Knowing how much money you have for shopping is one thing, being able to allocate where that money goes, when contemplating your holiday shopping is something else. That’s where a planner can help.
Start with a general statement of how much money you will spend. Or rather your limit, such as: “I will spend NO MORE than _____________ amount of money on Christmas.” Then you may want to allot different amounts of money for different categories such as gifts, food, decorations, other entertainment, etc.
Once you’ve decided how much you will spend on gifts you can create a list of gift recipients.
This can be tricky; do you give a gift to each person in your sister’s family or do you give a “family” gift? Or, maybe you give a “group” gift just to the kids and individual gifts to the adults. Whatever you decide, while taking your budget into consideration, it’s a good idea to write it down so you don’t get side-tracked while shopping.
Once you’ve decided the “who” on your gift list, you need to decide the “what.” Here’s where you pull out that hidden wish list you’ve written on every time you’ve heard someone say they “like” something or “want” something—right? The ongoing list notwithstanding, you’ll need to brainstorm ideas and maybe come right out and ask your gift recipients what they would like.
Then it’s on to the “where” can these items be found. List stores and their locations; don’t forget online options and the actual shopping begins.
You might also want to include on your Planner a space to write where the items you have bought are “hidden.” This is especially important if you tend to shop for gifts all year. You don’t want to forget where that special gift is stored and buy duplicate items in December.
Feel free to download and use our Holiday Gift Budget Planner. Keeping lists of recipients and ideas together will make your Christmas shopping easier, fun and budget “friendly.”