Oh, the joys of Christmas as an adult - holiday parties, entertaining, office gifts, and trying to stay on budget for all the things the season holds.  It's so easy to get overwhelmed by your holiday to-do list, and with financial obligations as adults that we didn't have as children, it can be hard to know where to even begin!  

I designed this Christmas Gift Tracker to help you make the most of your holiday season as you give meaningful, thoughtful gifts and also keep yourself on target for your spending goals and plans.  Being prepared and planning ahead will make your life so much easier this Christmas!  Here are my suggestions for how to really maintain your budget as you shop and share this season.

Plan Ahead

Oftentimes, the things that break our budget or cause us stress are the things that pop up at the last minute!  Take time now to plan ahead for who and what you're buying so you can see the bigger picture and make sure your ideas fit with your goals.  Planning ahead will also allow you to be more intentional with your gift-giving strategy, so you don't end up giving fuzzy socks to everyone!  

Focus on the Why

It's easy to get wrapped up in the what, and not the why, of the holidays.  All the sparkles and glitz make us want more stuff and sparklier things, but at the end of the day, it's less about what you give and more about why you give it.  Use the Christmas Gift Tracker to jot down ideas for thoughtful, truly meaningful gifts for the people you love.  Focus on things they'll actually love - like a day at the spa together or a stack of books from their wish list - instead of whatever is hot right this second.  

Factor in Shipping Costs 

These days, lots of gifts are found online - and I totally love being able to shop from my sofa!  While a lot of big box retailers offer free shipping (like Amazon Prime), there are many times when gifts ordered online also include a shipping fee as well.  As you are planning and preparing what you'll give to those you love this season, be sure to factor in the cost of shipping as well!  Keeping this extra fee in mind will keep you from being surprised and also help you budget more accurately.  A $30 gift plus shipping is could end up looking more like $40!  Be sure to jot down the shipping costs of your gifts on your Christmas Gift Tracker so there are no surprises this season.  

I'd love to know what helps you stay on budget during the holidays!  Comment below with your tips and tricks and let's cheer each other on!

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