have to take time off, and it can be just what you need to prevent burnout and keep your energies and spirits up.

The Best Weekend Getaways

The best weekend getaways cater to your personal preferences and desires so you can get the most out of your short trip.

Some people are looking for weekend getaways near me, where they can be close to home but still take a break from their lives. Others are looking for cheap weekend getaways, so they can enjoy a vacation without spending too much. Then there are people looking for group weekend getaways or the best weekend getaways for couples.

Different people look for different things in a vacation. Some people are history buffs and want to see some historical sites and go on tours. Others will want to go where there is lively music, or botanical gardens where they can walk and be with nature.

Other people have specific requirements for their vacation. If you have kids you might need a family-friendly option, or if you’re a couple you might want something more romantic.
Start asking yourself what kind of vacationer you are before you get started on any solid plans.

Take a moment to sit down and write a list of things you must have in a weekend getaway. This can help you decide the key elements of your weekend trip budget.

Make a Budget

weekend trip costs

The more days you stay away the more your trip will cost.

Which is why weekend trips are so great! You can vacation without breaking the bank simply by leaving for fewer days.

According to Budget Your Trip the average daily cost of a vacation for just one person comes to about $224. This means that a 2 day vacation would cost $448, a 3 day vacation would cost $672, and a longer 4 day vacation would cost $896.

But you can save even more on a weekend getaway by cutting areas of your budget and making smart, money-saving choices.

Download a Free Printable PDF for a Weekend Getaway Budget.

weekend trip budget

A vacation budget usually includes at least 4 categories.

Transportation, lodging, food, and entertainment.

According to ValuePenguin the average cost of transportation for 4 nights is $224, lodgings are $150, food is $155, and entertainment is $52. A 4 night trip, from Friday to Monday, can cost a total of $581.

These 4 budget sections are what you’ll need to figure out before going on vacation. Though there may be other things to consider depending on your personal preferences. For example, you might want to add a souvenir budget or create separate budgets for each person going on the trip.

Transportation

transportation

As with any trip, you’ll need to figure out what transportation you’ll use, how much it will cost, and how you can save in this category.

The farther from home you go the more expensive transportation costs are going to be. This doesn’t mean you can’t go far away for your weekend trip, it just means transportation will take up a larger portion of your budget if you do. You might have to make sacrifices in other areas of your budget, like which hotel you stay at if you want to go somewhere farther away.

Since it’s just a weekend trip, longer trips will also take up more of the little time you have to get away that weekend. But if you go somewhere close by, then you’ll have even more time to enjoy your destination. Try going on a road trip instead of flying since driving is generally cheaper than plane tickets.

You should also try and book accommodations that aren’t too far away from everything. That way you can easily walk, ride bikes, or use trails like the boardwalk or river walk to get wherever you want to go while on vacation.

Lodging

lodgings

If you book your accommodations well in advance then you are more likely to snag some deals.

If you want to get in the habit of taking weekend trips, then try getting into the habit of researching prices every so often. That way you’ll see when prices go up and down.

You can also save on lodgings by choosing Airbnbs, hostels, or campgrounds to stay at instead of expensive hotels. If you go on trips very often, then investing in a trailer or some quality camping gear could actually save you money in the long term.

Food

food

Eating out can easily become the most expensive part of a vacation. But you can save tons of money on food by packing your own meals and snacks.

No matter where you end up staying you can always bring your own food. If you’re going camping you can pack food bags and coolers full of nonperishable foods. If you’re going to a hotel or Airbnb you can find one with a kitchenette so you can make your own meals instead of spending tons of money eating out.

But remember to keep item number 1 in mind! Maybe eating out while traveling is a big part of a vacation for you. If this is the case, then just calculate restaurant expenses into your weekend getaway budget.

Entertainment

entertainment

There’s nothing more disappointing than coming back from a trip where you didn’t have time for everything you wanted to do.

You don’t want your weekend trip to feel like a waste of time. There might be specific things you want to do to entertain yourself while on vacation, like see a movie, go to a specific restaurant, see a show, go on a guided tour, or visit the zoo.

Create a vacation schedule for yourself so you don’t miss out on anything or unexpectedly spend money on tickets for something once you get there. By creating a schedule for entertainment ahead of time, you’ll know how you’re spending your weekend and how much each activity will cost. That way you can include your fun in your budget and not feel bad later for spending more than you thought you would.

Entertainment can also be the most flexible part of your budget and an easy place to cut costs. Maybe instead of paying for an expensive tour you pick up a cheaper tour guide booklet and see the sites yourself. Or maybe you can find free things to do like go to a public beach or nature park.

Download a Free Printable for a Weekend Getaway Schedule.

More Weekend Vacation Budget Tips

weekend getaway tips and tricks

Now that you know how to save on your 4 key weekend budget categories, let’s go over some other ways to trim your weekend budget.

1. Split the Costs

One great way to get the most out of a weekend vacation while still saving money is to bring a group of people and split the cost. By renting a cabin with a bunch of friends or family members, you can stay at a really nice place for a much more reasonable price.

Transportation costs can also be alleviated by inviting friends to tag along and help pay for gas.

2. Pack Light

Packing light will not only make your life easier, but it can save you in the long run. By not packing too much you won’t lose as many items in the hustle and bustle of traveling.

You also won’t have to pay extra traveling fees for having tons of luggage.

3. Don’t Spend Money Once You’re There

If you plan carefully and bring your own things, you can get away with not spending money once you reach your destination. Eat your own food and bring your own entertainment.

There are plenty of things you can do for free on vacation, like outdoor activities or going to state parks. You might actually enjoy just reading a good book by the poolside instead of filling your weekend with expensive and busy activities.

4. Look for All-Inclusive Options

Some resorts and cruises can be all-inclusive, meaning that you pay for your stay and they provide everything else. All-inclusive trips can also give you the best deal since one payment will pay for all categories of your budget. All you have to worry about is showing up.

5. Put Vacations in Your Budget Now

Planning ahead will always save you more, and that includes planning for your vacations now. Put away a little money each month into a fund just for trips. Then once you have enough to cover your vacation budget you can go, relax, have fun, and not worry about the money your spending because you saved it all up specifically for this.

