Set Up Your Christmas Budget

Welcome back to another day in getting you organized and ready for Christmas! So far we have talked about how to get organized for Christmas by downloading the Christmas planner and filling out the calendar & to-do lists to be intentional with our time. Day 3 of our 15 Days to an Organized Christmas Challenge is all about the budget. Oh yes! We are going there today and talking about the dreaded budget. 

The budget. I feel like it is a love/hate relationship for me when it comes to the budget. It is a very good thing to have in place because it tells you how much to spend and gives you the freedom to spend that much money in that category. But it can also be hard to stay within the guidelines of the set amount. Regardless of how you feel about the budget, having all your Christmas items in order starts with you actually setting a budget. 

You need to know exactly how much you can spend. If you have a spouse/significant other, communicate with them and go over how much money you can set aside for Christmas spending. You are going to spend money this holiday season so be intentional with how you are going to do it. The last thing you want to do is to have a huge credit card bill in January. That is no gift to give yourself! Do your homework ahead of time and set a certain amount of what you are going to spend this year. Spend your money on purpose on paper before you start shopping.

The goal of today is to set up the Christmas budget and to decide on how much you are spending in each area based on your total amount. If you are unsure of how much to budget for, think back to how much you spent last year. Ask yourself was it enough? Can you get away with a little less, do you need a little more this year, or was it just right? 

In the Christmas planner I created, there is a budget tracker worksheet that is perfect to keep track of all your holiday spending. Here is how to set up your worksheet for success. In the top portion, notate the big overall categories. Things like food, gifts for others, decorations, Christmas party, gifts for family go here. Give each category a set amount based on your overall Christmas budget. For example, the top portion would look like this: Christmas budget $1000, food = $150, decorations = $100, gifts for family = $400, gifts for others = $200, Christmas cards = $100, misc = $50. Down in the next section, when you buy something, write in the date, store/website, budget category, and amount spent. If you need another copy of the budget tracker, now is the time to print it off.

The other worksheet that you are fill out out today is the Gift List. Write down different people's names that you will buy a gift for and how much you are spending on the person. If you have a gift idea already in mind, quickly write it down but don't worry if you don't since we'll go over that part tomorrow. For example, if you overall gift budget is $200, write that amount done and go from there. Dad - $50, Mom - $50, Grandparent - $25, Sister - $25, Friend - $25, Babysitter - $10, Neighbor gift x3 = $15. Later, when you are buying the gifts, write in the actual amount that you've spent and check if the gift is bought/wrapped/delivered. 

Today's Assignment

Have a quick budget meeting and decide how much money you are going to spend this Christmas season and write that number down on the budget tracker worksheet of the Christmas planner. Next, decide who you are going to buy gifts for and how much to spend on each person. Look back over your calendar and to-do list to figure out your other budget categories and the spending amount for each one based on your budget. 

Are you finding that this Christmas organization series is helping you think about and plan for the upcoming holidays? What is your biggest challenge when it comes to Christmas?

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