Saturday, January 28, 2012

Planning Gifts

I've planned ahead for our Christmas gifts for awhile now but I sort of winged it when it came to birthdays throughout the year. This year I am doing it differently. I made up a Word.doc that I can refer back to and update as I buy things on sale and make things throughout the year. So I can keep track of how much I have spent, what I have bought for whom, etc. I have it broken down by month, and have the family and friends that I typically buy gifts for listed under the appropriate month. Then I add the gift info as I buy/make something for that person something like this:

Mom - dvd $5, frame (on sale with coupon) with pictures of grandkids $15 (originally $30)
Shannon - purse (sale) $10, handmade headband $3 (supplies)

Dad - tickets to the movies (deal on Groupon) $8, Old Navy t-shirt $5 (on clearance - originally $20)
Nate - Lego set $15
(website sale 50% off), Star Wars book set (Half Price Books) $5

You get the idea. As you can see, we have a pretty modest budget for gifts - its around $20 for most of our family and $50 or so for our kids. Sometimes it takes creative shopping/planning to get the most for our dollar and put together nice gifts for a minimal amount of money.
I expect this pre-planning will help me to avoid over-buying like I have in the past. In past years I would buy things on sale with someone in mind and stash them for later but forget about them. But now I'll be keeping track and know who I already have purchased stuff for. If you need help planning your gift purchases here are a few posts on budgeting for gifts. A few of these are Christmas posts but are easily applied to buying birthday gifts.

A Guide to Budget for Gifts You Can Afford

Clutter-free "Consumable" Gift Ideas

30 Gifts Under $25

Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2Cor 9:7

The Southern Institute

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