6. Use a Prepaid Debit Card

Have trouble budgeting your spending once you’re there? Just get a Prepaid Debit Card and use that for spending on vacation. With a prepaid debit card, you won’t be able to go over budget and can protect yourself from your own money spending habits.

7. Long Weekends

Plan to go on vacation during a long weekend. That way you don’t have to use paid time off, and you can get an extra day or two of relaxation and fun into your weekend. Having a long weekend to look forward to can also make work more bearable, and give you a time frame for saving up.

8. Most Popular Weekend Getaway Locations

If you want to travel somewhere really popular, you definitely want to look for deals. You can use websites like kayak, travelocity, trivago, or airbnb to find deals on transportation, lodgings, and fun times. You can also use sites like the Crazy Tourist to see reviews about popular places and help you decide where to go and what to see on your trip.

Here are some examples of how you can use these sites to your advantage.

Getaways in San Diego

Trips to Santa Barbara

San Antonio Vacation Packages from $658

Las Vegas Weekend Break Hotels

15 Best Romantic (Weekend) Getaways in Rhode Island

New York City Weekend Breaks

Best Weekend Deals Los Angeles

San Francisco Cheap Vacations


Cold Weather Deals from Amazon

amazon daily deals

At Check City we understand that often times we depend on sales to get the things we need. Apply for a Check City Payday Loan and you can get even more help paying for the things you need, when you need them.

Take a look at Amazon’s Daily Deals, any day of the week by visiting the Today’s Deals tab when you go on Amazon. There you will find unique deals every single day of the week. Listed below are the Daily Deals posted for today!

*The prices shown below are the sale prices listed at the time of posting.

Evlution Preworkout Powder

daily deals

Current Sale Price: $19.99
Originally: $34.99
You Save: $15.00 (43% off!)

Evlution Nutrition has a preworkout powder that you can put in your drink or smoothie. It has everything you could want in your workout fuel. It helps stimulate mental focus, helps keep you energized, and even comes with essential amino acids. Right now Evlution is having Amazon sales on all their preworkout powders so you can get all kinds of sizes and flavors.

Heated Hoodie

daily deals

Current Sale Price: $99.99
Originally: $129.99
You Save: $30.00 (23% off!)

Ororo has a heated unisex hoodie with a battery pack so you can easily stay warm and comfortable. The heated jacket has 3 heating zones and 3 heating levels so you can even adjust the warmth of your jacket. And don’t worry about it being too heavy because it’s a heated jacket, it’s still lightweight and made with stylish, comfortable fabric.

Kid Crafts

daily deals

Save up to 58%!

Save big on fun arts and crafts for kids. These crafts make great gifts and come with kits that have everything you need. Kids can make bracelets, weave on a loom, or paint a sculpture!

Anker Charging Accessories

daily deals

Save up to 38%!

Anker is having deals today on all their charging accessories. They have a portable power bank you can use to charge on the go. There’s also a wireless charging stand, and a wireless car charging stand.

Zojirushi Coffee Maker, Mugs, and Lunch Boxes

daily deals

Save up to 58%!

Zojirushi is having a sale today as well, on a lot of their products. You can get a complete lunchbox set with a lunch bag, and lunch Tupperware. You can also get a coffee maker that can hold up to 10 cups and stylish thermoses of all sizes and colors.

Laptops, Monitors, and Desktops

daily deals

Save up to 41%!

Amazon’s final sale today is on laptops, monitors, and desktops. Optimize your workspace by getting a new laptop or a new or second monitor so you can easily get all your work done. They even have the ever-popular curved monitor for the best viewing.


Tax Scams 2020: A Comprehensive Guide

tax scam guide

In 2018, the IRS had 649,000 confirmed cases of fraudulent tax returns from scammers trying to steal over $3 billion in tax refunds.

There are a lot of new and old ways being used to trick taxpayers and tax preparers alike. Like fake emails and phone calls, or even holding important documents they’ve stolen up for ransom. But the IRS is doing everything they can to protect taxpayer’s personal information and weed out scammers.

Protecting your information and important documents is the key to avoiding tax scams. Knowing a thing or two about what tax scammers are doing and how they’re doing it can also help you spot a scammer before you get taken advantage of.

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What are Tax Scams?

A tax scam is when someone uses tax season to steal private information. Many tax scams try and steal your personal information so they can file your taxes before you do, and claim your tax refund for themselves.

How to Tell if Something is a Scam

There’s not a worse feeling in the world than getting fooled by a scammer. Avoid letting this happen to you by first understanding what scammers want. They want to get you to pay for fraudulent services or they want your personal information. Second, learn to recognize the characteristics of a scam before it tricks you.

  • They will try and make you panic
  • They will try and get you to download something
  • They will try and get you to click on links
  • They will want you to pay in prepaid debit cards, gift cards, or wire transfers
  • They will demand immediate action and try to rush you
  • Their site won’t be secure
  • They will contact you in a way that the IRS won’t, like through emails, phone calls, or texts
  • Their promises will sound (and be) too good to be true

Common Tax Scams

The official website of the IRS is a great place to go for information and resources about tax scams. This year the IRS published a list of tax scams they call the “Dirty Dozen.” Here’s a brief recap of the tax scams you’ll want to look out for and what you should do if one of these tax scams hit you.

1. Berkheimer Tax Innovations Scam

Berkheimer Tax Administrator Services is an example of taxpayers receiving concerning letters in the mail about their taxes. They are one tax preparation company that has received a lot of flax for less than ideal business practices. Many of their customers have complained to the Better Business Bureau about receiving strange letters saying they owed delinquent taxes and asking for payment.

Be careful where you choose to file your taxes. When researching tax service providers you can always check their status on the Better Business Bureau’s website to make sure you aren’t falling prey to a scammy or fraudulent company.

2. IRS Tax Scam

Some tax scams will try and pretend they are the IRS in order to get you to pay them or give them information. This is also called phishing.

Phishing is when a tax scammer sends out emails or even creates a fake website to trick people into thinking they are the IRS. But the IRS directly states on their official website that they “will never initiate contact with taxpayers via email about a bill or tax refund.”

