The holiday period is nearly upon us, meaning most of you will be planning and buy gifts. I personally celebrate Christmas in the UK, but maybe you celebrate another holiday that you need to budget for? And if you don’t celebrate any holidays throughout the year, maybe this blog can help you budget for birthday presents!
The biggest problem I have over the holiday period is keeping to the budget. I’m usually very good and saving money and making sure I’m careful with my purchases. But when it comes to gift buying that usually goes out the window. For this blog I sat down and really tried to figure out what makes me go over budget most years, so I can help you (and myself!!) stop doing this. So keep reading for 5 things to help you not spend more than you plan to this year!
- Archer and Olive Journal – The lovely and thick pages have no bleeding or ghosting, so you get a clean start for every spread! Also, it means you can decorate the spread without worrying about it.
- Pencil – To carefully plan out your ideas so you can make sure your spread has everything you need.
- Fineliners – My favourites are the Unipin fineliners as they’re waterproof, affordable and have a strong nib.
- Decorative Touch (optional) – This could be anything from washi to watercolour, or of course, nothing! I usually like to add a personal touch to my spreads so they’re more fun to use and look at.
Make A List Of People
So this is the simplest tip, and you may think you don’t even need to do this. But EVERYTIME I don’t make a list of people I need to buy for, I always end up missing someone out. Thankfully I’ve usually noticed whilst I’m wrapping presents, but that’s usually only a couple days before Christmas. So you can only imagine what the shops look like when I’m trying to find something last minute.
But apart from avoiding shops on Christmas Eve, these last minute presents are usually where your budget gets blown. First of all, you may have already allocated your entire budget between the people you remembered, so anything you spend now is over. But it’s also really easy to ignore the budget when you’re last minute as you can be extra worried about not finding something so you buy the first thing that you see. Which brings us on to….
A Budget For Each Person
I used to really have a problem with this as it felt like I was putting a monetary value on a friendship/relationship. But as I get older and I have more people to buy for, it is more and more important to look at my budget and split it between everyone I need to buy for. It is never worth getting into debt over buying presents over the holiday period. And some of my favourite presents are homemade items that cost much less. By splitting up your budget before you start buying you have an idea of how much you truly have for each person, and you won’t spend your entire budget in one present.
Have Ideas In Mind
Now you have a budget for each person, before you go shopping I always find it helpful to jot down some ideas within the budget for each person. This helps me so much with having productive shopping days as I’m more directed with where I want to go, and what kind of things I’m looking for. In the past when I’ve had no ideas on what to buy for someone, I either come back empty handed or buy something way over budget!
Make Lists Of What You Have Bought
I find some people much easier to buy for than others, so one thing I always find myself doing whilst I’m out shopping is over-buying for one person, and getting nothing for another. If this is true for you too, one thing I find really helpful is keeping a list of everything I’ve already bought so I make sure to focus on buying presents for people I haven’t found anything for yet.
Make A Dedicated Spread In Your Bullet Journal
It’s probably no surprise to you that all of these tips can be easily managed by making a dedicated gift spread in your journal! Here’s one that I (@hayleyremdeart) have personally found really useful in the past:
As you can see I created a gift tag for each person I had to buy for that year. In pencil I put in some ideas, which I then filled in when bought that item, or was able to easily erase it if I found something else. I usually took my journal shopping to see whom I still needed to buy for, but you could also take an updated picture of the spread before you go if you don’t want to carry your journal. As my spread was for Christmas buying, I also included my Christmas plans and other Christmas spending that I wanted to keep in mind such as buying a few decorations and/or a tree.
But there are so many amazing spreads that I found from the community on Instagram. Here are some of my favourites:
I love this spread by Barbara (@barbarahaegerart) as it includes a food list, which is especially helpful for budgeting if you’re in charge of cooking for the holiday! Thankfully I’ve never been given this responsibility as I’m terrible at cooking, but I’ll be keeping this one in mind if I ever am!
This layout by Aimee (@aim4adventures) has such a useful table to input each person you need to buy for and other important information such as what store, gift, and wrapping method you want to use! This spread could be made as simplistic or artistic as you feel comfortable with. I love how they added a Christmas bucket list to theirs!
This spread by Anna (@anncakes.art) is a perfect example of how you can plan out your budget for the holiday period in your bullet journal! I love how they’ve included budgets for Christmas dinner, decor and stocking stuffers in top of gifts as it’s definitely easy to forget to budget for these things!
Finally, I think this spread by Alex (@alex_bujo) is the most functional spread for holiday shopping that I’ve ever seen! I love a table, and this one includes everything you need. The name, budget, gift ideas, price, whether it’s been bought and whether it’s been delivered! I wish I had seen this one in time for this years planning!!
Hopefully I’ve given you some help and inspiration to keep on budget this holiday! And if I have, I would love to see your spreads, so tag me on Instagram (@hayleyremdeart) and use #hayleyremdeinspired to get the chance to get your creations featured in my stories!