Use a Gift Budget to Save Money

I am always saying how important it is to have a budget to save money and stick to it. Well, the same concept applies to gift giving. You should have a gift budget to help you save money. Throughout the year, between holidays and birthdays and all the other gift giving occasions you can easily spend a small fortune!

Having a gift budget will help you save money while still being able to give gifts on special occasions. If you are not sure how to go about setting up a gift budget to save money, here are some simple tips to help get you started.

 

Budget to Save Money – Tips for having a Gift Budget

 

I like to sit down with a calendar and a notepad. My calendar is marked with birthdays of family members and friends. I also keep track of anniversaries, graduations and other holidays and special occasions. Using the calendar, I make a month by month list of the people I anticipate buying gifts for. I also add on a couple of unexpected gifts each month. You never know when you are going to be invited to a housewarming party, baby shower or other events that occur throughout the year.

Having a set amount of money that you spend on gifts and a budget to save money will help you have money saved for all your parties and events for the year.

Once my list of people is complete, I come up with an estimate of the maximum amount that I want to spend on each gift, including the unexpected ones. Even though you do not know of all the other parties that may come up throughout the year {like your kids being invited to a party} you can still add in a set number so that you stick to it once you do get invited to a party.

Most people feel that the average gift for a party should range between $15 – $25. You will need to see what your budget allows for and take into consideration how much you are willing to spend.

I then add up the amount of all the estimates for the year and then divide them by the amount of pay periods in the year. This gives me the amount that I should be saving for gifts each time I get paid. You can also break the amount down by month if that’s how you do your budgeting. Again, you will need to see what works best with your income schedule. It may be easier to take a small amount out each pay or a larger amount out at the end of the month once all your bills have been paid.

Adding a gift budget to your savings plan may seem like a lot or just an extra expense, but trust me it is well worth it. When you have a gift budget, you know what you can spend on each gift you purchase before going into the store. This gives you limits. You do not want to overspend on a gift.

Having a gift budget helps you save money because you will not be putting gifts on credit cards or borrowing the money because you have already budgeted the amount every month.. You also won’t be caught unprepared and when great gift items go on sale you can pick them up and cross a gift off the list.

Having that money budgeted will also allow you to buy gifts ahead of time and take advantage of specials and sales, which will definitely save you money. One of the best ways to save money for the holidays is by utilizing your budget and planning ahead. That may mean purchasing gifts months in advance either on black friday to get great deals or even purchasing them in mid-year and stashing them away until the holidays.

To make it even easier I have created a gift tracker & budget worksheet that you can print and use! With the holidays quickly approaching you want to make your list now and then set a specific budget amount for each gift you will purchase.

But, before you do this you need to figure out how much money you will have to spend on gifts. This can be really tough to narrow down, but if you create a set budget amount for gifts and stay within it then you are less likely to overspend and make impulse purchases.

It will also help you to stay on track and see who you have already purchased for so that you are not just buying a gift for the sake of doing so.

I am definitely guilty of going to the store and buying several gifts and then forgetting about them. Then, it comes time to wrap presents and I start to realize how much money I wasted in purchasing double the amount than I needed.

Being organized can help you to save money. Plus, you can slowly check people off your list instead of waiting until the last minute. Using my gift tracker & budget worksheet you can start planning your budget for the holiday season.

To begin, you need to make a list of all of the people you will be buying a gift for. This can include teachers, bus drivers, co-workers, family, friends, neighbors, etc. Try to think of every person you will be buying something for. Even if it is small, include them on this list so that you can track your spending. You then want to budget a certain amount.

Maybe you want to spend $10 on teacher gifts and $15 on a co-worker. The important part is setting a limit for yourself so that you can stay within your budget. On my printable worksheet you will see a place for name, gift ideas, budgeted amount, actual amount spent and if this gift is wrapped.

When you are considering your budget make sure you keep in mind that you will have to also purchase gift wrap, tape, boxes, etc. If you want to save a few bucks you can print my free gift tags instead of purchasing some at the store.

Stop overspending on gifts. Print this free gift budget & tracker to help you maintain a gift budget.

Once you have filled out the gift tracker and added a budget amount for each gift, total that column. If the budgeted amount is too high then you may want to consider spending less per gift or finding alternative gift ideas.

Using a gift budget to save money may seem difficult in the beginning because you may be setting money aside each month and not using it, but when the time comes you will be very happy that you did.

Do you have any tips on how you budget to save money on gifts throughout the year, please share in the comments below!

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. Believe it or not I’ve been doing surveys this year to help with Christmas and my daughter’s birthday. I also was able to buy almost all of her back to school supplies with the extra money I made as well.

    The ones I do pay decent and I can make around $45 every 10-14 days if I put a little effort into it. It definitely helps!
    John Green recently posted..Going In Debt This Christmas? Not If I Have Anything To Do With It!My Profile

  2. Believe it or not I’ve been doing surveys this year to help with Christmas and my daughter’s birthday. I also was able to buy almost all of her back to school supplies with the extra money I made as well.

    The ones I do pay decent and I can make around fifty dollars every 10-14 days if I put a little effort into it. It definitely helps!
    John Green recently posted..Going In Debt This Christmas? Not If I Have Anything To Do With It!My Profile

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