With the "goodies" the holidays bring—your 13th month pay, bonuses, gifts, and all-nighter inumans and parties—come the "baddies" in the form of intensified rush hour traffic, crowded malls, and Royal Rumble-esque shopping sessions. Yin always comes with and yang, chaos with order, puto with dinuguan.
Makes you think the holiday season isn't really that jolly, doesn't it?
GIF via Ineedagif
But before we you turn into a Christmas hater, here's a not-so-secret secret: You can use your gizmos to, at the very least, make things more bearable in this season of red and green!
In this FHM Everyman's Guide, we'll show you how to use the power of technology to your convenience this chaotic time of the year. Read on and find out how!
FOR MANAGING YOUR LARGER-THAN-USUAL CASH POOL
Believe us; you wouldn't want to spend all your bonuses in just one month and be a member of the Tag-Gutom Sa Enero club. If you want to stretch your cash in this season of spending and make it last beyond New Year's Eve, well, as the techie cliché goes, there's an app for that!
Video via Out of the Park Apps
To be more specific, there are apps that can help you manage your cash. One such app is the Saving Made Simple - Money App which tracks your expenses and purchases for a given period, lets you set financial goals (e.g. "I must have X amount of money by December 31"), and tells you how close you are to reaching it. Our parents used to do this with pen and paper, but it's we're about to enter 2015 so tech FTW!
If you want more choices, click here to see other budget-stretching apps similar to SMSMA.
FOR A HASSLE-FREE SHOPPING EXPERIENCE
Shopping is fun, but when done alongside a throng of other desperate-for-bargain shoppers, it's bound to get batshit-crazy. So if you want none of it, we suggest you do your shopping at home.
Two sites come to mind: TheMall.ph and Lazada. With a plethora of offerings—from man tools like shaving blades to GF-approved items like lipsticks and other sorts of makeup—these sites act like a virtual mall where you can check out prices and, in the case of Lazada, even buy physical goods using C.O.D. (cash on delivery) or a credit card.
We know, we know, this reeks of laziness, but what can you do? Waste hours on shopping? We're not girls!
FOR BEATING TRAFFIC
December might as well be known as the "Traffic Conundrums Month" with its annual serving of bumper-to-bumper traffic interspersed with drivers in need of anger management. If you don't want to be one of them and if you want to stay ahead of everyone on the road (literally!) then have a go with traffic apps!
The most obvious choice for Manileños is the MMDA app. The popular Pinoy app can help you plan your route before you head out. It gives users the low-down on what roads are infested with carmageddon-level traffic, as well as those that provide smooth sailing.
The MMDA app is not alone in making your driving or commuting life less miserable. Click here for other apps that can save you from traffic hell.
FOR CONVENIENT GADGET GIFT PRICE-HUNTING
GIF via Thedailytouch.com
Planning to gift a bro or a sis with a brand-spankin' new gadget? Here's a tip: Instead of rushing to the mall with reckless abandon, use the Internet first to have a better idea of how much you're gonna have to spend. You're scared wallet will thank you for it.
Check out these sites:
- CgeNa.com: for mobile devices and accessories
- PCGilmore.com: for PCs and PC parts
- Villman.com: for PCs, laptops, and other related gadgets
Note: The prices displayed on these sites may not be the same with the prices in malls and physical shops. The idea here is to give users a nice estimate of how much money they'll have to prepare to purchase a particular gadget.
FOR VIRTUAL CAB-HAILING
It's one thing to know what route to take, it's another thing to actually have a ride home (or to wherever you're going). With shoppers and merry-makers abundant in the holidays, hailing a cab is nearly damn impossible. It's already quite the ordeal during non-December months, so you know it's going to get worse.
Video via Michael Colman
Thank goodness for Uber, GrabTaxi, GrabCar, and Easy Taxi—four apps that let you skip the waiting-at-taxi-stands part and jump right to the just-waiting part. There are additional fees for booking a taxi using these apps but the convenience is well worth it!
FOR COOKING THE BEST INIHAW
We bet many of you will serve a grill-tastic dish for your office party, barkada get-together, noche buena, and media noche. With that in mind, let us introduce you to the LotusGrill:
Video via cameron romeril
This baby is a next-gen grill that eliminates or minimizes many of our inihaw-related woes like the tear-inducing smoke and the head-scratching setup. Plus, thanks to its compact size, you can grill indoors!
FOR TAKING BETTER SELFIES AND GROUPFIES