Monday, June 13, 2011

My Mom Planner

When my husband and I first got married, I made a set of excel spreadsheets for our budget that I have been using for 10 years.  They're basic and they get the job done.  I've modified them over the years and added a few more as I've needed to, but the set is basically the same.

I realized before this past school year began that I wanted to find a set of forms to do the same for my week and all the things I need to keep track of.  I'd been putting our menu on the calendar on the wall, but I often had to take it up and down off the wall.  I wanted a binder with my monthly, yearly, and weekly calendars.  I wanted it to have my emergency information, food menus, and book reviewing lists--all in one spot.  

Of course in the interest of trying to save money, I began looking around on the internet.  I found all sorts of free forms, but as I was looking I remembered a piece of advice I read a few years ago in a money saving book--consider the cost/benefit of your time.  The example given was ironing clothes or using the drycleaners.  I wash all of my husband's clothes on the "hand wash" setting.  I iron them and it takes me about 2 hrs every other week to do the ironing.  But, all of the dry cleaners around me are very expensive, so I save a lot (at least $30 per week) by doing this.  I could spend that same 2 hours looking for free forms or I could purchase a membership to an already premade set.  

I found a set that I have really enjoyed and that was pretty affordable when I compared it to other options.  Here's the site:  Mom's Tool Belt 
This is pretty much what my notebook looks like (this is their sample picture from the website).  I did choose to print the pages in black and white because it's cheaper.  Many of the forms are in color, but you can set your preferences setting when you print to black and white--I even use the lower quality grayscale and all of the forms print out perfectly.

I have several tabs in my notebook that have come in very handy.  I have a set of yearly calendars.  One I used as a list for family and friend's birthdays.  Another I mark every month with different symbols for when I've given our dog her Heartgard / Flea and Tick Medicine and have replaced the A/C filter.  I have another section for emergency info. with phone numbers we need.  Another section contains weekly and monthly calendars.  I keep 2-3 months in the notebook at a time.  The next section includes our travel checklists and my book review lists.  The last section is my menu for the month.  I keep my past menus for ideas and a list of possible meals.  I chose to put it all in a 1" binder made for 8 1/2" x 11" sheets of paper.  

Since I'm a stay at home, homeschooling mom, my home is my base.  We go out for activities and errands, but the bulk of our time is spent at home.  If I go out, I know what I'm going for and I don't need to take my planner with me.   I like this binder because it's big enough to write on and it has worked so well for me!  The cost of the planner membership has definitely been worth it for me.

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