Staying on top of who gets what gift and which cards need to be mailed can be such a headache. And it’s such a common struggle – for us too! That’s why our team designed this new Gift Planning and Budgeting Template!

Birthdays, anniversaries, holidays – keeping track of all of the gifts one needs to purchase and by what date, it’s overwhelming. Not to mention how easily we go over budget when having to shop for so many people (and pets). That’s where this Grist spreadsheet template comes in handy!

There’s always an excuse to celebrate someone you love.


We designed our Gift Planning and Budgeting Template for anyone who struggles to keep track of all the celebrations you need to well, celebrate! That’s all of us, right? Refrain from relying on your memory or a handwritten list, which are easily lost or forgotten. This template helps you keep on top of the most important events you need to pay attention to. Use it year-round as your go-to celebration organizer, reminder, and budgeting document.

Why you’ll love our gift planning and budgeting template

We designed this template with easy-to-use features and views so you can focus on what matters – celebrating life’s special occasions. Stop being reactive to calendar reminders and going over budget. Our occasion tracking template gives you a bird’s eye view and proactive budgeting assistance. This template will reduce or eliminate your need for next-day Amazon purchases or pharmacy stops for last-minute greeting cards. It did for us!


  • Budgeting – help manage your budget; set individual budgets per person/occasion, review if over/under, and get monthly/yearly comparisons. 
  • Dashboards – get different views of your gift-giving history by individuals, occasions, and budgets.
  • Emojis – emojis are a fun way to easily identify occasions and individuals at a glance.  
  • Customizable – you can easily make changes to the template to better match your needs.

Using Grist’s gift planning & budgeting template tutorial

Grist’s occasion and gift template is built for flexibility. It lets you customize with the events and holidays that matter most to you. It also includes a helpful built-in tutorial – Tour of this Document. Located at the lower left of your workspace, it is accessible at any time with just a click! 

Image shows a screenshot of the Gift Planning and Budgeting Template's built-in tutorial.
The Gift Planning and Budgeting Template has a built-in tutorial.

Get started with the gift planning & budgeting template

Begin on the All Important Dates page. You should use this page as your main data-entry point for the Grist document. Navigate to the IMPORTANT DATES field on the lower left and begin filling in the Occasion, Who, and Date columns.

Image shows a screenshot of the All Important Dates page of the Gift Planning and Budgeting Template.
The All Important Dates page is where you’ll enter most of your data for this Grist

Want to add an occasion that isn’t automatically built into the template, such as a Wedding or Retirement? You can type it into the cell and click the green + icon that appears in the drop-down.

Image shows a screenshot of how to enter a new occasion type into the All Important Dates page of the template.
Add new events or occasions by typing them in and clicking the green add icon

Want to add an emoji to your new occasions? For instance, you want to add two hands forming a heart 🫶 for Weddings? Just paste in your chosen emoji. For a comprehensive list of emojis, we recommend –

This template speaks to itself. Once you have added an individual and an occasion’s date, you’ll find that it has auto-populated across the document. This information will be visible within corresponding fields on other pages of this Grist.

Next, add the total budget for each occasion row to the right within the IMPORTANT DATES card. When you’ve chosen a gift, add it to the GIFTS Card List on the lower right.

Image shows a screenshot of how to enter the budget for a specific recipient within the All Important Dates page of the template.
Define your budgets for particular events related to individual recipients


Adding a date? Just double-click in the row within the date column, and a calendar will appear from which you can choose.

Summary tables are located across the top of the Important Dates page, providing details on your overall budget. View budgets by year, type, and month, giving you an idea of expected costs for gifts and any spending trends.

Image shows a screenshot of the budget summary tables located at the top of the All Important Dates page of the template.
View your spending budgets by year, occasion type, and month

Customize recipients

In People, you will see a complete list of all the individuals you celebrate. Summaries to the right will show all occasions and gifts for the selected person or pet. 

Further customize by adding emojis to represent whether individuals are people, or your dog, cat – even a pet goat 🐐. Personalize the emojis here, and they’ll become a universal update across the document views. Want to differentiate colleagues or professional connections from your personal ones? Choose a different emoji for those. Maybe you are celebrating a pet lizard or a neighbor’s horse adoption? Not a problem!!

Image shows a screenshot of the People page of the template.
Get an overview of gifts by recipient

Review your gift-giving history

Want a summary of all of the gifts you have purchased? You can find this in Gifts Summary. Located on the left of the page, you can filter this view by year, occasion, or person. The summary tables to the right give an overview of your annual spending. Select a year to see spending per occasion, or select an occasion to see details on spending per person.

Image shows a screenshot of the Gifts Summary page of the template.
Look at your entire spending and gift history

Don’t miss another important celebration

In Upcoming Occasions, you will see all occasions scheduled within the next 30 days. Within OCCASIONS IN NEXT 30 DAYS, you can mark the gift status for each individual. Scroll to the last column in that card, using the checkbox to note when you’ve sent a card or gift.

The template is created with some safeguards to help reduce the chances of missing a gift or card. In addition to keeping an occasion on the list for five days past its occurrence, the template has a built-in alert system for missed gifts. The row will turn red when an event has passed without a “sent” card or gift!

Image shows a screenshot of how the missed-occasion alert works within the Upcoming Occasions page of the Gift Planning and Budgeting Template.
Built-in safeguards alert you to missed gifts

Summary tables on the right provide a total gift spend budget for the next 30 days. You can get details about each occasion, including specific budgets and gifts purchased for the occasion.

We hope you love this addition to our template gallery and that you find it valuable for everyday use. If you have any feedback on improvements or additions, please reach out!

Other special occasion planning templates that our users love: