Grab one of these free Christmas budget worksheets to help you stay under budget this holiday season
The holidays are here, and although it’s a joyous time, it can be a stressful time too, especially when we’re talking about our finances. Without a budget plan in place, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and overspend on gifts and activities.
It can feel like an endless cycle of spending money you don’t have, holiday shopping for the perfect presents that your family will love, but knowing that your wallet won’t.
If you want to manage your holiday budget this season, one of the best ways is to use a printable Christmas budget planner. With our easy-to-follow printables and helpful guide to making your holiday budget, we’ll help make sure you stay organized and make the most out of this holiday season (without going into debt)!
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Why use a printable Christmas budget?
Printable Christmas budgets are an excellent tool to help you plan and manage your holiday expenses. As no one wants to go into debt for Christmas, but sadly that happens all too often. People intend to “scale back,” but they can’t seem to make it work. When that January credit card bill arrives, you can’t believe you’re in the same spot as last year.
Here’s a hint: to “make it work,” you need to plan for it to work by creating and using a holiday budget planner.
Here are a few reasons why using a printable Christmas budget is a good idea:
- Keeps spending in check: One of the primary reasons to use a printable Christmas budget is to keep spending in check. With a budget in place, you can track your expenses and make sure you don’t overspend during the holidays. It helps to prioritize expenses so the money is spent on what matters most.
- Reduces stress: The holiday season can be a stressful time, especially when it comes to money. A printable Christmas budget can help reduce stress by clearly understanding what can be spent and what cannot.
- Helps to plan ahead: A printable Christmas budget can help you plan ahead for the holiday season. It provides a framework to set financial goals and work towards them. It also helps to avoid impulse buying and focus on what is on the plan, as it encourages you to start thinking about gifts early. I don’t know about you, but I hate scrambling at the last minute to figure out a good gift for my husband. (I tend to overspend when I do that too, because I latch on to anything that I think he might like and don’t care as much about the cost).
- Encourages saving: Finally, using a printable Christmas budget can encourage people to save money for the holidays. It helps get you thinking about setting aside money each month leading up to the holiday season so you don’t need to pull out the credit card. This is my biggest tip to save beforehand (but we’ll go more into this below).
10 printable Christmas budget templates
Sure, you can make your own Christmas budget worksheet with a pen and paper. But I can tell you there’s no need to recreate the wheel (unless you want to).
Many budget-minded people have already created a Christmas budget planner and want to give it to you (usually for free)! So we’ve rounded up some great free Christmas budget printables. You just need to pick the one that suits your needs the best.
1. Holiday mini budget planner from Money for the Mamas
If you want a debt-free (and stress-free) holiday season, grab this holiday budget planner now (from me)! You get a budget goal planner, a Christmas gift list planner, and a holiday budget planner by category (i.e., decorations, stocking stuffers, baking, holiday meals, etc.).
2. Free printable Christmas budget worksheets from What Mommy Does
This nice & simple one-page Christmas gift budget planner from What Mommy Does can help you plan out your gift budget, so you don’t end up overspending. You don’t want to mess around with the Christmas debt hangover, so be sure to start saving money now!
To get two steps ahead of the holiday savings game, you should absolutely start saving for Christmas during the summer. Find out exactly how I plan for the holidays (while still in July). I do this every year, and I never get a credit card bill come January that sends me into shock!
3. Free holiday budget worksheet from Life and a Budget
This one-page holiday spending worksheet from Life and a Budget can help you get a good idea of your overall holiday spending budget. You’ll want to grab a few blank sheets of paper if you want to detail down into the line items and specific expenses.
4. Free holiday budget printables from Passion for Savings
You can grab a two-page holiday planner from Passion for Savings, where you can plan out your major spending categories and then get nitty gritty with your gift list budgeting and spending.
5. Holiday planner from Budgets Made Easy
Here’s a great holiday planner pack from Budgets Made Easy; you get eight pages of worksheets to plan out your holiday fun, to-do lists, organization stuff, and gift lists. If you prefer a spreadsheet version, you can pay a small price for that feature too!
6. Holiday budget planner from Boss Single Mama
Here is a nice combo planner from Boss Single Mama – part holiday to-do list and part budget planner with a gift list planner thrown in for good measure! I know the holidays mean a lot of extra errands and project planning, so a to-do list organizer is great!
7. Holiday budget tracker envelopes from Fun Cheap or Free
If you are a fan of cash envelope budgeting, then grab these free holiday envelopes from Fun Cheap or Free. You can plan out your spending by category (but write small as the envelope isn’t big). Cash envelope budgeting is a great way to help control impulse spending, as when the cash is gone, your spending is done.
