My Christmas List
Posted by Ken | Filed under Ken
The folks at the Interac® Association just posted survey results stating that two-thirds of Canadians will set a holiday budget this year.
Spending bias aside, the survey turned up some interesting numbers:
- 96% percent of consumers said they would take necessary measures to stay on budget: buy items on sale (well duh!), shopping early (79%), shopping online (62%), make home-made gifts (38%).
- 96% of respondents said that they would go over budget if they found “that special gift” for their spouse, parent, child or themselves.
- 25% of respondents indicated they would buy a gift for their pet while only 8% indicated that they would buy a gift for their boss.
Seems everyone and their mother is blogging about the importance of celebrating the holidays on a budget, and I wholeheartedly agree. However, I need to fess up… This is the first year I’m actually attempting to budget my way though Christmas. Every year up until now, I’ve just spent my way through Christmas – not to excess, mind you (I had student loans to pay off), but never with any sense of the damage until the chaos was over and the bills started arriving on my doorstep.
This year, I have decided to transfer my finely-honed budgeting skills over to my Christmas shopping.
My Christmas list is on an Excel spreadsheet – you know Excel…that program on your computer that you never use but you think does math or something… I’ve uploaded the spreadsheet to my Google Docs account so that I can access The List anywhere – on my phone, at home, the office, etc. Very handy.
I have my list broken down by person and itemizes everything I would theoretically like to get each person, where to get the item at the best price, and how much it actually costs (factoring in sales taxes and shipping, if applicable). My spreadsheet isn’t just for gifts, either! I’ve included lines for wrapping paper, cards and postage, decorations, wine for house parties, the office Secret Santa, and any extra charitable giving.
Thanks to the wonders of technology, I’ve set up my spreadsheet to add up the dollar signs and tell me what I’m going to be spending on each individual person and my grand holiday total. Once I know what everything costs, I can start to scale back based on the amount I’ve determined I can afford. Working with a spreadsheet helps keep all the information in one place and helps me easily add and delete items. If the item puts me over budget, then it gots-ta go. It also helps solve the dilemma of getting someone one large gift or several smaller ones. Once I’ve made my gift selections and the math checks out, then it’s time to start shopping…the part I dread the most. At least I’ll be shopping with a list. Oy.
What are your holiday budgeting strategies?
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