I know you read the title and thought “HOW! My kiddos are to cute and I see all the hot deals and I just want to buy them!” 🙂 And I am sure some of you are sitting there thinking “I run into this problem each year when I start pulling gifts out of the closets, under the bed, in the garage, ect and they just don’t seem to stop being found”. I used to be really (really really) bad about forgetting what I bought and where I put it (and yes a few times found gifts after the holidays were over that were supposed to have been given). I would find things on sale get them (a few times ended up with multiples of the same toys) and it was a mad house figuring out what I had and who it was for. Totally did not help the budget at all, and even though I still was not spending much I was still wasting money by not keeping track of what I did have.
We have a limit of gifts that we plan to get each of our children, we try to keep it the same cost amount but that does not always happen (Thanks for free credits from daily deal sites when you sign up 🙂 ) But to save money we have a set limit on a number for each child and we try to stick to it. This is not to say we set the limit to 10 gifts and the kids end up with 25, there are times that we will go 1 or 2 gifts above what we had set but only because the items were free or extremely marked down.
So we started keeping track of what was bought for who and how much it cost. We try to keep the amount of money spend on each kid the same (not always possible but we do try). So in order to keep track of everything I set up a word document on the computer that had each person I needed to buy for including the kids. When I bought something I added it under their name and when I was done shopping for them I put their name in bold so it was easy for me to see who was done. I also keep a running total at the bottom of the page for how much I have spent so that I do not go over budget 🙂
I also write down where in the house I hid the present, this way I do not lose them anymore (nor do I end up with multiple of the same gift) .
Doing all of this has saved us money, we did donate the stuff that was bought more then once, so it did have a use, but there are times like now with things being tight as it is in our house that wasting money is not an option and being able to stay on track with my budget, not over buy is very important and being organized with what is what will save you a lot of money and stress 🙂
My Tips for Keeping track of things during the holiday:
- Keep a running list of everyone you need to buy for
- Keep a list of what you have spent and what your budget is to spend and know how much is available still.
- Keep track of where you put gifts
- Keep track of what you bought and who it is for
- Stick to your shopping/budget/gifts plan as much as possible
Do you limit what you spend? How do you keep track of what you have bought? Do you end up finding gifts that got lost after the holidays too?
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