8. Christmas budget template for the kiddos from Year Round Homeschooling
Starting to teach children about money around the holidays can be a great opportunity. However, it’s important to begin early, such as in October or November, to give your kiddo enough time to save up for their present shopping. I wouldn’t suggest starting earlier than that as Christmas will seem “too far away” for them to really care.
This is a Christmas Budget and price comparison printable pack just for the kiddos from Year Round Homeschooling can help reinforce the positive message of gifting to others, saving up, and the importance of comparing prices to keep within your budget.
You can grab a bunch of free budgeting worksheets for kids right here to help you all year long.
9. Printable Christmas budget sheets from Queen of the Household
This printable pack from Queen of the Household is perfect for those that love checklists. It’s simple and straightforward without the frills that can sometimes send your brain into overload. It’s just four pages for you to list out what you need to spend and how much you actually spent.
10. Christmas checklist budget printables from House of Mix
If you start thinking about Christmas and your mind goes blank, then grab this easy Christmas printable template from House of Mix. One page is your budget plan, and the next is a checklist of everything you shouldn’t forget about when planning your holiday season.
5 steps to creating your own Christmas budget plan
If none of the above free printables are what you need, you can easily make your own. Just be sure to use a pencil & eraser, as you will probably change your mind a few times on how much you’ll want to spend on things. Here are the steps to follow.
Step One: Start saving early
Saving ahead of the holidays is my biggest (not-so) secret weapon. I budget my spending by the week, so every week, I set aside $25 from my spending money to stuff into a cash envelope. You can read all about my Christmas savings process right here. Not to brag, but it totally works. I have never used a credit card to pay for a Christmas purchase since I started doing this = no holiday debt!
Step Two: Determine your total budget
The first step is determining how much money you can afford to spend on Christmas gifts and other expenses. Consider your income, expenses, and any other financial obligations you have. Once you have a total budget in mind, you can move on to the next step.
Step Three: List all your holiday expenses
Make a list of all the expenses you expect to have during the holiday season. This could include…
- Gifts (presents and stocking stuffers)
- Decorations (outdoor & indoor)
- Gift wrap, tags, ribbons & bows
- Christmas cards & postage
- Holiday baking ingredients
- Christmas meals (typically Christmas morning breakfast and dinner)
- Holiday travel expenses
- Fun events – concerts
- Holiday giving – donations, giving tree, etc.
…and any other expenses you typically have during this time of year. Be sure to include everything, no matter how small. Check out our free & cheap Christmas bucket list activities to help you save money without being a Grinch this season!
Step Four: Determine spending priority
Once you have a list of expenses, allocate your budget to each item on the list. For example, if you have $500 to spend and your list of expenses totals $1,000, you will need to prioritize and cut some things off your list.
You don’t want to blow your gift budget all on stocking stuffers and then have nothing to wrap up for under the tree.
Step Five: Track your Christmas spending
As you start spending, keep track of it to ensure you stay within your budget.
(I keep a special envelope for all my Christmas receipts). You can use a spreadsheet or a printable budget template to track your purchases and adjust as needed to stay on track.
By following these steps, you can create a Christmas budget plan to help you stay organized and avoid overspending during the holiday season.
Christmas budgeting tips
- Plan to have all your funds saved by Black Friday to give you enough time to shop for all your holiday gifts. Remember, BF sales are some of the best, so you don’t want to miss out.
- Start saving early! I start January week one (but I’m hardcore like that). Many choose to start their Christmas savings at the beginning of July, giving them six months to save up.
- The week before Black Friday, I take my saved cash and go buy prepaid Visa gift cards. That way, I don’t have to carry cash around and can shop online without using my credit card.
- Do you know how much you spent last year on the holidays? Do you want to spend more or less? Do you want to spend more on family experiences or more on gifts? Make a plan for “how” you want to spend. For example, this year, I am going to be spending less on presents for under the tree and more on family fun events.
- Keep a note on your phone throughout the year of what people say they like. Do they mention a sweater, a kitchen gadget, or a gift card to their favorite hobby supply store? Keep your ears at attention and write it down.
- Set a calendar note for October first to start looking at the prices of gifts that are on your list. That way, when all those holiday sales come up, you’ll be able to know what is actually a good price and what is a “fake deal.” (that’s when stores raise regular prices just so they can discount it to be “on sale”).
- Make a promise to yourself that once you’ve bought the gifts that you planned on buying, you’ll stop going into stores to “just look.” It never works; you’ll be tempted by something, so don’t put yourself into that situation to begin with – just stay out of the stores.
At the end of the day
Creating and following one (or more) of the free Christmas budget printables we’ve shown you is the key to avoiding overspending this holiday season. By making a list of your expected expenses, determining spending priorities, and tracking your spending – you can create a budget that will help you stay organized and avoid going into debt. You’ll be a much happier cookie baker, and you’ll have more time to spend with loved ones this Christmas season.