I not only keep track of our family’s appointments and activities, I also need to organize our finances. A printed planner can help me keep track of those things, but it’s not as organized or creative as a bullet journal. With a printed planner, I can keep track of their daily activities and write down what was spent when and on what. However, there’s nowhere in the printed versions for me to keep a running total, or a coded activity list, or anything like that. With a bullet journal, which I can easily make myself out of a dollar store notebook, I can do all those things and more. Though these journals might appear complicated, it can be as simple as I want it to be. Here’s how a bullet journal can help you save money and time.
Savings Goals and Tracking
My mind is a jumbled mess and to help stay organized, I find that a quick flow chart helps me stay on target with whatever it is I’m working on. Perhaps you do best with color coded writing or graphs; however you stay organized, you can make your budget work with a bullet journal. Check out these amazing ideas from ProductiveandPretty (@ProductvePretty) to learn more about how to make your preferred system work for your bullet journal.
Free or Cheap Entertainment Ideas
Keeping my kids entertained, and thus out of trouble, is a top priority of mine. Since the money tree in my backyard has yet to bear fruit, I look for free or cheap ideas in our area. Sometimes, those entertainment ideas are announced weeks or even months in advance. I end up forgetting about them until the last second, which often leaves us unable to attend. Saving Dollars and Sense (@KristieSawicki) has great tips in this article for keeping track of the free events in your area.
You can put a to-do list just about anywhere, so why not in your bullet journal? You can decorate it, color code it, and make it work for whatever style of organization you prefer. Personally, I like to color code mine, using one color for things that need to be done immediately, another for things that need to be done that day but aren’t as urgent, and so forth. Our friends at Real Simple (@RealSimple)offer a step-by-step guide on how to make bullet journal to-do lists work for you.
Planning for Gifts
With multiple kids plus dozens of nieces and nephews, there’s always a birthday or holiday gift to buy each month. Gifts for so many kids in one family can eat right into your budget, unless you have a gift calendar like this mom from TurnipMoney (@TurnipMoney). Her handy chart can save you from this dreaded situation: staring into the abyss of the toy aisle wondering what you should grab.
Sometimes, I know a particular task needs to be done within the week, but I’m not yet sure when I’ll be able to fit it in. Between chores, doctor appointments, school events, and sports, it can be hard to find a particular day to fit in something like “Get my hair cut” or “Donate old clothes.” With this weekly log layout from BuzzFeed (@BuzzFeed), I can still keep track of what needs to be done in a given week without worrying about trying to fit in on Tuesday when I’ve got a thousand other things to do.
When the new year rolls around, break out your bullet journal and create your own Year-At-A-Glance page. It can help you keep track of upcoming vacations, get-togethers, birthdays, or even help you track your bills each month, depending on how you use it. Personally, I color code my bill dates and the birthdays for each month. This way, I can quickly look back and make sure I’m not forgetting any as I’m setting up my monthly pages. This article from The Lazy Genius Collective (@lazylazygenius) can help you get started.
Your goal pages can be different from your monthly, daily, yearly, what-have-you logs. They can be financial goals, self-help goals, family goals, or any other goals you can think of. They can be broken down however you need them to be, and can be as big or as small as you like. These ideas from Bohoberry (@BohoBerry) can help you get started on tracking your goals with your own bullet journal and organize them to meet your needs.
Bullet journals are much cheaper than fancy planners and they can definitely help you save money and organize your life. With the new year quickly approaching, why not try out a bullet journal and see if it works for you? Do you already use a bullet journal and have ideas not listed here? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to share.