Sep 19, 2019

Mobile Apps to Help You Keep Track of Your Upcoming Holiday Expenses

Smiling piggy bank with Christmas decor in the background

Smartphone users are accessing close to 40 apps per month to help them stay organized, learn new skills, achieve goals, or pass the time playing popular mobile video games. While it might not seem as exhilarating as securing the number one spot on a game’s leaderboard, using a mobile app to track upcoming holiday expenses can be more financially rewarding. Let technology be your personal assistant this holiday season.                                          

Rely on a mobile application for expense tracking and experience a variety of benefits that include:

  • reduced stress in planning and budgeting for holiday spending;
  • less reliance on memory to recall your gift list;
  • a per gift spending limit based on the recipient;
  • real-time updates to prevent spending amnesia; and
  • avoidance of a financial hangover come January 1.

Here are three ingenious mobile apps that can help keep spending under control this holiday season.

Santa's Bag

Keep a running total of gifts to buy and gifts purchased with this gift list and budgeting app. Feel free to add pictures of your recipients along with the budgeted gift amount. As purchases are made, enter the amount spent next to the recipient’s name and photo. No need to pull out a calculator. The app will let you know if you are over or under budget for a specific purchase. It also automatically updates the balance remaining in your overall holiday spending budget. Santa’s Bag has a variety of other tools to streamline and personalize the shopping and gift planning process. Download the app in the App Store®.

The Christmas List

Another app built with the concept of pre-planning for holiday gift-giving, The Christmas List also includes the ability to add pictures of the recipients. It assigns gift shopping lists by store and tracks the stage of gift shopping for each person. Each gift is marked as “to do”, “purchased”, “wrapped”, “shipped”, or “received”. A pie chart view of shopping progress allows a quick view of the amount spent versus the amount budgeted. The Christmas List automatically calculates the remaining balance for outstanding gifts based on your budget. Download the app from the App Store® or Google Play®. Users can also create their lists and track their shopping progress online through The Christmas List website.

Gift It - Christmas List App

If simplicity is more your style, then your go-to app might be Gift It – Christmas List App. It sets itself apart in design with its back-to-basics functionality. It lacks the recipient image feature available with other similarly themed apps but makes up for it with a colorful cartoon style background. This budget tracking app lets you create a simple list that includes recipient names and holiday events alongside the expected costs. Users can create multiple lists, each with its own details and total costs. This itemization feature is especially helpful when planning activities such as holiday meals. View total costs at a glance or click on a list to view details of each gift purchase or event expense. This app has fewer bells and whistles but is also easier to use than similar apps. While Gift It – Christmas List App is available for download from the App Store® and Google Play®, users also have the option of accessing the provider’s website.

Enjoy this holiday season by taking a few minutes to plan, track, and assess your spending goals as you navigate the busiest time of year. It’s the best gift you can give yourself and your finances.