Money Saving Monday: Make a List… and Check It Twice

Money Saving Tips

*Every Monday throughout 2014 I will be sharing Money Savings Tips to help stick to and expand your budget!

I know, I know. It’s annoying to see all of the holiday decorations and supplies before Halloween was even over. And I’m sorry if I’m insulting you by posting holiday related posts already, but planning ahead is a great way to save money.

One of the first things I do to prepare for the extra costs of the holidays is to make a list. I make a list of everyone I need and want to buy a gift for this winter in excel. I also put a dollar amount next to each name as a rough/max budget I’d like to spend. This gives me a good idea what to expect, and if the total amount is too much, I try to reduce the overall cost.

I also brainstorm different gift ideas that the person may like as well as their interests or any other notes. My excel sheet may read something like this:

Brother, $50,  North Face, Pats Fan who attends a lot of games, just moved to first apartment– restaurant gift card? small appliances? wall art?

By making notes, I have a good start of ideas to keep an eye out for. Sometimes I come across great deals and forget that it may be a good deal for someone on my list. For instance, if Amazon has a lightning deal for an Coleman tailgating grill, I may think of my brother who loves to tailgate at Gillette Stadium.

There’s a lot of great deals that come out near the holidays and keeping a list (and budget) is a great way to keep track of it all. Also, when you are organized and can recognize a good deal, it makes shopping a lot easier and less expensive!

You’ll also find a lot more special offers and promo codes near the holiday season so I like to add them to my excel sheet. For example, if Shutterfly sends me a $10 off promo code in my e-mail, I’ll add the promo code to the spreadsheet with the expiration date. I like to make sure I take advantage of the free offers without letting them expire!

How do you stay organized with holiday gift giving? Do you have any tips to share?

To find more Money Saving Tips from Boston On Budget, please head here.