What are your financial priorities for 2022?

This post may contain affiliate links and I may earn a small commission when you click the links but at no additional cost to you.

Financial planning can be one of the more stressful aspects of “adulting”.  There are always bills and credit cards and somehow life always has an unexpected expense just around the corner.  New tires?  Plumbing repair?  Holidays or birthdays right around the corner?  It seems that there is always an unexpected expense lurking around.

Bills and Savings

Managing your money is all about the in-come versus the out-go. In order to meet your financial goals, you have to either increase one side of the equation or reduce the other.

Financial Goals

Are you trying to reduce your fixed or flexible expenses in the new year?  Maybe you hope to take a closer look at your overall spending.  Is this the year you pay down your debit?  And in the midst of all of that, do you need to work on your savings account?

For better financial organization, it’s all a matter of balance — budget planning, expense tracking, debt reduction, and savings tracking.

Get your free workbook from the library!

Get your financial workbook today!
Get your financial workbook today!

If you want a full printable planner, check out this beautiful 2022 dated planner!  So much easier than dating or making your own!  It includes a full annual calendar, Year at a Glance, dated monthly pages, a weekly planner page, a project planner page, a bill payment page, and two different notes pages.  You’ll be ready for the entire year!

Get your printable calendar today!
Get your printable calendar today!

How do you want to calendar for 2022?

This post may contain affiliate links and I may earn a small commission when you click the links but at no additional cost to you.

Ah, the calendar.  Also known as one of the most important parts of your planning system.  But what all needs to go into this key component?  Deciding which method of calendaring is best for you really depends on the level of detail your schedule requires.

  • Daily is best for folks who juggle multiple priorities, need a stricter schedule, or have a schedule that really benefits from hour-by-hour scheduling.  (Personally, my days are not conducive to that level of detailed scheduling.)
  • Weekly is usually a good “medium” level of scheduling.  I tend to like this one myself – working on a to-do list over the course of 7 days instead of a specifically daily list.  Sometimes I sneak in a daily page, if I have a particularly hectic day to organize.
  • Monthly was my option of choice last year when so much of the year was spent inside the walls of my own house.  But since life seems to be moving forward again, I will probably go back to a hybrid of monthly and weekly.

While you can create your own or buy a pre-made calendar, printables make it so much easier to get started.  And don’t forget to download your free printables in my library!

  • monthly habit and water tracker
  • project planner page
  • weekly planner page (several different designs)
  • one-page monthly
  • budget planner

Within the first five pages of my planner, I always include these Year at a Glance and Year in Color pages.

2022 Year at a Glance and Year in Color
Get your 2022 Year at a Glance and Year in Color today!

If you want a full printable planner, check out this beautiful 2022 dated planner!  So much easier than dating or making your own!  It includes a full annual calendar, Year at a Glance, dated monthly pages, a weekly planner page, a project planner page, a bill payment page, and two different notes pages.  You’ll be ready for the entire year!

Get your printable calendar today!
Get your printable calendar today!

Do you plan out your gifting – for the holidays and for the year?

This post may contain affiliate links and I may earn a small commission when you click the links but at no additional cost to you.

Is it just me, or does everyone plan gifts in advance?  Not every gift is planned out; every so often I come across something that I just have to get for someone.  But I love my gift tracker pages!  It comes in so handy for planning when I need to get the nephews’ gift cards or the mother-in-law’s scarf.  Not to mention how wonderful it is during the holiday season.  Especially if you tend to buy gifts throughout the year, it’s terrific for keeping up with what you’ve already bought.  You can also take advantage of sales when they happen throughout the year and just mark down what you’ve stashed away.  (Erin Condren seasonal surprise boxes, Paper Me Pretty stationery subscription, and Current Catalog card sets, I’m looking at you!)  Whether you are planning for birthdays at any time during the year or the holiday season specifically, the whole process is so much easier when you plan ahead!

Within the first five pages of my planner, I always include these Year at a Glance and Year in Color pages.

2022 Year at a Glance and Year in Color
Get your 2022 Year at a Glance and Year in Color today!

If you want a full printable planner, check out this beautiful 2022 dated planner!  So much easier than dating or making your own!  It includes a full annual calendar, Year at a Glance, dated monthly pages, a weekly planner page, a project planner page, a bill payment page, and two different notes pages.  You’ll be ready for the entire year!

Get your printable calendar today!
Get your printable calendar today!

Is your 2022 planner ready to go?

This post may contain affiliate links and I may earn a small commission when you click the links but at no additional cost to you.

