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Sticking to a budget for Christmas can be tough. Whether spending more than you wanted to on the kids, last minute panic buying or going overboard on the food, Christmas rarely comes cheap and it can be so easy to lose of track of what you’ve spent. The average person spends £820 on Christmas – which to me seems like an absolutely crazy amount. For someone on minimum wage that’s three and a half weeks pay! This year I’ve been using a budgeting app for Christmas shopping to help me curb my spending and stick within my limits.
One of the best ways to stick to a budget in the run-up to Christmas is to record everything you’re spending so you easily see where every penny has gone. However, I’m totally aware that this is so much easier said than done, especially if like me you pick up bits and pieces as you see them.
Many people at this point would probably recommend a spreadsheet, and if it’s something that works for you then that’s fab. For me, however, I just don’t get them. Then there’s the issue of always needing to fire up the laptop when you need to update it. Often it may not seem worth it for the odd small purchase and then these little bit pieces can go unaccounted for and will soon start to add up.
If you’re looking to cut back your spending on Christmas this year I have a fab guest post from Tuppenny talking about the 11 things she refuses to buy this Christmas.
The BEST Free Budgeting App For Christmas
This year I’ve been using the App Gift List lite app to help me track my Christmas spending and I’ve found it really useful. The lite version of the app is free and this had more than enough features to keep me happily tracking my spending – if you did want to upgrade the full version is only £1.99. For full disclosure this is not a sponsored post – I’ve just really enjoyed using this app to track my Christmas spending.
The app allows you to add in each person you need to buy for and set a budget for them. Each person can be categorized under family, friends, co-worker or other. When you buy a gift you add it to the app under each persons name, pop in how much you paid and the app tots everything up for you.
You can add gift ideas, presents that have already been purchased and whether they have been wrapped yet and even whether or not they have been given. When adding an idea you can also add where to buy it from which is really handy if like me you have a brain like a sieve!
On my app I added a couple of extra categories under ‘other’ – one for spending on food – something I definitely need to keep track of! – and one for miscellaneous purchases such as wrapping paper and cards.
Once you’ve added everyone you need to buy for and what you’re buying for them the app gives you an overview of how you’re doing with your spending and how much you have remaining. There’s also the not so subtle reminder of how many days there are left until Christmas!
As well as an overview of what you have spent the app gives you an overview of how many gifts you have left to buy (if you know what you’re getting but haven’t bought it yet). The app will also tell you how many gifts you have purchased, wrapped and given.
I’m sure there are plenty of other budgeting apps out there but personally, I’ve enjoyed using this one and found really useful for tracking my spending in the run-up to Christmas. Even if you’re someone who buys gifts throughout the year this is a great tool for logging what you’ve bought as you go along. It’s also a lot easier to see what you’ve bought and for who without having to go and raid the Christmas cupboard! And unlike using a spreadsheet, the majority of us have our phones with almost all of the time – making updating as soon as something has been purchased really easy. I genuinely think using this free budgeting app for Christmas shopping has helped me spend less and I hope using it could do the same for my readers too.
If you love a Christmas freebie here are some free Santa Chrismas Colouring Printables