So if you receive an email claiming to be from the IRS, you can immediately know it’s a scam and report it. Do not click on any links or respond to any emails claiming to be from the IRS. By interacting with a fake email from the IRS you can jeopardize your computer and your personal information.

The IRS directly states on their official website that they will never do the following:

  • The IRS will not call you demanding immediate payment through a prepaid debit card, gift card, or wire transfer. If you do owe the IRS money, they will first mail you a bill, and you will never pay the IRS through prepaid debit cards, gift cards, or wire transfers. Scammers like to use these forms of payment because they are difficult to track.
  • The IRS will never threaten to have you arrested.
  • The IRS will never demand payment without allowing you to question or appeal what you owe.
  • The IRS will never ask you to give them your credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
  • The IRS will never suddenly call you about an unexpected refund for you.
3. Tax Evasion Scam

There are several forms of Tax evasion scams you should be aware of. These types of scams will try and sell programs to help you avoid paying taxes.

Offshore Tax Avoidance

One tax scam is to try and hide income offshore in order to avoid paying taxes on them. If you’ve been involved in any offshore tax avoidance, the best thing you can do is voluntarily catch up on your taxes to make things right.

Frivolous Tax Arguments

Some tax scammers will try convincing you to take part in frivolous tax arguments to try and avoid paying taxes. These cases are repeatedly thrown out in court, no matter what the tax scammer might say.

Abusive Tax Shelters

There are people who create complex tax avoidance schemes and then sell them to unsuspecting members of the public. Be aware that there are tax scammers like these, trying to peddle too-good-to-be-true schemes, plans, programs, or shelters.

4. Tax Fraud Scam

Other scammers will try and encourage taxpayers to fake information on their tax return in order to get certain benefits.

Return Preparer Fraud

Be careful when choosing a tax preparer or tax filing service. Make sure the website is secure and that the tax filing service is trustworthy and legitimate. Many scammers will try to pose as tax preparers to get ahold of your precious personal information and documents.

Find an established tax preparer you can trust, like Check City Tax Services, where you can file your taxes in a timely manner and know your documents and personal information are secure.

Inflated Refund Claims
Be careful if you are being promised an inflated tax refund, or if your tax preparer tries to get you to sign a blank return. When promises seem too good to be true, they often are. Trust this instinct and avoid scammers who will try and reel you in by promising larger than life tax refunds.

Falsifying Income to Claim Credits
Never trust a tax preparer that tries to convince you to falsify information on your tax record. All information on your tax return should be accurate. If someone tries to convince you otherwise, like that you received more income than you actually did, they are lying to you. Scams like these will lead you to pay large bills and penalties back to the IRS.

Falsely Padding Deductions on Returns
Again, all the information on your tax returns should be accurate. Do not inflate your deductions or expenses in order to pay less in taxes or get a larger tax refund. If your tax preparer is trying to work this way, then you should move your tax filing business elsewhere.

Fake Charities
Beware of fake charities. Sometimes you can recognize a fake charity because they will try and use similar names to well-known charities in order to confuse you. Donating to a worthy cause is a great thing to do, but not if you don’t take the time to double-check that the charity is real.

Excessive Claims for Business Credits
Be careful not to claim tax credits that you don’t actually qualify for. The fuel tax credit or the research credit are examples of tax credits you more than likely don’t actually qualify for. Make sure you fully understand each tax credit before trying to claim one.

5. Tax Scam Calls

You might receive a phone call from a person claiming to be an IRS agent. These fake IRS agents may even threaten you over the phone with legal action, police arrests, deportation, or license confiscation, but these threats are empty. They are only trying to make you think you are in trouble so that you panic and give them what they want.

If you receive a phone call from someone claiming to be an IRS agent and trying to do any of the following things, you can rest assured it is a scam and feel free to hang up and block that number.

6. Identity Theft

Some criminals will try and use the tax season to steal identities. One of the primary ways that someone can steal your identity is by getting their hands on your social security number or card. Then they can pretend to be you and try to claim your tax refund.

Keep your personal information safe by never revealing your social security number to anyone, and by keeping your social security card in a safe and secure location. It is also a good idea to memorize your social security number so that you don’t need to carry your card in your wallet where it’s more likely to get stolen.

How to Report a Scam

If you come across a Tax scam or fall prey to one, then you’re going to want to know how to report it.

First, fill out a 14039 form and send it into the IRS.

If you have any other questions about how to report any kind of tax scam you can find the information you need on the IRS website, Tax Scams – How to Report Them.

You can also visit the official website of the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) and Social Security Administration.

How Do I Know If I’ve Been Hacked?

One way to know if you’ve been hacked by a tax scammer is when you have trouble filing your taxes. Tax scammers often try and e-file your taxes before you do in order to snag your refund for themselves. You’ll then be unable to e-file your own taxes because the tax scammer already did it.

So if the IRS denies an e-file be wary, it could be a garden-variety error that you can go back and fix, but you should be able to successfully resubmit it if there was just a minor error.

 

Tax scams may seem scary but once you learn to recognize them, you’ll easily avoid being duped. Just be sure to protect your personal information and always be cautious in all your dealings. It’s always better to be overly safe than to wind up being sorry later.


The Master Guide to Winter Workouts

winter workouts

Staying active in winter may seem impossible, but with some key tips and tricks you can get back on track and enjoy your healthiest and happiest winter yet.

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Winter is one of the hardest times to work out. Winter has some major eating holidays, it’s cold outside, it’s dark outside, the days are shorter, and you feel sleepy and full of food all the time! But all of this is why it is so important to stay active in winter and avoid being too stagnant during this season.

Tips for Staying Active in Winter

exercise tips

Staying active when it’s cold and dark outside is difficult, and understandably so. Around 17.3 million adults in the U.S. alone suffer from depression and 10% to 20% of those cases are affected by the seasons—like winter. The cold, dark days of winter can really deter us from staying positive and active. But with a few key tips, you can make your life a little easier and help make working out in winter a little easier too.

1. Make Future Plans

By making future plans for the spring and summer you can find your winter workout motivation! Summer plans will give you something to work toward during the winter. This can be anything from a beach vacation to signing up for a marathon.

