HI! Welcome to my first blog post of 2023– and yes, a productive one.
Before you read on through, feel free to comment some goals or improvements you have– not just coming into the new year, but perhaps from other years, or even September 18th last year, just because.
I’m going to show and explain my organisation system for this year, including my thick diary of sections and colours, and my top-secret budget plan. ;).
I’ve probably never in my life been this organised (except with my income, which I’ll explain down below) because I’m ‘too busy’ but, more accurately, can’t be bothered. Since I’ve got mashed potato brain and am not much good for anything right now (because of the pregnancy), spending the time to doodle and plan are two of my only capabilities.
Let’s get into it.
I almost need a video to showcase it because one picture unfortunately doesn’t speak a thousand words here. It has five sections:
Section 1: The Yearly Overview
This is a two page monthly calendar. I write specific tasks that have to be done in the month, but not at any specific time or day, as long as it gets done.
Section 2: The Weekly Planner
Each day, I write every single task I need to get done. This helps me prioritise and remember to do things, on top of my work hours. It’s also a good way to keep track of WHAT and HOW MUCH I’m doing– not only for accountability, but also to avoid burn-out.
It’s not as stressful as it sounds because I’m not too strict in doing all the tasks, as long as what needs to be achieved is, by the end of the week. Some days I’m more tired, others I’m inspired. It just helps to lay it all out.
There’s a side section for notes, which is where I write the tasks I aim to complete week-to-week.
The diary came with all these random ‘planner’ stickers, so I use them to highlight appointments and thoughts as I go. I write birthdays in purple.
Section 3: Goal Setting
I’m stoked that each goal can be described and deconstructed in this section. After butchering every goal I wanted to have for the year, it opened my eyes and made me more aware of how unrealistic I was being. I bit my lip and narrowed them down.
Especially in terms of affordability. I correlated my goals with my budget– in other words, I did up my budget first and based the goals off what I’d be able to afford. Since bubs is coming to potentially ruin my life in 4 months (April 26th, 2023), I calculated my earnings, what I needed to save, and what I could afford (I’ll explain this further in the budget section below).
This made it easy for me to eliminate goals that were obviously not happ’n.
Section 4: Notes
Or ‘Creative Letting’ as it says. Yeah, because I’m going to be practicing what looks in the picture to be calligraphy, on normal lined paper with a fine tip pen. No.
I’ve decided to make that my notes. It makes 100x more sense. Agree? Okay, moving on.
I’ll make some space in this section to jot down all the books I read as I go– since it’s my goal to read a book a month. Honestly, I don’t think I’m really going to use it because I already have separate notepads for everything (meal planning, scribbling quick notes, writing drafts)… You do too, right? *insert flushed face emoji*
Section 5: Dot Pages
My favourite part. This is where time wasting comes in.
So, I’m using this space to write down my gratitude and to write one quote/ affirmation that has really impacted me for the month. Where the time wasting comes in is in the part where I draw and colour a cute title page for each month, with a matching gratitude AND quote section. Just because. 🙂
Dot pages have endless possibilities, but I don’t need to use it for anything else. I’ve never used a dot journal, but since it’s there, I may as well give it a purpose.
Do you use dot journals?
I prioritise organising my money. Every single week I will sit down and make sure my weekly (and fortnightly, because I get paid both weekly & fortnightly) pay has been accounted for.
To me money is a material thing that enables certain necessities (food, water, a home, etc) and luxuries (fuel, nice clothes, Pilates). If I had none, I don’t care as long as those certain necessities and desired luxuries are met– which can’t be met without money, and if somehow they are, I’m one lucky champion– I’m sure I’ll write about it so you can follow in my footsteps and live effortlessly, too.
That’s why I make sure I work hard to earn a certain amount– to ensure I achieve the expectations I have of my life.
I say money enables certain necessities because some necessities can’t be purchased, such as; time, freedom, family, peace & quiet, etc. These are important values to me– and they can differ from person to person, I reckon. These values are the reason I’m happy to work less, earn less and have less, work is not my life– it just enables certain functions of it.
Ultimately, that’s why my budget plan is essential.
It maintains the balance in my life.
A Peek At My Budget
DISCALIMER I am not a financial adviser or anyone of any qualification in regards to anything related to accounting. This is all for entertainment purposes. I’m not giving you ANY advice, I’m simply telling of my personal experiences and own general knowledge. I am not responsible for any adverse consequence as result of reading this or using my template.
Before I dive in, I’ll let you know you can download the entire budget, inclusive of all the tables, the yearly overview, and the monthly & yearly goals ALL set to automatically calculate your earnings and spendings.
It’s free only for a limited time, get it now!
