Last weekend saw the start of my Christmas shopping trips. This year, I have to say I am quite disorganised! Normally I start doing out my list of who I have to buy for in October, thinking I am half way there because I have my ‘list’ done. Last Friday night I realised before I headed off on a shopping trip with my friends Saturday morning, that I had no list or idea of what to buy for anyone, the stress that induced was a little overwhelming. The last year I found myself in a similar predicament, I ended up over-shopping and going way over budget. So Friday evening I thought, there has to be easier way to organise this than a random bit of paper, so I opened up the play store and typed in ‘Christmas Shopping’. A free app (remember I am on a budget!) came up called ‘Gift List Planner’.
The app lets you add your list of who you have to buy for, the ‘category’ of that person be it your immediate or extended family, friend, neighbour, teacher and ’empty’ categories that you can fill in yourself and also your budget for that person & if you have an idea for a present for them. Once I had added all my people that I had to buy for, you can hit the summary icon, which gives you your total estimated budget for your Christmas shopping. A very interesting and frightening feature all at the same time!
Setting up each person was a bit tedious, but I had them all done within 10 minutes and felt a lot more relaxed heading off shopping on Saturday with my list on my phone. You can also update each person once you buy an item, input how much is cost, it will give you a balance on your estimated budget for them. Handy if you are buying a couple of different bits for a person!
In the car on the way home on Saturday I updated my list on the app (I wasn’t the one driving!) and I found it a little bit satisfying to see that I had managed to get 6 people on my list sorted for Christmas! You can also tick off if the present is wrapped or not! If you check the summary again here, it will show you what you have actually spent against your overall budget, how many people you still have to buy for, *IF* you have gone over budget on estimated budgets gifts and who’s present was the most expensive.
There are options within the app to purchase ‘Advanced Features’, which lets you filter out your list to see who you still have to buy for, e.g. your immediate family category. I didn’t upgrade to this as I was quite happy with the features of the free app, it did the job for me with regards, organising my list and trying to stick to a budget!
The beauty I think of this app, is if you are money conscious, this helps you to track and stick to your budget. Or even if you never had a budget, this app certainly makes you more aware of what you spend, especially seeing your estimated total and actual total right there written in front of you! Also I found it quite handy if you think of something to get someone, you can quickly whip out your phone, write it under their name in the app, so that you don’t forget that ‘amazing Christmas present’ that your Dad would love!
Hope this brings some of you stressed souls some peace when it comes to Christmas shopping!