Photo Credit: Spendee
This year, you will not be one of those frenzied people who panic as the holidays near because you’re so not ready. Instead, you’ll be the one who whizzes past the lines of disgruntled shoppers and crowded mall parking lots, secure in the fact that you finished your shopping weeks ago and even managed to stick to your budget. Your secret? Apps that help organize gift lists and spending -- all for $3 or under. Here are our 10 favorites.
DollarbirdDo you live and die by your At-A-Glance? Dollarbird may be your best choice -- Mashable named it one of the "8 apps you don't want to miss" this year. Its interface is calendar-based, making it super easy to track expenses and income and plan for future purchases, like the vacay you're planning on taking once you get your holiday bonus.
GiftPlanWe're big fans of Gift Plan’s profile view, which lets you easily flip through large photos of your loved ones and see their tastes, sizes and gift ideas. As handy as the app is during the holidays, it's also helpful the rest of the year. It imports upcoming occasions, like birthdays and anniversaries, from Facebook and your contact list, so you never forget an important date again.
Gifts HD 2Designed for multiple users, Gifts HD 2 creates individual profiles that have a gift list and a unique password. Set a budget for each person on your list and use the built-in calculator to help you stick to it. Then track gifts as they're purchased, wrapped and mailed. Bonus: A nifty features lets you record presents you've given friends and family in previous years, meaning you won't surprise Uncle Frank with a shower radio two years in a row.
BUDGTBUDGT is known for being super easy to navigate, a fact that may come in handy when you're in the throes of holiday shopping. Use it to track expenses, create customized budgets and even set reminders to help you keep your finances on track.
List BlissIf you usually take a divide-and-conquer approach to holiday shopping, you'll love the List Bliss app. It lets you share lists (gifts, groceries, whatever) and send them to your computer or other devices so you can check your progress from anywhere. Plus, you can create a budgeted list before you even hit the stores to help cut down on spur-of-the-moment purchases.
Better Christmas ListThe name pretty much says it all: With its colorful icons and user-friendly interface, Better Christmas List really helps you get a handle on gift giving. If your Nice list includes everyone from Mom to your boss to the dog walker, the app lets you organize recipients by type (Family, Friends, etc.). You can also set and track budgets for groups or sort lists based on when the gift is needed.
Santa's BagIf holiday shopping has taught us anything, it's that little charges can really add up. Enter Santa’s Bag, which digs into the nitty-gritty of your spending (it even adding taxes into your calculations!). Colored bars give real-time updates on the status of your shopping and budget, so you can make adjustments if needed. Sharing shopping duties this year? Santa's Bag lets you email customizable, checkable lists, which come in handy for gifts and even party planning.
MoneyWiseMoneyWise is designed to be an electronic checkbook to help you keep a keen eye on your expenses. You can filter and browse expenses by date, account or category, and expenses are shown in easy-to-read pie charts and graphs.
SpendeeThanks to Spendee's streamlined layout and simple infographics, you can easily analyze your expenses. One especially cool feature: You can take photos of your bills, receipts or notes, and upload them or export them to Excel or Google Drive for future reference.
Toshl Finance (free on Google Play and iTunes)
Toshl FinanceToshl Finance is one powerful app. You can track your expenses and budget as you shop, plus it organizes bills and sends reminders when they’re due. If you're traveling abroad, Toshl will work with any currency, can convert foreign currencies, and will provide real-time exchange rates.