2. Set Up an At-Home Workout Space

Having a designated space in your home to work out can really help make exercising during the winter easier. You don’t even have to dedicate a whole room to your at-home gym space. Just set up some at-home weights and a yoga mat in an assigned bin near your TV so you can do a short daily workout video and have everything you need right there.

3. Invest in Indoor Equipment

Sometimes the biggest obstacle to working out in winter is getting yourself out the door to go to the gym. Solve this problem by investing in some indoor gym equipment for your own home. Then you don’t have to spend additional time traveling to the gym in order to work out each day. You can even take out a payday loan to help buy the indoor workout equipment you need.

4. Get a Gym Membership

Another way to get yourself going to the gym is to sign up for a gym membership. Ideally, you should choose a gym that is close to home or close to your work. This way your gym will be on the way so you can easily plan a stop to the gym on your daily schedule. You can even keep a locker at your gym so you’ll have all your shoes and workout clothes already there.

5. Find a Workout Buddy

Support is an important part of achieving any goal. A workout friend can help keep you accountable, motivated, and positive as you work toward your physical health goals.

Examples of Indoor Winter Workouts

at home workouts

Just because the outdoors are full of ice and snow, that doesn’t mean you can’t stay plenty active from the warmth and comfort of the indoors.

1. Sign Up for Indoor Sports

There are plenty of indoor sports teams you can join. You can even start your own team with friends! Sports don’t have to be professional or competitive, they can also just be for fun, socializing, and staying in shape. You can also do other indoor sports alone like swimming at the local indoor pool or rock climbing.

2. Use Workout Videos

Workout videos can be a fantastic way to get moving from the convenience of your living room. You can even find free workout videos on YouTube like Fitness Blender. There are plenty of expertly designed workout videos and subscriptions you can purchase as well, like Daily Burn.

3. Do Yoga Circuits

Yoga isn’t just for stretching, it has many great health benefits as a daily workout. Yoga with Adriene are free yoga workout videos you can find on YouTube to get you started.

4. Go Dancing

Sign up for a dance class and learn some cool skills while you workout! You can even find ways to teach yourself how to dance by watching videos or playing games like Just Dance!

5. Do Some Deep Cleaning

Yes, you heard right. You can get your house in order while you sweat by doing some intense spring cleaning early. Make cleaning into more of a workout by doing creative things like core twists while you mop the floor or lifting heavy baskets like they are weights.

6. Create Your Own Workout

Instead of using workout videos you can create your own workout routine with all your favorite moves. Here are a few to get you started:

  • Crunches
  • Plank
  • Mountain climbers
  • High knees
  • High kicks
  • Sidekicks
  • Pushups
  • Lunges
  • Squats
  • Jump rope
  • Jumping jacks
  • Stairs
  • Weights

Examples of Outdoor Winter Workouts

outdoor workouts

If you are going to exercise outside in winter then there are a few things you need to do to stay safe and be prepared.

  • Do extra-long warmups
  • Wear layers
  • Protect your extremities
  • Wear sunscreen
  • Wear Sunglasses to protect your eyes from the glare off the snow
  • Stay hydrated
  • Wear the right shoes and be careful of slipping on ice
1. Go Skiing

Skiing isn’t just fun it’s also a workout! It’s a sport you can do in winter that will give you a full-body workout.

2. Ski Uphill

Skiing uphill is also known as skinning or alpine touring. It involves placing a “skin” to the base of skis so you don’t slide backward and can in essence ski uphill. Snow adds some extra resistance to this uphill exercise making it a doozy of a workout.

3. Go Snowboarding

Another great winter sport to do is snowboarding. It can keep you occupied for hours, you can socialize with friends, and get an intense core workout in!

4. Trail Running

Trail running isn’t only for warmer months. You can still jog your favorite trails in winter, just make sure you layer up accordingly and beware of ice!

5. Hiking

Activities like hiking can be really fun to do in winter because it’s cold out and the sun isn’t as intense. Winter hikes can actually be more pleasant because you won’t be fighting the sun or the heat.

6. Sledding

Sledding isn’t just for children! It can be good for adults too. Not only that but you can have fun with the kids in your life all while getting an awesome workout into your day.

7. Ice Skating

Ice skating is a great activity because you can easily do it with friends or on your own. While ice skating you work unique muscles in your legs and abdomen. You can even take an ice skating class and learn some impressive new moves to show your friends.

8. Shovel Snow

This might seem like a chore but it doesn’t have to just be a chore. You can change your perspective on shoveling snow and include it in your workout regime.

9. Play in the Snow

There is a lot of fun to be had out in the snow. You can have a snowball fight, build a snowman, create an igloo, or pull each other around in sleds.

10. Snow Shoeing

Snow adds weight resistance that you can use to your advantage. Going on a walk in the snow can burn even more calories than if you were walking without snow.


Staying active is important for an endless amount of reasons. Physical fitness isn’t just important to your physical health but to your mental and emotional wellbeing as well. Don’t let your physical health plans fall by the wayside this winter by using these tips to finally win at winter workouts.


Amazon’s Year-End Deals

amazon deals

Amazon has become a site renowned for having everything. But with so much available on Amazon’s website it can be hard to find the deals you’re looking for!

Thankfully, Amazon takes care of that problem for you by showing all their daily sales right now featured under Amazon’s Year-End Deals. If you need help making important purchases before the year ends, then use a Check City Personal Loan so you don’t have to miss out when the sales are good.

*The prices shown below are the sale prices listed at the time of posting.

Motivational Water Bottle

water bottle

Current Sale Price: $15.85
Originally: $19.95
You Save: $4.10 (21% off!)

This motivational water bottle comes in 2 sizes, 64 ounces and 1 gallon. The sale going on today is for the 64-ounce water bottle, which should be plenty big enough to get your needed water intake each day. This water bottle is unique because it has an ergonomic, user-friendly design, with time markers on the side that let you know how much you should be drinking throughout the day. Staying hydrated is important to staying healthy, and with this effectively designed water bottle you can easily do both.

Blood Pressure Monitor

blood pressure monitor

Current Sale Price: $21.99
Originally: $159.95 to $32.99
You Save: $11.00 (33% off!)

