With Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the past now, I think that present shopping is well underway for most of us. For the sake of your bank account and your sanity, there needs to be some level of organisation to it! Whether you are purchasing or making gifts, a simple gift spreadsheet will help you get everything you need without buying anything extra or spending more than you should
1. Start With Your Total Budget
Look at your total income for the rest of the year, and figure out exactly how much you can afford to spend on presents. Play with the numbers until you have decided how much will be for each recipient. Remember to include any mailing, shipping, and packaging costs that might be included in your gifts. And don’t forget about any Secret Santas you have coming up! I personally don’t put presents on a credit card unless the site won’t accept Visa Debit, but I know that some people do- no matter what method of payment you use, you have to have a budget to make this work! Everyone will still love you even if you don’t spend $200 on them.
2. List Ideas For Each Recipient
Take a few hours and brainstorm ideas for each recipient. Let it percolate and give yourself a few options- if you can’t find one particular item, you won’t lose your mind trying to track it down (a la Arnold in Jingle All the Way). If there is something that you absolutely, without a doubt, HAVE to give someone, buy it before December 1. While we all have items that are at the top of our wish list, but at the end of the day we love and appreciate every gift and thought that we receive! Don’t worry about finding that must have item and focus on finding a lovely gift that they will appreciate and enjoy and will remind them of you.
3. Make and Prepare DIY Gifts
DIY gifts are a fantastic way to maintain your budget but still show those close to you that they are important to you! I personally love receiving DIY gifts, it gives me those warm holiday feelings. When I think back on all of the gifts that I still have and use, I remember my friendships and the times that we have spent together. I also very much appreciate that someone took the time to bake me something or make me chocolates or framed pictures of us, as we are all busy people and time speaks just as loudly as money.
4. Update Your Spreadsheet With Each Purchase
Update your spreadsheet with every single purchase! Don’t let anything slip through cracks, stay diligent. I am really bad for buying many smaller presents and forgetting just how much I have spent on each person/gift. See my example spreadsheet here:
How do you stay on top on presents and gifts?