Monday, November 18

Christmas Budget Printable

Every year we set a Christmas budget.
Every year we go in with good intentions.
And every year we blow it. 

Our track record is pretty abysmal. But not this year. With Dave Ramsey in our back pocket, we've set a budget that's lower than ever. And we are fighting tooth and nail to stick to it. We've talked to family about switching to a secret Santa system so everyone can spend less. We're limiting ourselves to the "Four Gifts" for our own kids (something they want, something they need, something to wear, something to read). And we are so excited to say goodbye to both excess spending and excess stuff.

So I made this handy budget printable to help me keep track of what we have, what we need, what we've spent, and how much is left. And I'm sharing it as a free download today so you guys can join us in kicking Christmas debt to the curb! I also have a few budgeting tips to share, plus a video to walk you through exactly how we use each sheet.

This is a six-page printable broken down into the categories we use most, but it's super flexible to adjust to your own needs! I fold the whole thing up and carry it with me for all our Christmas shopping. The first page is our budget-at-a-glance. It shows summaries for each category in one handy place, along with space for extra notes.

I use the note section to keep track of travel dates and who has who in the Secret Santa exchanges.

The Kid's Budget Sheet is my favorite. It's already broken down into the four gift categories (want, need, wear, read) and even has space for stocking stuffers and a chip-in family gift. Because nothing is slipping under the radar this year, guys. You just need one section per kid and can print off more pages as needed.

The general Gift Budget Sheet is super flexible. If you don't stick to the four gift strategy, you can print one of this sheet per family member instead. It's also great to record any other gifts like neighbors or nieces and nephews. Every gift gets a line and every line gets a budget. Overlook nothing, guys.

The next sheet has space for the Christmas Eve Box we give the boys each year with new pajamas, a movie, and snacks. 

This sheet also has a Giving Budget section. Because that's an important part of the season that's easy to overlook! We love looking for ways to give with our kids and have found a few favorites over the years:

There is a sheet for a Decorating Budget (that's a big zero for us this year) and a Food Budget. We don't typically go outside our normal food budget for Christmas, but if you're hosting a party or dinner you may need this space.

The final page has a Travel Budget we can use to track gas and meals on the road. It's not a huge expense since we don't need to fly anywhere or account for hotels, but it's still something we want to keep in mind as a holiday expense. 

There's also a Miscellaneous Budget section for any expenses you may have that we didn't cover (we budgeted in this space for a new printer - it's our gift to ourselves). But remember you can also print out an extra copy of the general Gift Budget page if you have a lot of misc. expenses to cover.

That's a basic run down of the printable, but I'll walk you through where we start and give you some more specific tips on how we use it in this video:

It's kind of a fun challenge to hunt down good, meaningful gifts that fit into our smaller budget. Which is easy to say this early in the season. I mean, I've barely started. We'll see how I feel about this "fun challenge" in a couple weeks. But I do know that when this season is over, after we've stuck to this budget, we're going to be thrilled with the savings we still have in the bank and the potential to save toward some of our bigger dreams. I know it can be hard saying "no" to bonus gifts in the moment, but it's always worth it guys.

Anyone else ready to stick to better budget this year? Let me know how you're cutting expenses and clutter this holiday season!

You can see the rest of my Christmas posts here and the rest of my free printables here.

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