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Ultimate Budgeting Hacks for Moms

                           Budgeting for the family is never easy
                               (photo credit:  

One of the most nerve-wracking things about adulting, especially with a family, is budgeting.  Although it would seem logical to spend as little as possible of each paycheck in order to have larger savings, financial advisors suggest another mantra: save before spending. This means that one’s budget for daily expenses is what is left over after allocating for savings and other investments. We have some budgeting hacks here for moms (and dads!) to help get that little extra moolah and banish those petsa de peligro blues.    

1.    Have separate savings accounts for utilities, rent and housing mortgages.

It is all too tempting to draw upon a savings account for everyday expenses, even if you already have decided to set aside a certain amount for your housing and home needs. To stop this practice and avoid trouble with catching up with utilities, rents, and mortgages, have another bank account separate from your payroll/joint checking/personal savings account, wherein you will set aside a set amount of money each month for your monthly payments. Automatic transfers also help make this process easier. You can even extend this practice for other monthly payments such as investments, educational funds, and plans, or health cards.

2.    Hold the Credit Card!

Cashless shopping is a double-edged sword: it is handy and convenient, but also an easy way to lose track of one’s expenses. This can lead to some very unpleasant surprises such as finding your credit card maxed out at a crucial time, or being presented with a staggering statement. To avoid this, we recommend keeping the credit card on hand only for emergencies such as hospital confinements, or transactions requiring credit cards such as travel. A cash-only budget will suffice for the daily, weekly, or even monthly expenses.


Toy Kingdom's Holiday Wish List for 2018

  Ho ho ho! I can almost smell the scent of Christmas!  
This season, Toy Kingdom brings you the most amazing and exciting holiday picks perfect to complete your wish list this year. 

This Gigantic Power Rangers DX Ninja Megazord is composed of 5 zords to create a one epic and classic Megazord. Grab yours at Toy Kingdom.

There are colorful dolls, fun play sets, creative learning toys and adorable plush toys that little girls will love. 

Dream of a magical adventure with this 38” Giant Unicorn Plush from Toy Kingdom. Available in purple, white and pink colors. 

Boys, on the other hand, can celebrate a fun filled and action packed Christmas with the character inspired robots and figures, thrilling play sets, educational board games and all new intense blasters. 

Be surprised with this Pikmi Mega Pack filled with exciting toys inside  

Start making your list and play Santa into the nearest Toy Kingdom stores near you. Toy Kingdom’s Top Toys for Christmas are available at all Toy Kingdom Express outlets in The SM Stores and Toy Kingdom Stores in most SM Supermalls.  Also visit and follow ToyKingdomPH at Facebook for more updates. 


M&S Personality feature: Nikki Honasan’s Christmas shopping tips


For Christmas, food is the wisest gift to give. It’s practical and leaves zero waste 
“Being a mom keeps me busy as I’m very hands on and at the same time, I enjoy spending time with my little boy, India. My five-year old keeps me entertained for sure,” said 41-year old Nikki Serrano-Honasan.

Her yoga practice keeps her occupied as well. She starts each day on the mat, whether it’s ten minutes or two hours. Yoga & meditation keep her anchored wherever she is. This sets the tone & energy of the day as she goes about her mommy & teacher duties. 

With Christmas around the corner, Holiday decorating and gift shopping adds up to the must-do list.

“Growing up my siblings and cousins would all spend it in our lola’s house in the province, gathered around the table for Noche Buena followed by the much awaited part of the evening, the gift giving. Now living in Boracay with a small family of my own, I find myself carrying this tradition with me while sharing it with her island family. We have Noche Buena and open gifts together.” shared Nikki.
Keep it personal. It gives your gift a special touch 
As for decorating, Nikki’s home is quite open to the outdoors that she finds a little is all it needs. She has all these individual Christmas trees, handmade wooden & metallic ones, which she’s very fond of. She starts placing them around the house in the beginning of December. 

Shopping can be a challenge when you live in an island and little access to shopping areas. So when does she make her Christmas list and shop for gifts? She said when inspiration hits her. It could be as early as September or as late as December.

“I have family, friends on the island, plus my travel buddies who happen to be my closest friends from college on my gift list. I like giving them handmade gifts, as well as personally curated presents like a picnic basket with all the essentials included, from food to a picnic blanket.”


Eshma Bautista-Dumama: A working mom who never compromises her style


Mornings are for bonding with Sky 
On Eshma: M&S Collection top & FlextFit jeggings 
“I used to be uber-stylish from head to toe,” said 30-year old Estefanie “Eshma” Bautista-Dumama. But all these changed when she took the roles of a politician, a wife and a mother. She may have adjusted to her life as a councilor on her second term, but taking the role of wife last year, and more recently, a mother to 5-month old Sky, is definitely something new to her.

“These days I always keep my fashion and time very flexible. It’s a challenging 24/7 thing with the three hats I’m wearing. I don’t have a routine. Plans and schedules can change in a heartbeat depending on my baby’s mood and needs. So, there is no "typical day" for me. Every day yields new challenges.”

How does she do it? Let’s get to know this multi-tasker.

My day starts… 
..focused on the baby. I bond with Sky from the time he wakes up until noon. In between his naps, I check emails and schedules, update work assignments and give instructions while taking my morning coffee. I’m at the office by 1PM and work over lunch, go to sessions. I check on Sky from time to time.

Juggling my schedule is… 
Not easy, but I do my best. I’m on my first year of being a hands-on mom. I want to witness my baby’s first words, first steps, and considering I’m also a public servant 24/7, schedules can get challenging.

 I’m active all day so it’s important to wear comfortable clothes that move with you. 

In politics, delegating work to a reliable team can make my job uncomplicated. But if it involves legislative matters, I personally take on the matter. 

I’m lucky to have a husband-politician, we both understand what is required of our jobs. But we make sure we go out on a regular dates and keep the romance alive. 


Kadayawan sa Davao 2018 Schedule of Activities

It's Kadayawan Festival season once again, and I am so looking forward to the many activities (old and new) that this celebration has to offer. This year, we commemorate the 33rd year of Kadayawan which is considered to be Davao City's biggest annual cultural event.  

Here is the list of activities for Kadayawan sa Davao 2018 to help you plan your travel to the city (if you're a tourist). For Davaoenos at home, this will serve as a guide on which event/activity to go to depending on your interest/liking.

Advance Happy Kadayawan everyone!!!!

Official Calendar of Events as of July 6, 2018 at 2PM 
Theme:  Stand Tall.  United.  Resilient

August 10, 2018
 Friday, 3pm 
Subang Sinugdanan and Panagtagbo 
R. Magsaysay Wharf

A re-enactment of the convergence of Davao City's 11 ethno-linguistic tribes.  This presentation is symbolic of Davao's rich culture brought about by diversity and unity of its people. 

August 10, 2018
 Friday , 4pm  
Pag-Abli sa Kadayawan 
Kadayawan Circle
(Magsaysay Park)

The festival's opening ceremony that will commence with an ecumenical thanksgiving service for the year of blessing and bounty.  It will be a grand showcase of the colorful culture and tradition of Davao City's 11 tribes.

August 10, 2018
 Friday , 6pm    
Hiyas sa Kadayawan Cultural Presentation (Talent Night)
Kadayawan Circle
(Magsaysay Park)

A display of talent by the 11 Hiyas sa Kadayawan candidates - interpreting their respective tribes' traditions and culture through colorful and engaging presentations.