Planning on a Budget

 

When I was 38 weeks pregnant with Declan, I started maternity leave and spent a lot of time laying in bed, watching youtube videos. We have all been down those rabbit holes where you start watching a vlog and then three hours later find yourself on something completely different, right? This was no different and I found myself watching hours of “Plan with me” videos. There was this whole community OBSESSED with planners, that I knew nothing about. Now, if you are on a budget, let me stop you before you make my same mistake, DO NOT go watch these videos. They will lead you to Etsy shops that throw off every good intention you ever had about budgeting or your future retirement plans. Who needs a 401k when you have STICKERS, right?!

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Example of a spread that I did a few weeks ago with a Happy Planner Sticker book.

Seriously, this stuff can get expensive. Remember, I found these videos/this obsession when my lifestyle, income, and budget looked a lot different than it does now. Now, 18 months later, I have figured out ways to stay organized, have a creative outlet, and still stay within budget. I realize that pen and paper planning isn’t for everyone but I am a visual person and need to see my week laid out in front of me. From what I am cooking for dinner tonight, to what bills I need to pay this week, it helps me to write it all down. I often joke that without my planner, my lights would get cut off every month because I would forget to pay the bill. That may or may not have happened before, guys.

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“Before the pen” spread from this week. Hoping for a very special delivery πŸ™‚ These stickers were a gift from my Mom and didn’t come from the Happy Planner sticker book.

If you are interested in getting started in the world of planning but also want to retire one day, I have some tips for you!

  1. Wait for sales. This may seem obvious but Michaels and Hobby Lobby run sales (sometimes even with an additional coupon) on my favorite brand of planners – My Happy Planner, a lot. These planners come in three different sizes and I use the large size for all of my household planning. This planner stays on my dining room table, open to the current week to keep me on track. Wait for a sale or use a coupon and get the size that works best for your lifestyle. Want to take it with you on the go? A Mini may work best for you.

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    This is the exact planner that I am using this year. πŸ™‚

  2. Shop the Target Dollar Spot for stickers. A lot of my stickers come from this section as they normally have seasonal stationary items thrown in with the rest of those things that you didn’t know you needed πŸ™‚
  3. Stay off of Etsy. Seriously. Weekly sticker spreads can cost upwards of $30… FOR ONE WEEK OF STICKERS. I indulged in several of these spreads before we became a one income family but I’ve seen now that it really isn’t necessary and that I can piece together great layouts with cheaper stickers.
  4. My Happy Planner Sticker Books. These are a great option if you want to get the look of the weekly spreads from Etsy. The have several different themes and each book has coordinating color stickers so that your week can look very put together. Again, wait for a sale or use a coupon. Sometimes you can luck up and find a coupon that can be used during a sale.

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    My Happy Planner Sticker Book Example

  5. Facebook BST pages. If you are more interested in a traveler’s notebook (something my Mom just got me hooked on), there are HUNDREDS of buy/sell/trade groups on Facebook that you can find great deals in. My Mom gave me a mini traveler’s notebook with cash envelopes in it and I carry it in the diaper bag as my wallet. I have a checkbook register insert where I keep up with all of our spending, a shopping list and meal plan insert, and a blank insert that I can jot down random notes that I need to remember when I get home to my large planner. Obviously you don’t need two planners, this system just works for me and is very convenient when budgeting and meal planning.
  6. Join a budgeting or Dave Ramsey planning group on Facebook. These groups are great reminders that you shouldn’t be working outside of your budget just to make your planner pretty. That defeats the whole purpose! They post great tips and sale alerts in these groups to help each other out.

If you follow me on Instagram (@PurposefulandPetty), you know that I scored some awesome clearance finds at Hobby Lobby yesterday, including a Traveler’s Notebook and inserts. Since most planning brands are preparing for their spring product launches, now is a great time to find those mark downs!

Tell me in the comments, are you a pen and paper planner? Or do you prefer an app or phone calendar?

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Let’s Get Fermenting!

Fermented foods and drinks have really been interesting to Colin and I lately. I’ve been interested in brewing Kombucha for awhile now, mainly because buying it at the store can get really expensive, really quickly. Then, out of the blue, Colin came home with the idea to make sourdough bread. He had heard about the benefits of consuming fermented foods on a podcast and wanted to look into making our own sourdough bread. Through researching it, we found a lot of studies that suggest that those with gluten sensitivity did not have the same reaction to sourdough bread as they did to regular bread. The reason for this is that the fermentation process essentially breaks down the gluten proteins, making it easier for some people to digest.

Luckily, we received just what we needed for both projects for Christmas! Colin’s parents got meΒ this kombucha starter kitΒ and Colin a sourdough starter kit. We have had a lot of fun getting both of these started! I will give updates as they come together but right now we are waiting on our two new “pets” to ferment. I will say that kombucha is SO much easier because it is essentially making tea and then letting it hang out in a closet for a week. The sourdough starter has to be fed every 12-24 hours but it is still a fun process to watch!

The sourdough starter has grown tremendously!

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My Kombucha has been safely hanging out in the closet since Saturday! Flavor will be added this coming Saturday before the second fermentation. I will make a full post on both of these soon!

Controlling the Christmas Clutter

Happy New Year!

The last two weeks of the year were hard, y’all, I’m not even going to lie. Declan and I have been sick for over a week but life is slowly going back to normal now. Today, I felt better and finally took control of the toy situation that was happening in the living room. Declan was incredibly blessed by great grandparents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles this year and wound up with a lot of toys. I don’t feel bad about this because we honestly don’t buy him random things throughout the year so all of his toys have come from his birthday and now Christmas. He obviously loves EVERYTHING but seeing EVERYTHING every time I walk into the living room isn’t good for my sanity so I condensed. I packed up several toys and sets of toys and plan to rotate them out throughout the next few months. This will keep him from getting bored and will keep me from going crazy so it’s a win win πŸ™‚ I left his train table and trains but packaged up the tracks that kept winding up all over the floor. I left out his Little People Farm but packaged up both canisters of Animal Planet animal figures that I stepped on no less than a dozen times, and I packaged up the wooden blocks but left out the Magformers. It has already made a difference in how I feel in the common areas of our home and next week or next month when he’s having a hard day, we will swap out the Magformers for wooden blocks or his farm for the Animal Planet figures and he will feel like it’s Christmas all over again. I imagine this will only get harder as he gets older so feel free to share any tips or tricks in the comments!

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How do you tame the chaos? Any good toy organization tips for me? Leave them in the comments! Our playroom is almost complete and it will feel so good to move all toys out there but they will still need to be organized!