A few years ago, I realized my holiday shopping was out of control. I had no plan and was buying too many gifts for some people, and forgetting other people! Not to mention that my lack of budgeting was creating major anxiety when those credit card bills arrived in January.
I decided to take control and come up with a plan. That led me to develop this handy organizing chart that I am sharing with you! Now I use it every year to not only give myself a plan of where to shop, but of how much I can reasonably spend overall and on each person.
Here’s how to make this worksheet your own holiday gift-giving guide and get the most out each shopping excursion.
California Closets Holiday Shopping Chart
1. Download our handy PDF of the worksheet to print and write on, or download the Word version to type right into it. (Tech Savvy? Download onto your mobile phone or tablet using an app like Docs2Go and use the worksheet on your mobile device paper-free.)
2. Fill in the “name” category with everyone on your shopping list: mother, brother, spouse, in-laws, aunts, uncles, etc. Think of everyone you may possibly spend money on, including babysitters, landscapers, and others you want to acknowledge or thank.
3. Decide on a total budget for the year- whatever it may be. What can you reasonably spend without hurting your financial situation and what do you want to spend?
4. Allocate a portion of that overall budget to each person listed. Start with the minimum feasible for the people or groups whom you are obligated to get a token of your appreciation for- such as coworkers, neighbors etc. so that you can immediately see what is left for the important people on your list.
5. In each person’s category, start listing off some gift ideas or what their interests are. As you shop, you can look for the listed items or gifts that fit with their personality. This can also help if you are short on time, by simply looking at this category you can develop a list of what stores you’ll need to visit.
6. As you shop, make a note of what you purchased, where you purchased it, and how much you spent. You’ll be able to see when you’ve maxed out the budget for someone, and how much you’ve spent overall.
Here is an example to give you some ideas.
|Mom||Bathrobe, scrapbooking supplies, Nook, hair salon gift certificate||$150||Nook- Best Buy $99|
|Husband||Bruins tickets, Bruins jersey||$150||NHL.com jersey $125|
|Coworkers||Homemade fudge & pancake mix packages||$50||Packaging- craft store $23.54|
|Babysitter||iTunes Gift Card||$25||iTunes Card, $25 drug store|
Now, head to the mall with confidence and enjoy the holiday season. You may even be more organized than Santa’s elves!
Best wishes for a happy holiday season!
Stephanie Scharr Bonini is a California Closets design consultant based in northern Connecticut who works with clients throughout New England. She is an expert at listening carefully to her clients to achieve a perfect balance of style, function, and budget with every project.