The Holiday Expense Tracking Spreadsheet is part of a financial planning series called How to Make a Budget. To start this series from the beginning, read the introduction.
Now that we’ve planned ahead for the holidays with the Gift Giving Worksheet, I want to look beyond presents by giving you a way to track all your holiday expenses in one place.
Sure, the Budget Spreadsheet has a space for the holidays, but I think a specific spreadsheet geared towards tracking holiday expenses can better help you deal with the varied costs of Christmas, Hanukkah, or your particular festival of fancy.
And yes, I am fully aware it is not yet July. But hey, go through some of your holiday gear this summer, unload your unused decorations at a summer garage sale, and make a list of the stuff you own. Knowing what you already have on hand can better help you plan your holiday budget since you won’t be spending good money buying duplicates of the forgotten stuff you have buried away in the basement. Yes, I’m talking to you. Smile.
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In my own experience I’ve found that focusing on the varied spending activities during the holidays, rather than just gift giving, can show how the seemingly little costs add up. Smaller spends on things like wrapping paper, decorations, baking supplies, beverages, flowers, and even the ballet (The Nutcracker, anyone?) may seem insignificant on their own, but once added up can total hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year for one single holiday. Fa la la la la, la la la broke.
By tracking your costs during the holiday season, you’ll be able to get a grip on where your money is going since you’ll better know where you’ve spent the bucks, and when you’ve hit the end of your budget.
The Holiday Expense Tracking Spreadsheet
Like all the other worksheets and spreadsheets in this series, I think this one is pretty straight-forward to download and use. And yes, it’s free.
Download: Holiday Expense Tracking Spreadsheet
Use the Holiday Expense Tracking Spreadsheet to:
- Estimate all your holiday expenses.
- Enter actual costs and make notes on additional spends.
- Locate sources of available and budgeted money.
- Plan ahead for a shortfall and find ways to bridge the budget gap.
- Focus on all holiday spending categories so you don’t go into debt for the big event.
After putting together your plan for gifts using the Gift Giving Worksheet, enter that anticipated amount into the Holiday Expense Tracking Spreadsheet. When you’re done tallying your expenses after the holidays, be sure to add these costs to the big Budget Spreadsheet.
It may seem like a bit of work, but looking at the little holiday spends, tallying the total costs, and bringing that number into the bigger budget picture is a surefire way to keep costs down and spirits high throughout the year.