I love buying presents. I love watching people open their gift. I don't like stressing about gift buying.
Lots of people set a holiday budget, either based on amount per family member or a grand total. I don't have a firm budget. However, for the past four years, I've been tracking my holiday purchases in a basic spreadsheet. Each year my total spending is about the same.
Here is a sample of what the sheet looks like:
|Mom||Sewing Book||Amazon||$ 20.00|
|Suzie||Spa Socks||Ulta||$ 6.00|
|Jim||Gift Card||Best Buy||$ 25.00|
- I can sort by name and see who I purchased gifts for last year. That way I don't forget someone.
- I can see how much I spent in previous years.
- It's easy to input ideas for next years' gifts. (Or remind yourself of what you bought ahead and stashed away.)
- Rather than having a huge stack of receipts, I enter gift info as I make purchases. I still save the receipts for the less decisive family members.
- The spreadsheet is a quick reference to what I have. I don't need to visit the hiding spot or sort through wrapped gifts and try to remember what's in them. (I tend to wrap immediately in order to prevent peeking.)
- I can sort by store and see where I've been most successful with finding gifts. That saves me time in future years.
- A quick scan shows me who still needs something or what else I wanted to buy.
Here's hoping that your holiday isn't too stressful. Of course, if you have any tips for gift buying, please share them!