Originally published January 13, 2014. Updated July 13, 2020.
A bit of creative thinking and a gift planner printable makes it easy to keep to your budget and find the perfect gift for everyone on your list. You can download this free yearlong gift planner. It’s the same one I’ve been using for years.
As much as I enjoy giving gifts, I used to feel wiped out after the holidays and the stress of finding the perfect gift for family, friends, teachers, neighbors, coworkers, and so on. And find the perfect gifts all while staying within our budget.
Using my Yearlong Gift Planning Checklist allows me to be purposeful in gift planning and purchasing. No more (or much fewer) last-minute panic gift purchases.
Using the checklist also helps keep me on budget. And since I’m looking ahead at the entire year (yes, I’m even looking at the next Christmas in January) I’m able to take advantage of sales throughout the year.
This helps me stay within my budget and often I’m able to buy a more expensive gift because I’m able to get it on sale rather than buying a last-minute-panic-I’ll-spend-any-amount gift.
If I purchase the gift ahead of time, I make a note on the back of my checklist of where I hid it so I don’t forget (tell me I’m not the only one that has done that…more than once).
How to Plan Your Gift Giving for the Entire Year
You can use the Yearlong Gift Planner to plan your gift giving for the entire year and avoid the need for last-minute, panicked gift shopping:
- Print out the checklist and fill it out with the names of your family and friends, as well as teachers, coaches, co-workers, and others you plan to give a gift to.
- Include the date of everyone’s birthday or the occasion (teacher appreciation week, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, etc).
- Write the names on your list chronologically, so you can easily keep up with and prepare for each gift giving occasion.
- Decide what your budget will be for each person’s gift and commit to that budgeted amount by writing it down.
- Brainstorm and write down your gift ideas for each person. Be sure to keep your budget in mind as you think up gift ideas.
- Sometimes figuring out the perfect gift to give is the hardest part of planning your gift giving. If you gift ideas:
- Write down where you will purchase each gift.
- Now you can start purchasing gifts in advance. Each time you go shopping, check your Gift Planner Printable to see which gifts you want to purchase from the store you are shopping at.
- By being mindful of what gifts you want to buy, you can purchase them ahead of time and keep your eye out for any of those items on sale as you shop.
Year Gift Planner
How to Print the Yearlong Gift Planner
- Click on the link in the Resource Library. The gift planner document will open in a new window.
- Right click on the document.
- You can print the document at that point.
- Or you can save the document to your computer and then print the gift planner.
- While you can print on regular printer paper, consider using heavier card stock paper so that it will hold up to an entire year’s worth of use.
- Or you can place the paper gift planner in a sheet protector or folder to make it easy to find and protect it during your year of use.
How I Use My Yearlong Gift Planner
- I print a new gift planner out the first week of January each year.
- I add all the names of family and friends with their birthdays.
- I write down any gift ideas I have for each person. I always write ideas down in pencil because not surprisingly my gift giving plans often change throughout the year.
- I also add the names of teachers, coaches neighbors, my hairstylist, mail carrier, etc.
- For teachers and coaches, instead of birth dates, I write down appropriate dates like teacher appreciation week or end of season party dates.
Be sure to pin for later so you can print out your own Yearlong Gift Planner and get started on a stress-free gift giving year. Have fun and happy gift giving this year.
Find all our best gift ideas for everyone on your list in the table below. You can scroll though the table and look for ideas or search for specific ideas with the magnifying glass in the upper right-hand corner (on desktop). Click on the topic and then click through the specific article.
Take your gift giving up a level with creative gift wrapping ideas.
- Creative Gift Wrap Ideas
- Air Force Flight Suit Gift Wrap Tutorial
- Upcycled Christmas Gift Wrapping Ideas
- Creative Gift Wrapping Bows, Tags and More
- Easy to Make Felt Gift Bags
I’m a mom of 3, a veteran and military spouse. I’ve moved into 20+ homes all around the world. My passion is helping busy people make the space and time for what’s really important to them.