Tired of wondering how much you’ve spent on each gift or holiday-related purchase? Use these holiday budget tracker envelopes and you’ll take the guesswork out of your holiday spending!
You know those moments when you're all fired up and inspired, you write all sorts of lists and goals, and you're ready to conquer the world… then you go ahead and do a whole lotta nada about it because you just don't know where to start? Yeah, the story of my life sometimes. Don't worry kids, Mama J's here to help.
Since you're excited about not overdoing Christmas this year and know how much you should spend on your kids for Christmas, I've made it super-duper simple to manage it all! And yes, we even have free printables. You can thank me by way of peppermint eggnog and caramel popcorn, please.
*Note: When you click the links in this post, we may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.
The holiday budget tracker method I suggest using is the same concept as with tracking your weekly “grocery” and “other” budgets, so it won't be anything new (hooray!). Here's how it works…
SET INDIVIDUAL BUDGETS
Before you can start tracking your spending, you’ve got to set your budgets! Break your budget down rather than putting it in one lump sum. That makes it easier to track and much more realistic to actually follow. Here are the budgets that I would DEFINITELY suggest setting and sticking to!
- Gifts – We have some great gift giving hacks to show you how much you should be spending and how to do it on a budget! We also go into great detail over how much to spend on your kids and family in our How Much to Spend on Christmas post. Whatever you decide, come up with a budget for each person you’ll be giving a gift to.
- Stockings – It is so easy to spend a fortune on stockings, but I’m going to help you to put a stop to that! Check out our Christmas Stockings 101 post and see how we budget for our stockings, as well as get some cheap stocking stuffer ideas.
- Travel – This is one of those areas that can really cost a lot. Learn how to budget for holiday travel so you can prepare for those costs as painlessly as possible.
- Food – This can really be a large amount if you’re hosting guests for the holidays. Save some money and your budget on holiday food!
- Supplies – This would include decor, paper plates, plasticware, napkins, and things like that. Pretty much anything you would need to entertain on a budget.
Getting these budgets figured out will seriously help you save buckets of money! So really, why wouldn't you take the time to get these worked out?!
PRINT OUR HOLIDAY BUDGET TRACKER PRINTABLE
Now that you have your budgets figured out, print out the holiday budget tracker printable on a blank white standard-sized legal envelope. Stick the envelope in your printer as it instructs you to do, adjust the size as needed, and voila! A perfectly crisp, cute, and organized little envelope for you to keep in your wallet or purse this season.
Print as many as you need to fit all of your budgets. Make sure you always keep them with you, whether you’re out “Christmas shopping” or not… You never know when you’ll stumble across a gift for someone that you hadn’t planned on buying. You always want to make sure you know exactly how much is left in each budget!
HOW TO USE THE HOLIDAY BUDGET TRACKER ENVELOPES
Now that you’ve printed out your envelopes, write each budget or person’s name on the side of each box. Then, write their total budgets for Christmas on the top line.
Every time you spend something, subtract from the total in that square. This allows you to always see how much you have remaining. When the budget is gone, it’s gone! If you realize you need more money, then return something that's not a necessity to the store (or take it out of your online shopping cart).
CAN YOU BORROW FROM OTHER BUDGETS?
As with my regular envelope budgeting method, you can borrow from other budgets. Just do so sparingly! As mentioned in my How Much to Spend on Christmas post, your 2-year-old probably won't need more than $30 for Christmas, so the extra $20 can go to a teenager who needs more.
If you need to shuffle, that's okay. Just make sure every dollar is accounted for; it all has to come from somewhere. Trust me, it helps SO MUCH! Simple awareness will keep you from going overboard.
KEEP YOUR RECEIPTS
The most important tip? Don't forget the receipts!
Stick all receipts from anything you spend money on Christmas-wise in the envelope before you even finish putting your wallet away! Having all your receipts in one place makes everything, including returns, soooooo much easier. It's also a quick and easy way to ensure you wrote down everything you bought on your envelope.
DO YOU HAVE TO USE THE PRINTABLE?
No, not at all! I prefer to use the format of the holiday budget tracker printable. However, you can also use the envelopes in two other ways.
- Use one envelope, divided in half, to keep track of your two main holiday budget categories. Just make sure you give yourself a starting budget at the top, and then subtract any time you make a purchase. You can write down what you bought and what it was for next to it and keep up with your purchases that way.
- Use one envelope for each category. You will have more envelopes this way, but it's more organized if that’s your love language! There could be one for food, travel, supplies, gifts, and so on. You could even go so far as to have an envelope for each person’s gifts if you wanted to get that crazy!
The main focus is on you being able to keep up with all of your purchases and know how much is left in each budget. Besides that, you do you, girl! 😉
That's it! So easy! Let me know if you have any questions in the comments. 🙂
If you need more help with your budget, let me remind you about my secret sauce online budgeting program, Budget Boot Camp! BBC is a super fun, 27-video program that makes money easy to understand. All you need is a screen and you're set!
And don't forget, if you don't save at LEAST what you paid for the program, I'll refund every dime. You've got nothing to lose (except your debt)! Use the code FCFBLOG to get an extra 10% off, because I love you 😉
Looking for more Christmas ideas?
- Learn how to set your holiday budget and get your holiday spending under control!
- See how we do our Christmas traditions as a family.
- This holiday bucket list printable is the ultimate Christmas break boredom buster!
Now, get out there are do some Christmas shopping, Freebs! May the force be with you.