Another way to get back into shape and stay healthy is to monitor things like your blood pressure. With this inexpensive blood pressure monitor, you can keep track of your own blood pressure at home! It’s extremely easy to use and will also let you know your heart rate. You can also store your measurements on the device so you can track how you’re doing and even bring your blood pressure record into the doctor’s office.

Resistance Exercise Bands

exercise bands

Current Sale Price: $8.33
Originally: $10.90
You Save: $2.57 (24% off!)

Working out can be hard to do when you have to leave your home to do it. Take away that problem by getting work out equipment you can easily use at home! This pack of 5 resistance loop bands can be used for stretching, strength training, physical therapy exercises, and so much more. They also come in a variety of colors you can choose and have an anti-slip design so that they’re incredibly easy and safe to use.

Mop and Broom Holder

broom holder

Current Sale Price: $11.04
Originally: $20.00
You Save: $8.96 (45% off!)

Don’t just get your physical fitness life together, get the organization you’ve been wanting in your life with this wall organizer. You can use it to store your cleaning supplies like mops, brooms, and dusters. You can also use it to better organize the garage. It can hold up to 11 items total with 5 holders and 6 hooks. This track organizer can change your life for the better, getting needed things around the house in better order so your life can become a little less hectic.

Car Phone Mount

phone mount

Current Sale Price: $10.99
Originally: $7.47
You Save: $3.52 (32% off!)

We use our phones for so much these days that they’ve even become a bit of a necessity in the car. We use our phones to play music, take calls on the road via Bluetooth, and help us navigate to where we’re going. But all of this is hard to do, and dangerous too, if you don’t have something to mount your phone onto. With this cell phone holder, you can use your phone to easily navigate around without having to take your hands away from the steering wheel.


READ MORE

Make clothes shopping not just easier, but cheaper too, by doing your clothes shopping online, “Shopping for Your Clothes Online.”

Get ahead on your Christmas shopping this year, “4 Reasons to Start Early Christmas Shopping.”

Learn how to get thrifty with all your gift shopping this season, “Thrifty Gift Shopping.”

Read all about the post-Christmas online shopping addiction and how to you can save yourself from overbuying this year, “The Post-Christmas Online Shopping Addiction.”

Save on all your holiday shopping with these tips, “Saving while Online Shopping for the Holidays.”


How to Make and Keep New Year Resolutions this Year

Explore this Article

new year wishes

The New Year is a significant time for a lot of people. A whole new year is beginning with a whole new you waiting ahead!

The new year is a time of new beginnings and fresh starts for us all. Many of us will attempt to make new year resolutions to better ourselves and our lives this coming year. We see the new year holiday as an opportunity to celebrate the past year and look hopefully toward the year to come. New Years Eve may be one of the most hopeful nights of the year as we start over with the dawn of a whole new beginning.

New Year Resolution Ideas

Have you decided what your new year resolutions are going to be? If not, here are some common new year resolution ideas that you could choose from.

  1. Work on physical health
  2. Work on mental health
  3. Get more organized
  4. Save money
  5. Get out of debt
  6. Quit bad habits
  7. Stick to a budget
  8. Travel
  9. Read more
  10. Find a better job

new year goals

1. Work on physical health
Every body needs to learn good, healthy habits to keep their bodies fit and strong. This goal works for everyone since we can all do a little more to take care of our physical health, whether that means eating better, working out more, or both.

2. Work on mental health
This goal also works for everyone since we can all always do a little more to take care of our mental and emotional wellbeing. Self-care is important and can make accomplishing other goals a lot easier. Mental wellness goals can be anything from resolving to visit a therapist to doing morning yoga for a happier morning routine.

3. Get more organized
Organizing and decluttering your life is another goal that can make keeping other goals easier. Maybe you want to focus on planning more productive days. Or maybe your office space, bedroom, or garage could use a major cleaning and organizing overhaul. This can be a great goal to make as a family to rearrange and reorganize your home and your lives together.

keep new year resolutions guide

4. Save money
We’d all like to save more money, but making this an actual new year resolution might be the focus you need to really make it happen. You can save money in many ways: 1) reduce spending by getting rid of some monthly payments, 2) get a better paying job or a second job, or 3) learn to stick to a budget that allows you to save more money.

5. Get out of debt
Debt can bog down all aspects of our lives. It can keep us from getting the things we need and moving forward with important life steps. Resolve to get rid of debts this year and make an airtight financial plan for how you’ll do it. Maybe this year you can decide to go without certain things so you can afford the bigger payments to bring down your debts faster.

6. Quit bad habits
Bad habits come in all shapes and sizes. You might want to quit smoking this year, or maybe you just want to quit eating junk food. One key trick to quitting bad habits is figuring out how to replace bad habits with better habits to fill the void the bad habit was filling.

7. Stick to a budget
Creating a budget and sticking to it can be a really difficult goal to accomplish. To finally learn to stick to your budget, try focusing on one aspect of your budget at a time in order to more slowly learn how to live according to that budget. This way you’ll take things slower and not fail due to being overwhelmed.

8. Travel more
Traveling can be a great way to expand your views, learn about the world, and learn about yourself. Make sure that in your goal planning you remember to account for time and costs. You might need to use PTO days at work and plan accordingly. There will also be travel costs like gas, tickets, hotels, or whatever else you’ll need to make your traveling plans actually happen. You can also make use of a Check City Installment Loan in your travel budget to help with costs. Plan to prepare before you plan to travel.

9. Read more
Reading is an important hobby we often forget about in our busy lives. To remind yourself to read this coming year create your own reading list. Keep in mind your own reading pace and schedule out your planned reading for the year on a calendar. You can even form a book club and read together with friends.

10. Find a better job
Money might not buy happiness but a good job can make all the difference in your personal and financial life. Finding a better job might be an important goal this year if you’re struggling to not live paycheck to paycheck. It might also be an important goal if the environment at your current job is less than ideal, or if your commute is too long.

How to Set Goals

set goals
Making goals for yourself this new year is a worthy endeavor, but many of us start to fail in our goals around February and give up by March. Why is this? Generally, we fail in our goals because we lack the proper motivation and planning to keep our goals.

