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Use this simple but powerful free Google Sheets Christmas gift list template that I’ve created to keep track of the gifts you need to buy and your gift budget.
WHY IT’S WORTH USING A TRACKER FOR YOUR CHRISTMAS GIFT SHOPPING
Using a Google Sheets spreadsheet to plan and keep track of your Christmas gift shopping will save you time and money. Plus, it makes shopping for Christmas gifts so much easier. And I should know because I use it every year to organise my gift shopping.
Just like everything in life, being organised and having a plan is the best way of making sure you do something efficiently.
None of us want to spend more time than we need on Christmas shopping, and it is easy to go over budget.
So it really does pay to keep track of spending, both by setting a budget up front and then tracking the actual amount you spend on each gift.
FREE GOOGLE SHEET CHRISTMAS GIFT LIST BUDGET TRACKER TEMPLATE
This Google Sheets template is a reliable way of planning gifts for everyone, sticking to a budget and keeping track of shipping dates and links back to the sites or apps that you bought through.
HOW THE GOOGLE SHEET GIFT TRACKER WORKS
I really like using Google Sheets for all my organising and budget tracking. They are super simple to use, and they’re also really easy to use on the go with the Google Sheets app.
The Google sheet planner I have created allows you to set an overall budget for your Christmas gift shopping.
You can then use the planner to set individual budgets for each person you plan to buy a gift for.
You can also note what you plan to buy and the store you plan to buy it from.
Once you’ve bought a gift, you can add in what it actually costs you to buy, and the planner will then show you how much money you have left from both the individual budget and the overall gift budget you set.
This way, you can decide as you go along whether you want to increase someone else’s budget, buy an extra gift for someone or simply make a saving on your overall budget.
I’ve also included a Status section where you can choose from a dropdown list to show the delivery status: Ordered/Delivery date confirmed/Delivered. Because there is nothing worse than losing track of where all the gifts are!
Plus, I’ve created a notes section just so you can keep track of ideas and other useful information.
STEP-BY-STEP HOW TO USE THE GIFT TRACKER
- First up, you need to set an overall budget.
- Then, in the first column, list out everyone you need to buy a gift for.
- Add details of the exact gift or the kind of thing you want to buy into column two.
- Jot down any ideas you have for where to buy the gift in the third column.
- In the fourth column, you can set a budget for each person’s gift – that way, you can easily check if you’re likely to blow your overall budget before you’ve even started shopping.
- You’ll keep a running tally of your spending by adding the cost of each gift into column five.
- Column six is set up to show the balance against the set budget.
- Note shipping details in column 7.
- Choose a status for the gift in column 8 – ordered, delivery date confirmed, delivered.
- Make useful notes in the final column.
The balance will keep you on track, and if you end up making savings on one gift, you know you have that money to spend on another gift – or to simply bank as a saving.
HOW TO DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE CHRISTMAS GIFT PLANNER GOOGLE SHEET
If you’re already a subscriber to Mums Make Lists, you can go right ahead and click the image of the Google Sheet or link below it to download your FREE Google Sheet Christmas gift planner download.
You will be prompted to make a copy of the google sheet, so go ahead and make the copy (see instructional image below)
Yet to subscribe? Then, you’ll need to unlock this exclusive content by subscribing. It literally takes seconds.
How to copy the document: Click on the blue ‘Make A Copy’ button. The document will be recreated in your Google Drive. You can rename it to whatever you want to call it.
Related: The Five Gift Rule and how it works
USEFUL CHRISTMAS GIFT SHOPPING TIPS
- Book time into your calendar to do your gift shopping. I always tend to go for the end of November, ideally at some point in the week leading up to and including Black Friday. That way, I know two things:
- All my gift shopping is done and dusted in plenty of time for Christmas.
- I’ve given myself the best chance to snap up bargains and get the best deals.
- You should have a rough idea from the Christmas gift shopping planner what the ratio is of online shops to shops you’ll need to visit. So plan the amount of time you think you’ll need accordingly.
- I usually allow a good half-day for online shopping and a day for visiting the shops.
- My big piece of advice is to do the online shopping before you head to the shops. It’s far easier to suss out the bargains online.
- Plus, online shopping offers the benefit of having everything delivered versus carrying heavy bags around a shopping mall.
- Start with the gifts where you know exactly what you want to buy. For example, a particular lipstick from a beauty brand or a particular kids’ toy. I tend to follow this process for each gift:
- Do a quick Google search to see if you can spot any special offers.
- Establish which online stores stock the product and at which prices
- Compare shipping costs
- Visit a couple of voucher code sites to see if there are any special Christmas promo codes. I tend to always visit one I know I can trust, which is Vouchercodes.co.uk. I’ve also got the Vouchercodes App.
- Update the shop column with the online store you’re planning to buy from and note any voucher codes.
- Don’t buy until you have noted everything you’re going to buy from a particular store to maximise on free or reduced shipping.
- When you know the kind of thing you want to buy but don’t yet know the exact gift, your first mission needs to be for inspiration. Here’s what I tend to do to nail down a gift idea:
- A quick trip to Pinterest to search for gift inspiration – create a gift board; you can make it a secret board to keep prying eyes away.
- Google search phrases – ‘gift ideas for mums, wooden toy gifts for 2-year-old’ – I also tend to pin ideas to my Pinterest board.
- Visit favourite blogs and magazine sites for gift ideas – again, I usually pin ideas to my secret Pinterest board.
- Make a note of the gift ideas on the planner, along with where to buy them.
- Revisit the steps for buying an exact gift above to double-check for the best price / overall cost, including shipping
- Once you have your plan complete for all your online shopping, get buying. Group gifts by online store to maximise on free or discounted shipping.
- Finally, make sure you’ve updated the actual cost column and check the total amount in the balance column. Then, you’ll have a clear idea of whether you’ve overspent, underspent or are on target.
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Hello, I’m Luci, founder of Mums Make Lists (Est. 2011). Over the last decade or so, I have combined my experience as a mum, journalist and shopping editor to create useful guides and lists of ideas and inspiration to make it easier for busy parents to plan and host kids’ parties and find great gifts. Read more.