For a lot of people, Christmas is the Most Wonderful Time of the Year. Even for non-die-hards (like me), there can be a lot to do! However, using your Bullet Journal can be a great way to do your planning for Christmas! As a Bullet Journal is a free-form planner, you can add pages when needed, and locate them in the index. Today, we’re going to cover some ideas of what to include if you’re planning Christmas using your trusty Bullet Journal!
In this post we’ll cover:
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Planning your Christmas Budget in Your Bullet Journal
Regardless of the size of your Christmas celebrations, it’s an expensive time of year. Food and presents usually make up the bulk of the cost, but there are always surprise extras. Having a budget is a great way to control your Christmas spending and help you save across the whole year!
How to Decide a Christmas Budget?
As Christmas is a time of giving, deciding and sticking to a budget can be difficult. Essentially, you need to know the maximum you can afford to spend, then break it down into categories. There’s NO wrong amount budget for Christmas, plan for what you can afford.
The other way to calculate your Christmas budget is to check much you spent last year. If what you spent last year worked with your annual budget, that’s great, you have a rough figure. If it didn’t, reduce it slightly, and see how you go. Unfortunately, there’s no science to this, just what works for you.
Now for integrating it into your Bullet Journal! Writing down things is a great way to remember and stick to them, so let’s get to it! It doesn’t matter where this spread is in your Bullet Journal, as everything is indexable!
Start with the total budget you’ve worked out as above. Then think about where you spend money and split the total to your categories. My example to the left shows a rough idea of the spending categories you could add.
These categories and the amount you allocate them will vary depending on how you spend Christmas. For most, food and presents will use the majority of your budget, but it really depends on how you celebrate!
Spread the Cost of Christmas!
Depending on the budget you’ve just arrived at, you may be concerned about having such a large lump sum! If you’re a saver or get a Christmas bonus, it’s easier, but saving across the whole year is a great way to minimise end of year money stresses! As you can see in my example above, a budget of $1000 equals $20 a week. Spread the cost throughout the year to make saving easier!
A savings tracker in your Bullet Journal is a fantastic way to make sure you’re saving regularly towards your Christmas budget target! These trackers are great and can be used for any type of savings goal, so are worth using.
Splitting out costs weekly or monthly can also give you a better idea of your overall Christmas budget. Do you have a spare $20 a week? If not, your target may be too high. Another great way to save for Christmas is to put away money when you can. If you have excess money left over from your grocery or fuel budget, it can be added to a Christmas fund.
Christmas Present Planning in Your Bullet Journal
This has to be the most obvious Christmas spread to add to your Bullet Journal! While other spreads may work in a household planner, your present planning is private!
As my example demonstrates, this plan can be simple. It’s a simple table of who, how much and what to buy. Adding a couple of columns to mark off gifts as bought and wrapped is a great addition.
Always give yourself more room than you think you’ll need! Whether it’s a last-minute family gathering or an office Secret Santa, there will always be extra presents to organise.
If you have a low budget for Christmas presents, that’s ok! Look into DIY options such as baked goods that can be made in bulk for the fraction of the cost. People generally appreciate the effort even more than money spent! DIY gifts are a great way to reduce a budget, although make sure you give yourself enough time to make them!
Organising Christmas Food
Good food is often at the heart of Christmas gatherings. If you’re hosting Christmas this year, plan it with your Bullet Journal! As always, the brilliance of the Bullet Journal is that you can make it into what you need. It works whether you’re hosting the huge family dinner and need to record who’s bringing the pudding, or working out the menu and shopping list for a family of four.
A Bullet Journal is also a great place to plan out your timings for the big day. Get your cooking timings worked out ahead of time so you can spend more time with family and less panicking in the kitchen!
As I’m lucky enough to be home with my parents this Christmas, I won’t be doing any Christmas food planning spreads, but maybe next year that will change!
Planning Christmas Decorations with your Bullet Journal
While you may have an established Christmas routine when it comes to decorating your home if you’re in a new house or are having your first Christmas in your own home you may not.
I think having a visual aid to brainstorm what goes where is a great way to go about this. Like having a timings plan for cooking, having a decorating plan can allow your whole family to join in with getting the house ready for Christmas. Just make sure they don’t share a page with your present lists!
Planning decorations is also a great way of reminding yourself that you already have lots of decorations and that you don’t need any more! It’s, therefore, another way to help keep yourself on budget, by not buying duplicate items.
A mapped approach like this can also help balance out your decorations, so your living room doesn’t look like the Christmas box exploded in it, while office doesn’t even have a paper chain!
For those on a tight budget, there are lots of cheap DIY options out there. Paperchains are great, as is repurposing old Christmas cards. Besides, making things with your household can be a great way of getting into the Christmas spirit!
Planning Christmas in a Bullet Journal
Using a Bullet Journal is a great way of staying on top of what can be an overwhelming time of year. Because you have the freedom to add spreads whenever you need them, you can collect present ideas throughout the year then refer back to them later. I also think budgeting for Christmas is hugely important. While it’s a time to be generous, Christmas also needs to be approached sensibly and by planning and saving throughout the year you can reduce the financial pressure.
I hope you’ve found this post useful and that your planning for this Christmas (and the next!) goes well! I’d love to hear about how you prepare for the festive season in your Bullet Journal, so be sure to drop me a comment to let me know! For now, all the best, and I hope you’ll be back soon!