Tips & Stories

Evernote, Your One-Stop Tool for Surviving the Holidays: Holiday Budgeting

Posted by Kasey Fleisher Hickey on 13 Dec 2011

Posted by Kasey Fleisher Hickey on 13 Dec 2011

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When you know you’re about to spend a lot of money, it’s important to budget. As you’re thinking about your budget, consider gifts, travel expenses, food, drink, and decorations. Here are some ways that Evernote can help you manage your finances during the holiday season and focus on the important stuff (family and friends).

Creating a master budget in Evernote

Make a plan for your holiday spending and keep track of it in Evernote:

  • Figure out your spending categories. If you’re flying somewhere, make sure to include costs of transportation, dog sitters, winter coats, etc.
  • Come up with a gift budget. Make a list of people you’ll be buying gifts for and come up with a reasonable budget for each person.
  • Plan your holiday dinner. Have a big family dinner? Figure out your food and drink expenses (hint: menu plan by clipping recipes and menu ideas from the web using the Web Clipper). Keep everything in one place, in Evernote.

  • Organize your holiday party. Whether you’re throwing a blowout bash, or a modest cocktail party, you can use Evernote to collaborate on a budget. Create a Shared Notebook where you can work with a co-host on splitting costs and assigning tasks.

Keep track of your spending

Did you know that you can keep track of your spending using Evernote?

  • Scan or snap photos of your receipts. Evernote can search for text in images so you can quickly scan through your receipts and subtract costs to your budget. You’ll also have them on hand in case you have to deal with returns.
  • Email your travel-related purchases to Evernote. Anytime you purchase something online and get an email receipt, send it to your Evernote account to keep your spending under control.
  • Get a handle on all of those holiday deals. Don’t miss your chance to save some money by capturing deals you see and saving them to your Evernote account.
  • Comparison shop. Don’t just settle on the first deal you see. Do your research by clipping articles from the web, product deals from sites like BestBuy.com, and scan in magazine articles.

  • Plan your route using Evernote + Skitch and save costs on gas. If you’re traveling by car over the holidays, plan out your route ahead of time: save a map to Evernote, then annotate it in Skitch, marking the route, any stops you want to make, and roads to take between the in-laws’ houses. [Learn how to use Evernote + Skitch, together]

This post is part of a series on using Evernote for the holidays. Check out the first post in the series: Evernote, Your One-Stop Tool for Surviving the Holidays: Gift-Giving

For more ideas, check out our Holiday Guide. Download the Evernote Holiday Guide >>>

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6 Comments RSS

  • JMichael

    I am a big Evernote fan, but EN falls far short in any type of budgeting activity.

    The most important thing about a budget, is the NUMBERS, and EN can’t even add two numbers.

    So, EN is worthless for budgeting unless you can calculate totals.

    EN can’t, but a spreadsheet like Excel can.

    So, you should have mentioned attaching an Excel spreadsheet to the main EN Budget Note to do all of the calculations.

    • Kasey Fleisher Hickey

      You make a great point about attaching an Excel spreadsheet to a note in Evernote. Everyone budgets differently, but if you’re doing some serious number crunching, this could be a good route to go.

  • Paul

    Evernote isn’t the mathematician, but it’s great for capturing the items I need to add. And, yeah, attaching a spreadsheet is a good tip. I know that whenever I experience a personal budgeting fail, it’s more a case of “I forgot to include X” vs. “I’m having trouble calculating X + Y,” so I find Evernote a useful tool for helping me budget.

  • Sophie Andrews

    Very helpful information!Thanks for the idea!

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  • John S Firth

    I agree that you can’t beat a spreadsheet for budgeting. Wouldn’t it be good if Evernote could show a preview of an attached spreadsheet so you could get information quickly without opening the application.

    • John S Firth

      This Works Well for a budget:
      Create a budget in a spreadsheet then select a range. Create a new Note in Evernote and paste as text. You can now encrypt any sensitive information and Evernote creates a link to the spreadsheet in the header.