To quickly explain, I complete it weekly and highlight the fortnightly pay– so I remember when I’m due to be paid. Lol. Each month is a tab with the monthly financial goals and a table for each week of the month. And most importantly (you don’t have to do this because it is probably too confusing), I have multiple bank accounts (with the one bank) set up for almost every single expense– yes, about 8 accounts.
Again, there are different sections (I promise I’ll try to keep this digestible).
I record the amount paid to my main bank account, the date paid, and from which jobs. Here I will ensure I’m meeting my budgeted bare minimum to be earned– this amount is always far less than I work for and is designed for occasions where I can’t work. It dictates the minimum hours I need to work to earn enough cashflow without dipping into savings.
I put all the accounts where the weekly total to be paid is unchanging into this section. This goes for monthly/ yearly subscriptions, not just weekly. I just break everything into weekly payments to make life easier.
I put all the accounts where the weekly total is varying but still must be paid. In other words, I decide what I want it to be based on an approximate amount I’m likely to spend (food, fuel, etc). Some things (such as leisure) I don’t put any money towards some weeks– usually if I’ve had a slack work week and didn’t earn as much.
Just to be confusing, I put even some of my varying expenses (including food and fuel) under the ‘fixed’ section so I don’t give myself the option to pay any less than a certain amount (however much I decide it to be). This helps keep me on track.
Small Business Expense:
I have a business cashflow Excel spreadsheet for business earnings, to keep personal separate from business. Since Hippie Thinking is a really ‘small business,’ there’s like two ongoing expenses– my WordPress subscription and business name which gets paid yearly. I figured there’s no point in having a whole separate budget for two things. Instead of forking out the yearly $400 at once, I rather save each week so the money is sitting ready when the time comes.
These are accounts money goes into weekly with the goal of saving a certain amount. On slack work weeks, I’ll contribute less (or none) than other weeks, but ultimately, I’d prefer to be putting in money each week.
I have a set a amount I pay into my loan each week. This is a priority account!! I never skip payment and if I can’t afford it, I’ll either, have it pre-saved (for times when I know I won’t be able to afford it and can plan in advance) or I’ll take it from savings without hesitation.
I have a thing against loans. It takes heavy convincing and consideration before I take on a loan. I’d rather save in my own time for free, than repay with stupid interest.
Excel will automatically calculate the amount spent for each section and for the whole of the table. It will also automatically calculate the total amount remaining once I’ve filled in the table. This saves me a lot of maths.
This dictates the absolute bare minimum I have to earn to uphold all my necessary expenses. It’s significantly lower than my weekly earnings which is good. It means I can comfortably afford my lifestyle.
This is the account the money goes into.
In my complicated system, like I said, I had 8 accounts. Certain expenses, such as rent, are paid as soon as I am (well, as soon as I budget it to leave my account) so they don’t get a fancy account.
I don’t automate/ schedule payments as I like to keep control over every dollar.
I only use this for my income so it matches my payslip.
This is useful for any mistakes I make in Excel or if I haven’t been paid correctly and is found out weeks later. It’s easier to trace back to my payslip.
If there’s an anomaly in my earnings, or one week I randomly spend an excessive amount, the description is useful as a reminder or to briefly explain why.
Pro tip: I add plenty of comments and use the highlighter tool to keep the budget organised. No week is consistent for me and general life occurrences happen that mess with the budget. I do a lot of ‘paying more now’ or ‘taking from X account.’
If you have multiple institutes you bank with that money goes into, you may need to add more end columns. But I’m sure if you’re elite enough to use multiple banks, you probably don’t need my simple budget.
SO, take a breath. Accounting stuff can be HARD. I’ve been budgeting for like 5 years now, and I’m not lying when I say I’ve broken into tears a few times because everything was so f’ing confusing. I’ve spent hours learning about the simple concepts to budgeting and accounting. Actually, the youtuber, Accounting Stuff (not sponsored), posts really engaging, easy-to-understand explanations of… accounting stuff. I’ve watched a lot of his videos.
I’ve found that while being smart with money can keep me out of A LOT of trouble, it can have the side-effect of me being a miser and refusing to upgrade old, feral undies! Don’t be a miser.
I’ve started saying:
Don’t spend, invest.
And I make myself follow 2 rules:
- If something needs replacing/ upgrading, don’t leave it go for months— otherwise, I end up having to spend this chunk of money at once and, as a result, make quick, terrible monetary choices.
- If the more expensive version is motivates/ inspires me or will be more beneficial, buy that over the cheap version—it’s be more worth the money.
To sign off, this year I’m taking the time to be organised and I encourage you to participate in getting serious about your goals and self-improvement, too. There’s some magic force that you create when you put the time and effort into getting what you want, that you end up getting what you want.
Good luck with 2023!
Don’t forget to comment a goal or improvement for this year!