Stay on budget this holiday with these 3 free printables

Organizational experts are forever chastising us mere mortals for failing to do our holiday shopping in July, when the bargains are plenty and time is on our side.

But honestly, where’s the fun in that??

Holiday shopping in the depths of summer somehow seems to miss the point of the holiday. I don’t know about you, but In July, I’m using every bit of spare time to wriggle my toes in the sand with my kiddos…

Happily, shopping in July isn’t the only way to come out ahead on your budget. There are some simple things you can do now to ensure you don’t overspend this holiday – and have a lot more fun gift shopping too.

What’s the secret? A little gift list organization.

Step #1: Brainstorm
It’s not impossible to find gifts for your loved ones that are inspired and on budget. The key to coming up with great gift ideas is to take a minute to walk in the shoes of the person receiving the gift to so that you understand their wants and needs. Once you are clear on that, set a budget and then take a little time to brainstorm before you spend a penny on gifts. Budgeting a few minutes today to come up with gift ideas can save you a mountain of money and sanity in December.

Capture your gift ideas on this free downloadable form:
Free printable holiday gift brainstorming worksheet

Step #2: Track Your Spending
The only way to be sure that you are staying on track on the whole is to stay on top of what you’ve spent on each gift. That way, if you go a little overboard with one person’s gift, you can reign in your spending in another area. Print out this free form from Buttoned Up and keep it with you. Any time you buy a gift, make a note of how much you spent. Once a week, just tally up the total spent to ensure you’re not spending out of control.
holidaybudget_form2big

holidaybudget_form3big

This year, I’m going to do my best to spend less than I budgeted and give the remaining money to Maryknoll Lay Missioners in honor of my mom.

What would you do with the money you saved?