1. Don’t set too many goals
One of the main things that keep people from accomplishing their goals is setting too many goals at one time. Instead, stick to only one or two major goals for the year. You may have up to 50 goals you’d really like to accomplish this coming year, but if you want to be successful at keeping your goals, you’ll need to prioritize and focus on the most important ones first.

2. Make a step-by-step plan for your goals
Once you have your resolution in mind, break the goal up into manageable steps. For example, you may want to save up to buy a new car, but you know you can’t just put thousands of dollars aside. However, you do know you can put aside $10 this month, and $20 the next month. Make big goals more manageable by organizing them into small, easy to accomplish steps.

3. Expect and accept setbacks
When trying to accomplish great things you are going to experience setbacks. Don’t let them destroy all your efforts by recognizing that failure is a normal part of any process. But failure doesn’t have to mean absolute failure. You can fall off the horse and get right back on, and at the end of the day, it’s this kind of effort and resolve that gives you the most out of your goals.

How to Stay Motivated

new year resolutions
One way to keep yourself feeling excited about your goals is to make use of new year quotes. You can print out motivational quotes and hang them around your house or bedroom as a reminder of your goals. It’s also a great idea to have a motto of the year that you look to each morning to stay focused, positive, and motivated. Here are just a few of the many quotes you could use as your quote of the year:

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”

—C. S. Lewis

“Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely.”

—Karen Kaiser Clark

“Never underestimate the power you have to take your life in a new direction.”

—Germany Kent

“Life’s not about expecting, hoping and wishing, it’s about doing, being and becoming.”

—Mike Dooley

“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.”
—E.E. Cummings

You can also help yourself stay motivated and achieve your goals by helping others stay motivated and keep their goals. On new years we like to make resolutions for ourselves and give out new year wishes for others. Support your friends and family in their goals by reaching out to them in your new year wishes this year and offer your help and encouragement in their own endeavors.

DIY Christmas Gifts

diy christmas gift ideas

Get your gift-giving organized this year, and start preparing now for next year by reading up on all our helpful gift-giving articles:

Shopping for holiday gifts can get expensive. One thing that can help with your holiday costs is to take out a small personal loan. Another way to mitigate holiday gift costs is to make some presents yourself! Let’s go over a few DIY gift ideas that are not only cheaper than buying gifts but some of the most thoughtful and personal gifts you could do.

1. Make Food

make food

You can make food for them! The great thing about this DIY gift idea is that the possibilities are endless. You can easily lean on your cooking and baking strengths to make them something yummy. If you love baking you can make them cookies or pumpkin bread. If you love cooking you can make them their favorite dinner. If you aren’t good at either, you can always make them an easy breakfast in bed.

2. Personal Cleaning Service

cleaning

Everyone appreciates a clean home, kitchen, bedroom, etc., but not everyone enjoys having to do the cleaning themselves. This DIY gift idea works especially well for a homemade coupon card. Your gift recipient might also have a specific area in their life that could use an especially good cleaning, like their car or garage. You can even send them away for a fun evening out to dinner or to see a movie while you clean the house for them.

3. Knit a Sweater

christmas sweater

You don’t necessarily have to knit something and it doesn’t necessarily have to be a sweater either. You could also sew, cross-stitch, or crochet something for them. If you’re new to sewing-type crafts then you could knit a simple scarf for them. You could also make them a pillowcase, a blanket, a hat, or mittens. There are many great tutorials online and they’ll love having something you handmade for them.

4. Plan a Fun Activity

christmas date

This one may cost you a little, but it has the potential to save you some money in the short term if you just can’t afford them something right now. You could even hand-make an elegant invitation for them so they still have something to receive on Christmas day. Whoever you’re shopping for, a fun time going to the movies, or to dinner, or to see a performance will be loads of fun and leave them full of even more anticipation after opening your gift. You can also possibly find free or inexpensive shows and performances at your local community arts center or theater.

5. Make a Handmade Christmas Ornament

christmas ornament

With just a few inexpensive items from the craft store, you could make them a beautiful, hand-crafted, and personalized Christmas ornament. This may be one of the easiest and most inexpensive DIY ideas because you may already have what you need at home! With some paper, glue or tape, and some string, you can make a thoughtful gift with almost zero cost.

6. Make a Scrapbook

handmade gift

Scrapbooks are fun and easy to make because you can design them however you choose. They can also contain whatever you want them to! You can include photographs and captions to go over some special memories. Or if you don’ have photos you can recreate memories with drawings, or little items that will help them remember. You could even make a storybook instead of a scrapbook, and tell your own meaningful Christmas tale. You could also go over the things you admire about that person, or make a motivational booklet with your favorite quotes.

7. Make Some Art

handmade gift

Make use of your artistic skills and create something they can hang on their wall! Art is a form of expression and you can use art to express your feelings of love and gratitude this season. If you aren’t sure about your artistic abilities, you could find a free art class at the local library or community center and seek their aid in painting or drawing something special. You might even find another type of arts and crafts class you can take for free, like pottery, and make them something equally homemade and personal.

 

There is a lot of work, thought, and preparation that goes into the gifts we open on Christmas day. We should be able to enjoy buying and creating wonderful, personal gifts just as much as we enjoy opening them up together around the tree. Learn to have fun Christmas shopping by using lists like this one to brainstorm great ideas, and by planning gifts for next Christmas today.


Christmas Gifts for Teens

christmas gifts for teens

If you’re looking for gifts specifically for teens then you may be a parent trying to find a cool gift for your kid, or maybe you’re a teen yourself just looking for a gift for a friend. Either way, you want to get great gift ideas now so you can finish your gift shopping and relax! Another thing that might help you relax while gift shopping is to get a personal loan to help you pay for and get your gifts in time. You can also use this list of gift ideas to decide on which present to buy.

Christmas Gift Ideas for Teens

Gift shopping can be stressful. Gift shopping for teenagers can be even more stressful. But it doesn’t have to be! Shopping for teens can be easy. All you need to do is take a look at this list of the best Christmas gift ideas for teens and pick one. If none of these gift ideas work for your teen, then read about some key shopping tips below to help you figure out what to get.

