Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Christmas: Making a List and Checking It Twice

With Christmas less than 7 weeks away I thought it was probably about time I unveiled the full extent of my Christmas nerdiness by sharing my Christmas Gift Budget Planner. I have always fancied myself a bit of a Mrs Claus or at the very least, Santa’s super organised PA. Of all the things I love about Christmas, my favourite thing is knowing I nailed choosing a present for someone, even better if I have done so under budget. Budget has always been a bit of a problem for me, often I think of the perfect gift for someone only to find it is more than I had planned on spending, but because it is just what I was after, I get it anyway. I hate having to feel tight when it comes to presents but by the time you have gone even $5-$10 over on each person, it can be a big blow to the bank balance. I also try to avoid buying the same type of present for people each year (unless they request something) so tracking the gifts each year ensures I don’t buy my sister-in-law yet another cook book!

christmas treeImage Credit

There is nothing too complicated to my spread sheet, I just list the people I am buying presents for, set a budget amount and make a few notes for ideas. Once I have bought the gift I enter the actual amount spent and make any adjustments in the item file (in case I discover something better).
I have the total budget and actuals at the bottom of the page so I can quickly reference where the spending is at. No this is not my actual list mum!


This spread sheet has been a great way to keep track of the Christmas spending, but in order for it to be successful I also need to be able to reference something while I am out and about which is where my Gifts Pro app comes in. This phone app allows me to create gift ideas lists with budgets, list stores or websites that I can purchase from as well as tracking gifts I have received (if you need to send thankyou’s etc) and Christmas cards. Once you have bought the gift or sent the card you can tick it off the list. I have found it more reliable than trying to find a scribbled list in my diary and there is less chance someone is going to see the list and ruin the surprise since my phone is rarely out of arms reach!

christmas presentsImage Credit

I had hoped to share this as a downloadable file so if any of you are more tech-savvy than myself and know how to achieve this, please let me know and I will post it. Over the next few weeks I will be sharing a whole range of Christmas stuff including Baking Gifts, Christmas Cards, My Gift Wishlist, Present Wrapping and of course Our Tree!

Blogging along with Diary of a SAHM for #iBOT today too because some day's she makes up very funny songs and performs them for our pleasure and other days she is sharing some very clever parenting tips, but the best part is you never know what kind you are getting on any given day so check her out!


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