Get Organized: How to Plan, Budget, and Schedule Your Gifts

Winging it is appropriate in some instances like spontaneously deciding where to go for dinner, taking a scenic route rather than the normal path, or starting a new Netflix binge on a series you’ve heard nothing about. 

But, my friends, when it comes to gift-giving, you’ll always be better off by putting some thought into it. Whether the lucky recipients are friends, family, employees, or customers, you should know how to plan, budget, and schedule your gifts.  

You’re on your own with this one. Go figure it out. 

Oh, we kid, we kid. Of course we’re going to provide some guidance below!

Start With a List

It’s fun checking items off a list, and how you create that–note pad, spreadsheet–is up to you. Start by committing people’s names to paper or Excel. These are the must-gift folks, as in, if you forget them, you’ll look bad. 

For each one, decide the occasions during the year to gift them and how much you are willing to spend per gift. Oh, and ensure that it is within your means. Sounds elementary, but if you’re a business owner, and you improvise your spend, that can hurt your budget in other areas of the company. There’s a fine line between being too frugal and too extravagant. 

Set Your Annual Gift Budget

Speaking of budget, just how much should you spend annually? This certainly depends on your personal and/or company financial situation. To give you an idea, in 2020, the average American spent $998 on gifts during the holiday season. So, play with that spreadsheet to make the total work for you. 

Monthly Gift Spending

Stay with me here. Divide your gift budget by 12 to determine the average of your monthly gift spend. I know this is stating the obvious, but 1) it keeps you on track and 2) you’d be surprised how many people ignore this and go over budget. 

If you really want to be disciplined, each time you receive your paycheck, set the monthly sum aside for gifts, and don’t spend it on anything else. 

When it comes to your clients, the best practice is to allocate a gift fund for the year, and while you’re at it, budget for prospects, too, because sending them a gift is a gesture of goodwill and may lead to future business

Choice of Gifts

As we’ve previously written, giving gifts makes you happier, and there are many to choose from, including ( 🚨 SHAMELESS PLUG ALERT 🚨) gift baskets loaded with chocolates, candies, wine, nuts, coffee, tea, and other goodies. These gifts are perfect for a wide range of occasions since everyone loves indulging in these irresistible treats. But knowing your audience is key, and if it’s a gift card that makes them happy, then go for it. 

You don’t have to be a mathematician to set an annual gift-giving budget. Know what you can afford, who you want to surprise, and the rest is gravy.

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