Budgeting, especially for the holidays, can be overwhelming, time-consuming, and sometimes feel like you’re putting in a lot of work for what’s supposed to be a fun, carefree time. However, more Americans than ever are going into debt for the holiday season. In a 2019 pre-holiday poll, about 25% of American consumers planned to go into debt for the holiday shopping season - but about 44% actually did.
But that doesn’t mean there’s reason to panic. Having a spending plan allows you to have flexibility while keeping within your overall budget goals. We have created a spending plan template for you to set your mind at ease and help you have a fabulous holiday without going into debt. We’ve divided your holiday spending into several different categories, each with their own tab.
Here’s how to use the template:
- Make a copy of the Google Spreadsheet
- This will add it to your Google Drive. You will not be able to edit the document without copying it first.
- If you prefer to use Excel, download it as an Excel. The template will still work as intended.
- Start by inputting what you want to spend on for each category
- Don’t enter anything in the Actual and Difference columns - these have formulas and will auto-populate for you.
- Make sure that the total budget number (cell C10) is what you want to spend overall.
- This tab will track your total spending. If you go over budget in one category but under in another, that will be reflected here.
- Fill out each tab according to the category.
- I recommend filling out each category with details on what you intend to spend prior to actually buying the item, but you can also fill it out as you go along.
- For example, if you know you need to buy your nephew Tim a present, you can put his name and what your max spend is for him (i.e. $25). Then, once you buy the present, you can update with actual costs. I recommend changing the color of the row to differentiate between an allocation and an actual purchased present.
- The easiest way to make this budget work is to enter things as you purchase them. It takes less than 5 minutes after you buy a present to pull up the spreadsheet and enter the information in from your receipt (this is why I love Google Spreadsheets - you can edit from your phone!). If you let it go too long without updating, it will seem like too big of a chore and you will be less likely to do it.
And that’s how you use our Holiday Spending Plan Template! If you have any questions, feel free to reach out at email@example.com. We hope this template helps you to have a fabulous holiday season. Thanks for making us a part of it.Please note that these digital downloads are limited to personal, non-commercial use only. They are not to be sold or used to promote other businesses.