 

1. Rechargeable Hand Warmers

christmas gift ideas for teens

Buy it on Amazon for $26.99

Since the holiday season happens to also be in the middle of winter, it’s always a great opportunity to get some helpful winter accessories. A rechargeable handwarmer will keep their hands warm for many winters to come since it’s not a single-use product. It’s a double-sided oval, shaped to fit the palm of your hand. It also has 3 temperature levels. Its design also allows for even heat distribution and a safety battery to give you stable reliability. It’s internal battery pack also allows you to use this hand warmer as a large capacity power bank for your phone. Not only do you get all of this but it’s incredibly easy to use with light indicators and a single button.

 

2. Night Sky Projector

night sky projector

Buy it on Amazon for $49.99

Just because your teens aren’t kids anymore that doesn’t mean they don’t want cool night lights in their room. This portable Skylite projector will fill their whole room up with the night sky. It’s an LED laser projector with smooth aurora effects that are guaranteed to wow your teens this Christmas. You can even save $10 by purchasing it now and who knows?! You might end up wanting to get one for yourself.

 

3. Stranger Things Retro Poster

stranger things

Buy it on Amazon for $15.99

Bedroom posters are always a good Christmas present idea. If your teen doesn’t watch Stranger Things then no doubt there are other things they’re big fans of. Everyone loves to create their own space and the teenage years are a popular time for teens to surround themselves with the things they really love. These posters are unframed, and not too expensive, so you could easily also buy them a frame for their new poster art to really complete the gift.

 

4. Wireless Earbuds or Headphones

headphones, earbuds

Buy the earbuds on Amazon for $29.99 and the headphones for $59.99

Air pods aren’t the only wireless earbuds on the market. These wireless Bluetooth earbuds come with a charging case. They’re even waterproof! They’re everything your teen would want in super functional wireless earbuds with quality sound. You could also opt for these wireless, noise-canceling headphones! Their charge can last up to 30 hours and are made comfortable for wearing them all day.

 

5. Warm Socks

winter socks

Buy it on Amazon for $17.99

You can buy a pack of warm socks pretty much anywhere. Winter socks are not only warm and comfortable to wear, but they’re a great fashion statement for this time of year as well. Nothing will make you look more ready for winter than a pair of colorful, wool winter socks.

 

6. Personal Charging Station

charging hub

Buy it on Amazon for $39.99

We live in a technological age and there are great gift ideas out there to help optimize our technological use. This wireless charging station will fit great on your teen’s nightstand so they have an organized space to keep their phone, air pods, and smartwatch. Now they’ll be less likely to lose their more expensive gifts, and they’ll have a specific place where they can put their tech away. The charging ports can also be used for Samsung and Android devices as well as Apple devices.

 

7. Cable Bites

cable bites

Buy it on Amazon for $7.99

Cute cable bites could make a great stocking stuffer this year! They’re an adorable accessory that easily attaches to your charging cable or any other cable that they’ll fit. You can use them to help organize your wires and make it easier to keep track of your charger. They’re even useful since they’ll better protect your many cables from fraying.

 

8. Simple Modern Tumbler

tumbler

Buy it from Simple Modern for $17.99

Simple Modern makes sleek and simple drink tumblers. They come in a wide variety of colors and sizes so you can get exactly what your teen needs from a drink tumbler. These cups are also made with stainless steel so they’ll be easy to clean and will keep your drinks at optimal temperatures. They also come with a flip lid and a straw lid, so you can use these cups with or without a straw.

 

9. Ukulele Starter Kit

ukulele

Buy it on Amazon for $51.49

If you want to foster your teen’s musical abilities then you could get them a soprano ukulele. It’s a good instrument for anyone looking to start learning to play some music perhaps for the first time. This starter kit comes with everything you need to start playing ukulele: the instrument, free online lessons, a starter guide, a free tuning app, and a custom tote bag.

10. Bluetooth Speaker

bluetooth speaker

Buy it on Amazon for $27.99

The Anker Bluetooth speaker is expertly engineered with advanced audio features. It’s also a small, very portable device so you can take it anywhere. The charge also lasts up to 24 hours so you can have uninterrupted, continual use throughout the day. Music is an important aspect of many teens’ lives, so having some quality speakers for their listening enjoyment is both a thoughtful and useful gift.

Gift Shopping Tips

Most likely, your gift shopping this year is going to include many different kinds of people. You might have kids and teenagers to get gifts for. You could also want to get something special to show your appreciation for your mom and dad. Other people might also need to find extra special gifts for your husband, your wife or a boyfriend or girlfriend. Whoever you’re shopping for these gift shopping tips are for you.

Start Shopping Early

Procrastination is a struggle many of us go through. But if you can get over gift shopping procrastination then the whole experience will become less stressful and more enjoyable. So instead of waiting until December to start asking for wishlists and shopping for gifts, start doing so in January. Gift shopping at the beginning of the year will help you get all the best deals throughout the year, and your presents will be more of a surprise to everyone because you won’t have to ask about wishlist items close to Christmas.

wishlist worksheet

Upgrade Everyday Items

Your brainstorming what to get someone and are trying to list the things you know they like, but the only things you can think of are simple everyday items like coffee and chocolate. Don’t fret! These ideas won’t be too boring if you just get the deluxe versions. Bean Box even has a Deluxe Coffee and Chocolate Tasting Box that you can get to solve your problem! Almost anything can become a premium gift if you only upgrade to the fancier version and let the gift recipient spoil themselves a little.

Use a Christmas List Template

Gift shopping can be incredibly difficult if you’re doing it all on your own. A detailed wishlist can really help you along in your gift decisions. You can even print out and use a free PDF wishlist template by clicking on the image to the right. Christmas presents are supposed to be from the heart, but it doesn’t hurt to have some help to be sure you get them something they’ll love.

 

Gift shopping this season doesn’t have to be stressful. In fact, it can be fun! With these gift ideas and tips, you can tackle all your holiday gift shopping like a pro and perhaps even enjoy the process.


