This is the most important to do each month for our family. Hubs and I sit down once a month to go over finances. We look at the previous month first. We have a spreadsheet that includes our checking balance, savings balance, amount paid to bills, groceries, gas, eating out and misc. Check all account balances and make sure nothing is off. Next, it’s time to plan the upcoming month. Are there any big expenses coming up? Do we need to cut back anywhere? Can we make a splurge purchase because we cut back the previous month? Doing this TOGETHER puts us on the same page. There are no surprises with the finances.
2. Backup Computer
Something that is so easy to forget, yet very important to do.
3. Clean & Upload Photos
First, I clean up my photos. If you’re anything like me you take hundreds a week of your kid(s) on your phone. Out of those hundreds, only a handful are worth keeping. If I don’t go through and clean them up, I would have a hard drive filled with blurry pictures. After I clean them up, I upload the best to Shutterfly. I use Shutterfly to make all of my picture books, gifts for the grandparents and sometimes prints. Uploading them throughout the year saves me tons of time at the end of the year when it’s time to make gifts.
4. Clean Up Computer Files
I delete files I don’t use. Put others into folders. Empty the trash and so forth.
5. Set Monthly Goals
I try to pick 5 goals a month. One financial, one health driven, one blog/ business, one focused on the mini and the last a personal one. I write them down in my planner at the beginning of the month. That way I can see them whenever I look at the calendar for the month and they’re always in the same place. I also use Lara Casey’s Powersheets
6. Go Through Pantry & Meal Plan
The last week of the month, I try to only get fresh produce and milk from the grocery store. The rest of what we eat comes from what is already in our pantry and freezer.
For meal planning, I’ll use Simply Made with Love favorite meals and Pinterest. I try to keep my meals simple and easy. If I don’t have a meal plan set for the week, we end up eating out. I also love keeping a stash of Trader Joe’s freezer items that I can use for quick and easy meals. Meal planning not only helps our wallets, it helps us eat healthier.
7. Make sure our monthly cleaning chore is done.
I use the chore chart daily, weekly and monthly. Again, keeping everything written in my planner is key for me. I have my daily chore written in my planner every. single. day. I have my monthly chores written under my monthly goals. If it’s not written down, it doesn’t get done. Cleaning weekly and monthly helps tremendously throughout the year.
8. Declutter/ Donate
Pick a room monthly to go through. Make a pile of clothes, toys, gadgets that you haven’t used or don’t need and donate them. If you keep up with this monthly, you won’t have to do a entire purge at the end of the year.
9. Schedule birthday/ anniversary cards.
At the beginning of every month, I buy cards for the month. I LOVE ordering cards from May Designs because they are gorgeous, fun and I can add personal pictures to them. All special dates are already written in my planner, so purchasing is quick and easy. Plus, I always buy them when they’re on sale, which is over $3 cheaper than the store prices. This year, I ordered 4 months of cards at one time, so they’re all set aside in a box ready to go.
10. Keep a Planner/ Set it up for the Month/ USE IT DAILY!!!
Whether it’s a paper planner or your favorite planning app, keeping everything important that needs to be done week in and out in one place is a must for me. Probably the MOST important thing to keep me organized throughout the month. Before the month starts, make sure birthdays are filled in, appointments are written down and my cleaning chores are written in each day. When I get up in the morning, I make coffee and spend some time with my planner. I see what needs to be done that day and figure out my plan of action. You can see my planner tips here.