Easy Way to Save Money – Use a Gift List

Want to know an easy way to save money this year? As the holiday season inches closer, so does the time of the year that many of us find ourselves breaking the bank for that perfect gift. We go from store to store (or from site to site) looking for those gifts that are sure to make memories for years to come.

Does the idea of the spending associated with those gifts make you a little queasy? An easy way to save money is by using a gift list. Not only can you plan ahead, but you can budget a specific amount for each person on your gift list. To make it even easier for you, I have created a gift list tracker & budget worksheet that you can download for free at the bottom of this post.

Check out this easy way to save money -- use a gift list & tracker! Print this free worksheet to figure out your holiday budget.


I printed this #free Gift List & #Budget Tracker to help me save money Click To Tweet

Easy Way to Save Money – Use a Gift List:


Take a Look at Last Year’s Holiday Spending

First, take a careful look at how you spent your money last year. Who did you purchase gifts for? How much did you spend on each gift? Reviewing last year’s budget, whether you stuck to it or exceeded it, will help you to get started as you set your budget for this year’s spending.


Review who Gifted Your Family Last Year

We all know that when you give a gift it’s not with the expectation that you’ll receive one in return. That being said, if you annually give gifts to a friend or family member who year after year does not return the gesture, maybe it’s time to consider not continuing with your gift giving.

A nice card or homemade treat may provide a similar thoughtful gesture without the expense associated with annual gift giving. You also want to take note of people who gave you a present unexpectedly and add them to your list this year.


Make a List (and Check it Twice!)

Once you’ve reviewed your past gift giving and who has reciprocated your kind gestures in recent years, you’re ready to make a list of who you have to buy for this holiday season. Spend time going through your list carefully.

Make sure you include everyone on your list including teachers, bus drivers, mail carriers, hairstylists and other service providers. You do not want to forget anyone on your list. Even if it is small, include them on this list so that you can track your spending.


Create Your Budget

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.

Now you are ready to decide how much money you will spend on each person on your gift list. Maybe you want to spend $10 on teacher gifts and $15 on a co-workers.

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.

{Related: Biggest Budgeting Mistakes & How to Fix Them}


Brainstorm Gift Ideas for this Year

Once the facts and figures are complete, now you’re ready to have some fun! Think about what kind of gift you would like to get for each person. As you determine the types of gifts, keep your budgeted amounts in mind. Know that you’ll shop for deals, but be reasonable with the ideas that you have for each family member and friend. Include your ideas next to each name on my gift list tracker worksheet.


Shop with Your Budget in Mind

Once you’ve done your homework and determined what you would like to find for each person, begin looking for deals. As you find sales leading up to the holiday season, take advantage of the savings. Sales will begin popping up in every print and online advertisement. Keeping track of the best deals on your planned purchases (and buying when you see them) will make your budgeted amount go the furthest.


Once it’s All Said and Done

After you have purchased all the gifts on your list you may have found that you are below your budget. This will help you to better estimate for next year.

Now that the gifts are opened and you’ve wowed those on your list, make sure to update your budget and gift tracker. Double-check that you included your final decisions on what to give to each person, calculate how you did at sticking to your budget, and make notes on those gifts that you received.

Going back and reviewing your notes from one year to the next will help you to be a generous, though budget-conscious, gift giver.

Check out this easy way to save money -- use a gift list & tracker! Print this free worksheet to figure out your holiday budget.

Do you know another easy way to save money for the holidays? 

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. The download link is broken for the gift tracker and budget. Can you email me that form or email me when it is fixed please?


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