Christmas Gifts for Girlfriend

christmas gifts for girlfriend

Shopping for Christmas gifts for a significant other can be a lot of pressure. But sometimes the most pressure is coming from your wallet. If your good intentions are there, but the funds just aren’t, you can always take out a small personal loan. You might also feel a lot of pressure from wanting to buy them the perfect gift! Leave all your holiday gift shopping stress behind as you check out this list of the 10 best Christmas gifts for girlfriends.

Christmas Gift Ideas for Girlfriends

Finding a Christmas gift for your girlfriend doesn’t have to be hard. You can find a meaningful and personal gift by taking a look at this list of gift ideas. Even if you don’t end up purchasing something from this list, it might just be the inspiration you need to think of your own gift idea.

 

1. Jewelry

christmas gift ideas

Buy it on Pet Love for $29.95

Jewelry is probably one of the most classic girlfriend gifts, and for good reason. Jewelry is always a safe bet when you’ve completely run out of ideas for what to get someone. There are millions of jewelry shopping options out there as well, both online and in stores, so your options are limitless. You can even find beautiful jewelry sets for as little as $17.99 on sale at Kohls right now.

 

2. Custom Phone Case

unique gifts

Buy it on Collage for $22.49

You can get a custom-made phone case for your girlfriend right now for 50% off! You can design the phone case on their site yourself, like a favorite picture you have together. They also have phone case options for every phone, including iPhone and Galaxy models. Collage also offers custom pillowcases, photo albums, and canvas prints, so you have other personalized gift ideas to choose from as well.

 

3. Smart Yoga Mat

best gifts for girlfriend

Buy it on Amazon for $89.95

The Backslash Fit Smart Yoga Mat comes in charcoal and coral colors. This unique yoga mat is designed to roll itself back up so you can easily take your yoga mat anywhere. Because of it’s efficient, smart technology, this yoga mat is a premium gift idea for your girlfriend. But if she’s into yoga and fitness you can also get her a beautiful 6-piece yoga set for just $39.99.

 

4. Create a Sleep-Well Bundle

gift ideas for girlfriend

Buy all your items at Target, Aerie, or on Amazon

Your girlfriend probably enjoys her beauty sleep as much as anyone, making a sleep-well gift basket a great gift idea. You can get her an array of items designed to help her sleep well, like, a comfortable waffle robe or an incredibly soft Sherpa robe. Then you get her an effective white noise machine, a cooling eye mask, and this intense hydrating Burt’s Bees night cream so her nights will be soothing. Then put everything in a cozy weekend bag and voila! You have a sleep-well gift basket personally put together by you.

 

5. Jane Austen Book Set

girlfriend gift ideas

Buy it at Barnes & Noble for $153.00

The perfect gift for a girlfriend who loves books is this elegantly designed Jane Austen boxed set. All the books are hardcovers and include the complete works of Jane Austen. It’s even on sale at Barnes & Noble right now. Originally this box set was $170. She’ll love having these beautifully crafted editions to display on her bookshelf and all the new reading material will give her lots to do during the coming winter months.

 

6. Back Massager

christmas gifts for girlfriend

Buy it on Amazon for $54.95

The Zyllion Shiatsu massager comes in a pillow-like form so you can use it virtually anywhere; your neck, back, shoulders, or calf. It’s also very portable so you can take it with you to the gym or even keep it in the car. It also comes with advanced heating functions so your girlfriend can thoroughly soothe and relieve any sore muscles.

 

7. Oversized Sweatshirt Blanket

christmas gift ideas for her

Buy it at Kohls for $39.99

Your girlfriend will love this giant hoodie blanket. It’s a blanket she can wear! It’s also made with cozy and warm materials so she can keep warm during movie nights, backyard bonfires, and so much more. The original comfy blanket sweatshirt comes in navy, black, grey, and pink so you can even pick a color she’ll love.

 

8. The Complete Cooking for Two Cookbook

cute gifts for girlfriend

Buy it at Barnes & Noble for $29.69

This cookbook was specifically written with couples in mind. Now you and your girlfriend can bond together by cooking meals together. This cookbook comes with 650 recipes and will teach you all the basic recipes you could want to make together. It could even make a great date night idea to go through creating new meals together.

 

9. Heatable Stuffed Animal

presents for girlfriends

Buy it at Walmart for $24.20

Heating pads are a must-have for any girl. They can help with aches and pains, and they can keep her warm at night. They can also be helpful for neck kinks, and stomach aches. But a heatable stuffed animal adds an extra level of comfort when your girlfriend isn’t feeling 100% or just needs help getting warm and cozy after a long day.

 

10. Polaroid Camera

unique gifts for girlfriend

Buy it at Walmart for $49.95

This one-step polaroid camera is all the rage right now. Not only is it a retro call back to vintage days, but this mini camera is also incredibly portable and easy to use. Now your girlfriend can take instant snapshots that she can have in hand right away. You can even steal it right now for a discounted price since it was originally $69.99.

Gift Shopping Tips

Most likely, your gift shopping this year is going to include more than just your girlfriend. There’s also mom and dad, siblings, friends, and colleagues to remember. But by keeping these gift shopping tips in mind, you can make the whole process a lot easier on yourself.

Start Gift Planning Early

Gift-giving is often made more difficult because we wait until December 1st to start thinking about what to get everyone. But if you start gift planning early you can have all your gift shopping done before December even arrives! So this new year, resolve to start planning what to get everyone in January, rather than waiting until December.

Upgrade Everyday Items

Change things up by getting the deluxe option of something they commonly use or enjoy. Ordinary items almost all have deluxe versions you can purchase online. Socks might seem like a horrible gift idea, but if you get your girlfriend some thoughtful custom socks with your face on them, you’re sure to make her laugh.

Christmas Gifts for Loved Ones

Are you racking with nerves about what to get your girlfriend this holiday? Don’t stress about it! You have endless options before you. If you really want to make sure she knows you love her through your Christmas gift this year, then you can always fall back on some of the most classic romantic gift ideas. You can buy her flowers, jewelry, make her a fancy dinner, or take her out to eat at a nice restaurant. All of these gift ideas are classics for a reason.

 

Gift shopping this season doesn’t have to be stressful. In fact, it can be fun! With these gift ideas and tips, you can tackle all your holiday gift shopping like a pro and perhaps even enjoy the process.


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