Preparing for Christmas is hard work, especially when it comes round so quickly.

My sister and I have a slight addiction to creating a list, we are a bit Monica like (if you don’t understand what that means, we can’t be F.R.I.E.N.D.S). Previous years we used note books. Remember those exercise books from school? Those bad boys were used to keep out lists neat and tidy for our Christmas shopping. I used to split mine out, ideas for presents for the loved ones, what I had bought and how much I had spent.

This year, I decided to get a head of the game and upgrade my note book system and be extra organised. And by organised…I mean a spreadsheet.

I don’t know why I have an obsession with spreadsheets, I think it’s just how you can be so organised with them. At work if I am asked to do anything that could remotely involve a spreadsheet, I am all over it. In my bosses words, “You love a spreadsheet.”

I decided to try and stick myself on a budget this year, to hopefully stop the over spend. I have set myself quite a high budget, but I am terrible when it comes to buying people presents, as I just want to buy everything.

If you are not familiar with spreadsheets, they are great when it comes to budgeting.

So I decided to design it in advance, knowing exactly what I wanted it to include. A tab for each person, to remain organised and avoid mixing people up. On each tab, one side for the ideas and one for what I had actually purchased. Detailing each item, where it was from and how much it is. At the bottom of each table, I had set up the budget I wanted to spend on each person, then created formulas to tell me how much I had spent, also how much I had remaining from the budget..I know…So geeky!!

I created this on my iMac, but the beauty of it it that I can copy it to my iPhone. So when I am out and about and I get a light-bulb moment for someone’s present, I can whip my iPhone out and add it to my spreadsheet…Genius!

If you’re reading this, I know exactly what you are thinking…MAD! But this really keeps me organised and ensures I do not over spend or get carried away buying for one person and realise that HOLY CRAP I have no money left for the January sales!

I hope this has helped some of you out there, on how to get more organised when it comes to shopping for your loved ones Christmas presents.

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