Planning is said to be one of the biggest keys to productivity. Taking note, either by writing it down with good old fashioned pen and paper, or entering it on your mobile device or computer, is a great step to take to achieve your goals!
Enter Erin Condren Design, a company with productivity in mind, but also, for the old school writers like me, offers a gorgeous line of planners and accessories, one of which being the Deluxe Monthly Planner. This planner shows months only. No weeks, no days. Just the monthly view. I, as well as others, use this particular planner for budgeting, something that should definitely be tracked. Here’s a tour of the new 2018 Deluxe Monthly Planner, and I will explain what I will be using the different sections for!
Let’s start with the personalized, interchangeable covers. Yes. You read that right. Personalized as in you can put your name, your company’s name, your family’s name, whatever you want on it. You can use pre-made designs, or you can create your own. It comes with a front and a back. And again. Interchangeable. If you’re like me, and you like to just decorate for the seasons and holidays, you would love interchangeable covers!
The first page in the planner is an area to write down all your info should your planner be lost.
You will find some inspirational quotes throughout the planner, and with this planner’s color scheme (neutral – so minimal colors), you could technically color in some of the words if you like.
The yearly overview, month by month. There has been a change in this planner from last year. Last year’s had space underneath the months to write in goals. Not having that in this one kind of stinks, but I’ll make do. What some like to do is use transparent dots to mark quarterly bill payments or annual bills.
Here you have twelve blank boxes. What I use these for is one box for every month, and I write down all the financial goals we’ve accomplished, milestones, basically any big financial events. In 2017’s, I took note of my husband getting his new job, selling our house and moving, paying off debts, etc. At the end of the year, you can look back on all that you accomplished!
A very simple yet pretty page for each month with a quote.
Here is the monthly overview. In the monthly overview, I keep track of all the money coming in (income) and money going out (auto-deduction bills, manual bills, debt payments, etc.). I write them on their due date in the calendar, and check them off when they are paid! No more forgetting to pay or wondering if you did pay!
This section will be used for cash envelopes. Every week, I draw out cash for groceries, dining out, fun money. No debit card on grocery runs or for dining out. Once the cash is gone, that’s it. It’s a way of staying accountable and also avoiding going over budget. Our grocery budget is $100 per week, which is about normal, maybe a little less for a family of four with two dogs. I plan out meals on Sunday, I make a list of everything we will need, I use store apps to figure out the price so before I even walk into the store I have a rough estimate on how much I’ll spend. Then as I pick up everything, I use the calculator on my phone to keep an eye on the total.
This section will be for totaling up everything income and expenses. This is where we find out where our money went, how much we blew our budget (we are human, budgeting is no picnic, and is not always easy). This gives us direction in fixing where we may overspend. Where we typically overspend is eating out. I am strict with groceries, but not strict on lunches out with the husband, and we really need to buckle down and knock it off.
These grid dot pages are used to outline sinking funds. Sinking funds is money you put away each month to pay a bill that is due quarterly or annually. Say your water bill is due every four months. And say it’s $120 every four months. You know to put away $30 every month so when that bill rolls around, you have “sunk” money into paying it. It’s not a surprise bill, it’s something you planned and saved for. Don’t have any quarterly or annual bills? Make a Christmas budget goal for gifts, cards, decorations and food. Make that goal in January, spend the year sinking money away for it, then bam, come November, you have money. You can also create a savings goal and stick a certain amount away each month for your savings account.
Here is the 2019 overview. Remember earlier when I talked about the year in review that had been changed and no longer had a space at the bottom? This is exactly what it looked like. It has been added to the 2019 year in review, which I find odd. But it is what it is.
Here you have the note pages. This is where I list all of the debts we currently owe on. I make a goal list of what I want to pay off, or what I really want to focus on. We do debt snowball, so we focus on the smallest balances first. Then each debt has its own individual note page. I write down the minimum payment for each month, note if we paid any extra, and the balance. If we pay it off completely? I make note of it. I check it off the list. I celebrate.
Here we have the stickers, which I don’t typically use, just because there are a limited number and I would use them all too quickly. But you can use them to track budget, exercise, appointments, etc.
Lastly, here is the pocket. You can stick whatever you would like in it. Receipts could be good for budgeting purposes, any gym passes for a fitness planner, any papers you need to hold on to, etc.
All in all, this planner is a stylish way to plan your budget, your fitness, or whatever you are wanting to plan! And, if you’d like, you could save $10 on your first Erin Condren planner! Interested? Follow these steps!
- Head here and sign up!
- Check your email for your coupon code (it expires after 30 days)!
- Place your order, and make sure you are logged in when ordering and using your coupon!
I will be posting a 2017 financial year in review in about a week and you’ll see how I used my 2017 Deluxe Monthly Planner for budgeting!