I think I finally created a Christmas gift tracker and budget tracker printable that can keep you and I both on task and on budget this holiday season. I’ve tried A LOT of different Christmas gift tracker and budget tracker printables but can’t seem to keep track of what I’ve bought for people and always end up going over budget. I challenge you to give this Christmas gift tracker and budget tracker printable a try this holiday season.
What's in the Christmas Gift Tracker & Budget Tracker Printable
As you can see, my Christmas gift tracker and budget tracker printable lists out:
- who I will be buying gifts for,
- how much money I have budgeted to spend on that person,
- gift ideas that I’ve written down throughout the year or that they tell me they want for Christmas,
- gifts I have purchased AND how much that gift costs, and
- how much money is left to spend, if any.
How the Christmas Gift Tracker & Budget Tracker Printable works
1. Who are you buying gifts for? Write out all the people you will be buying gifts for: e.g. immediate family, extended family, any coworkers or staff at work, neighbours, anyone that you volunteer with, friends and anyone else (e.g. pets?).
2. How much money is in your Christmas Budget? Determine how much money is in your Christmas budget. This will be a whole number e.g. $500. You will then split that amount of money among all the people you are buying gifts for. Make sure you do some calculations to ensure that you’re not over budget, cause that will start you off on the wrong foot.
If you find you don’t have enough money in your budget, consider whether you can make something and gift that. Check out my post on Easy and Creative Gift Ideas here for some affordable gift ideas. One of the things we make as a couple and gift to our friends is homemade butter chicken. We make a big batch and divide it up among some of our friends. We’ve been doing it for a couple years now that it has become an expectation, but the cost is reasonable for the amount of gifts we end up being able to give from a batch of butter chicken.
3. What are your gift ideas for the people on your list? I try to listen throughout the year to what people are saying about what they wish they had and I try to remember what they say, so I can gift it at Christmas time. What’s great about this is people really feel like you listen to them and you get them something that they actually want. If you’re looking for some more gift ideas, check out my post on Cheap and Easy Stocking Stuffers that are all under $15 for some ideas on gifts if you’re still looking
4. Track what gifts you have purchased and how much that gift cost. My advice to you is that you stay on top of this step. Put the Christmas gift tracker and budget tracker printable somewhere that you will see every day, so you can make sure you’re updating it as as soon you buy gifts.
5. Do some math and calculate how much money you have left in your budget for that person. I don’t know why, but I often underestimate how much things actually cost. Maybe it’s shipping, taxes or my Christmas giving spirit, but I’m always surprised how NOT FAR my money goes.
I should note that I started doing my Christmas Gift Tracker and Budget Tracker in Excel because it would do all the calculations for me. But, I know that not everyone has Excel, so that’s why I’ve created a printable PDF instead. Plus, this way we can all practice our arithmetic. 🤭 There’s nothing bad about that.
Why this Christmas Gift Tracker & Budget Tracker Printable Works
The reason why this Christmas gift tracker and budget tracker works for me is because as soon as I buy someone a gift, I write down what I bought and how much it costs and then I calculate how much money I have left to spend on that person from what I have budgeted to spend.
With other gift trackers or budget trackers, I’ve found that you only have 1 column for gift ideas but don’t have a spot to write down what you actually bought and how much it ended up costing you and how much is left to spend on that person. Those Christmas gift trackers and budget trackers resulted in me spending way more money than I had budgeted. But, we’re all different and sometimes things work and sometimes they don’t, so try a couple different ways or methods until you find the one that works best for you. My Christmas gift tracker and budget tracker printable isn’t going to work for everyone.
This Christmas gift tracker and budget tracker, however, has everything I need to know on 1 page, so I can keep track of how much I spend and it keeps me accountable to my budget and keeps me intentional in my gift purchasing.
It stops me, or at least makes me think twice, from buying random gifts and extra gifts for people just cause I feel in a super giving mood that day.
My gift buying would often get out of hand because I felt that since I was earning more money at work each year, I had to buy my family more expensive gifts than last year. I think I was also buying extra gifts to make up for the fact that I don’t live in the same province (state) as my parents, and I was trying to make up for that lost time together or the distance. If you’re curious and want to read more about my story, click here.
I’m happy to report though that my views have changed about Christmas. I do give gifts, but I also try to make sure Christmas is about spending time with my family, doing things with my family and giving back to my community and others. That’s what Christmas is to me now.
I tried this Christmas gift tracker and spending tracker for the first time last year, and I noticed that the system worked for me. So, I’m planning to continue it this year and I’m sharing it with you hoping that it can help you in your Christmas shopping and staying on budget.
It works because now I have to intentionally buy gifts. It’s a lot harder to let things get out of hand. But, that said, I find that I also have to accept that I will not be able to buy this person ALL THE THINGS I might want to buy them and that’s okay. That’s how I stick to my Christmas budget though.