For the first time since I gave birth in 2012 and started working from home full-time, I’m finally having a taste of the lovely thing called “Christmas Bonus” again.
Which only means one thing. Time to start Christmas shopping!
First things first, gift exchanges!
For people like me who interact with people on a regular basis remotely (read: through Facebook chat), gift exchanges can be a bit challenging. You can’t do the regular drawing of lots since your friends are not exactly physically present. For years now, I’ve used online Secret Santa services that are really easy to use. Just add your friends’ names and email addresses and the website will draw names for you.
This year, I discovered Elfster and am loving it. It’s really neat and you’re able to add your wishlist easily. Also, you can post and comment on each other’s posts and wishes anonymously.
How to budget by keeping a Christmas list
I can’t function without a proper list, be it physical or digital. For holiday gifting, I usually just use a list app on mobile to list my gift recipients, gift ideas, and gift recipients. However, I’ve never encountered yet an app that lets me plan for the gifts financially. Sure, they allow me to input how much budget I have for each gift, but I need something that lets me input my entire gifting budget, the exact amount I spent on each gift, and how much cash I have left after the online shopping storm.
So this year, I looked for a good (and pretty) gift list Excel template, downloaded it, and tweaked it to suit my needs. Here’s what I came up with:
I added a general gifting budget, specific budget for each person, how much money I spent on each gift, and how much I spent in all.
I’m feeling generous tonight so feel free to download my template here: Christmas Gift List Template
So far, I’ve already bought one gift for my gift exchange with my friends this weekend a little bit of shopping for myself. How are you doing with your Christmas shopping?