Budgeting for Gifts
This is my first Christmas with YNAB. We're WAM-ing a lot, and that's fine, but have decided that going into 2020, we want to limit gifts to each person to $50 per event. Just curious how everyone tracks things like this?
Here's my thoughts, and I'd love any feedback or ideas:
- We have a gifts category. I'm going to keep this regardless. I utilize the "average spend" quick budget for this category and intend to do so going forward.
- I figured I could utilize the Memo to write in who a gift is for when I purchase
- Would it make more sense to flag it?
I'd love to hear how others handle this!
We have a Gifts-Family category for everything not Christmas (birthdays, mother's day, etc.). Now that we're more than a year in, the average is fine, but when starting out we needed to budget more than that because of the timing (not to mention the average was a bit skewed with less than 12 months of history).
I’m not a year in yet. But till now the following seems to work well: category for St Nicolas (no presents here at christmas), one for my son, my husband and myself (not presents, just in case I’d like to trow a party). And one for all the rest, where I put names into the memo, like you suggest. I don’t quite trust my average on that yet, as it may vary wildly per month.
We have a gifts category for birthdays etc. and then a Christmas category for all things Christmas including gifts, food, liquor, wrapping, stocking stuffers, etc. I just make a note in the memo because I don't worry about making sure I spend the same amount on people or the same amount year over year. I can search the memo if I want more specific info. Last year I didn't memo as much so lost a bit of info on what the expense was for. Setting liquor and food for Christmas separate from regular groceries makes sure the averages don't get skewed by extra Christmas spending.
Sherri, one of our teachers, uses a Christmas Category group for holiday spending. Check out this blog post to see an example of what that looks like!
In our personal budget, we use a generic gifts category for birthdays and gift occasions, and a separate Christmas category.
Then a spreadsheet tracks gift ideas and holiday spending by person, with the status (purchased/made, shipped, etc). If needed, we can refer back and create a new sheet for each year.