We’ve all been drinking our morning coffee in the blissful moments of quiet before the kids wake up, only to have our calm shattered when the birthday party invitation on the fridge catches our eye.
“Is that today?” we think, panicking because we haven’t picked up the gift yet. Before we know it, we’re rushing through the store trying to find the perfect gift only to settle on a generic, impersonal gift that’s more convenient than meaningful.
Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be this way. Instead, you can become the mom who has all her holiday shopping done by June, who enjoys the holidays with her family rather than standing in line at stores all over town.
The solution is a gifting plan.
Creating a Gifting Plan
A gifting plan doesn’t have to be complicated, but it does take some forethought. Following these simple steps at the start of the year (or whenever you start your gifting plan) will save you stress, time, and money.
- Figure out who you need to buy for this year.
Sit down with your planner and record every occasion who need to buy a gift on the yearly gifting budget tracker below. By pulling all those weddings, birthdays, First Communions, retirements, and holidays in one place, you create an easy-to-use list to keep track of all the gifts you need throughout the year.
Of course, events will pop up after you’ve planned your gift list for the year, but that’s okay. Add an occasion to your gifting budget tracker as soon as you get the invitation.
Keep the list when you’re finished with it. Next year, creating your gifting plan will be even easier since you’ll already know all the occasions you’ll need to buy for.
- Brainstorm the perfect gift for each person and occasion.
If you admire people who always seem to give the perfect gift, their secret is the time they put into really thinking about the recipient.
Gift industry trends show that the best gifts are practical, personal, and meaningful, but those types of gifts take time to find. Use the gifting brainstorm sheet below to help you find the perfect gifts for everyone on your list.
Once you’ve filled out the form for each person, decide which gifts you want to buy. Add them to your yearly gift budget tracker sheet and allocate the amount you are willing to spend on each item. If you’re going to need to ship the gift, add shipping fees to your budget.
- Buy the perfect gifts.
Once you know what you are looking for, it’s time to shop. Since you already have everything listed in one place, it’s easy for you to figure out how you want to do your shopping.
You may want to get all their shopping done as early as possible, which is the level of home management we all strive for. Use the checkboxes on the budget tracker to keep track of what you’ve already bought, and most importantly, don’t forget where you hid the gifts!
You may prefer to spread your spending throughout the year, which is also a great strategy to help you manage your finances. Put a note in your planner at the beginning of each month to remind yourself to shop for that month’s gifts, rather than shopping for each individual gift separately. It will save you time!
Remember to add the amount you spent to your yearly budget tracker for each gift you purchase..
Benefits of a Gifting Plan
Having a gifting plan for the year, even if you stray from it here and there, will save you time and money and improve the quality of your gifts.
Being aware of the gifts you need to purchase helps you keep those items in mind all year long, so you can be on the lookout for them early. You may even find them when you aren’t looking for them. You can also proactively shop sales instead of paying full price like we often end up doing if we wait until the last minute.
By being proactive, you also save yourself a lot of stress, especially during the holidays when you are buying for multiple people and balancing a heftier-than-normal social calendar. You can plan which stores to go to and when or order everything online because you have the time to do so, no matter what happens with the supply chain.
Most importantly, your loved ones will feel the time, effort, and love you put into their gift.
So this year, don’t be the mom who freaks out when that party invite catches your eye. Instead, be the mom who gets to finish her coffee in peace, knowing she has the perfect gift already wrapped and ready to go.