It’s October and 2022 is right around the corner.  I’ve already started next year’s planner!  I love checking out what options are available from my favorite places like Erin Condren but I also like to shop around for other items.  Some of my favorites include Sunshine Sticker Company, Planner Kate, Coco and Opal, and Paper Planner Club.  It’s always so much fun to decorate with the tabs and stickers!

But the first thing you should do is sketch out what you want your planner to look like for 2022.  Do you want to focus on your financial goals?  Do you need to improve your calendar system?  Do you want to keep better track of birthdays?  Do you want to start journaling?  Do you need to focus on project planning?  Do you want to start a home business?  Once you decide a path for 2022, you can fill in the pages that you will need.

If you want a full printable planner, check out this beautiful 2022 dated planner!  So much easier than dating or making your own!  It includes a full annual calendar, Year at a Glance, dated monthly pages, a weekly planner page, a project planner page, a bill payment page, and two different notes pages.  You’ll be ready for the entire year!

Get your printable calendar today!
Get your printable calendar today!

Within the first five pages of my planner, I always include these Year at a Glance and Year in Color pages.

2022 Year at a Glance and Year in Color
Get your 2022 Year at a Glance and Year in Color today!

The holidays are coming – Travel (part 4)

“Oh the places you’ll go”.

Dr. Seuss

I realize that holiday travel didn’t really exist last year and may not exist this year depending on how everything progresses between now and the holiday season.  However, if you are able to do so safely, you might just be packing a suitcase and headed off somewhere.

Even if your holidays don’t include a suitcase, sometimes the in-town travel can be hectic as well.  When you have multiple houses to visit in a small period of time, it can be challenging.  Brunch at a friend’s followed by lunch at your aunt’s, and then dinner with the grandparents.  It can feel like you need a suitcase just to get through the day!

Travel planning is essential!

Planning and organizing is the key to smooth travel, whether you are going 15 miles or 1500 miles.

I could not travel without my packing list(s).  I like to roughly sketch out what I think I will be doing every day and then pack accordingly.  Most of the time I don’t take too many “just in case” items but it depends on the travel plans.  I like double-duty clothing and double-duty toiletries just to reduce what I have to fit into my luggage.

Traveling in town?

If your travel is just around town to multiple stops, truly consider packing a bag.  Maybe not a full suitcase, but it could be helpful especially with young kids.  Maybe an extra set of clothing just in case of spills, definitely entertainment of some sort, and always a small token for the host or hostess.  Plus, if this is the holidays, you might also be lugging presents around as well.

Traveling out of town?

If you are going to be traveling by plane with presents, I strongly urge you to ship them ahead of time.  No one wants to stand in the airport and watch security unwrap those beautiful packages.  I love shipping the big box ahead of time to my mom’s so that I don’t have to fit all those packages into my suitcase.  (Side Note = Also remember to either leave space in your luggage or plan to ship a package back in case you receive gifts that don’t fit easily.)

Whether you are celebrating with loved ones in person or Zoom, let’s get ready for the season!

Sign up below and get your free holiday cheat sheet!

Don’t forget to check out these beautiful holiday card templates!

The holidays are coming – Minimalist (part 3)

We’ve talked about Holiday Gifts and Holiday Meals.  But what if your family is trying to practice restraint when it comes to the gifts and the meals?  It’s hard to tell grandma not to buy the grandkids presents and it’s hard not to sample all of mom’s cooking!

Three easy rules about too many gifts

It’s so much fun to unwrap everything but I always have a minor panic when it comes time to find a home for all of the lovely presents I’ve been given.

  1. Ask in advance for the givers to be conscious of their giving.  For adults, maybe charitable donations instead of presents.
  2. Clean out in advance.  If you are expecting new clothes for yourself or new toys for the kids, try to purge items in advance of receiving new ones.
  3. The one-in-one-out rule.  For every new purse or stuffed animal, put one in the donations bag.

Three easy rules about too much food

Dips and cheese are my biggest weaknesses.  So I try to use veggies with the dips and count the cheese as my protein so that I feel more balanced after a meal and not ready to sleep for 12 hours.

  1. Balance your day / week.  It isn’t about going without; it’s about making healthy choices for a balanced diet based on what you expect to be eating later.  A green salad with lean protein for lunch if you are headed to a big dinner party later.
  2. Balance your plate.  Fill about half of the plate with the freshest options you can find, and then treat yourself to the goodies too.
  3. Balance your mind.  It’s the holidays, and a couple of extra cookies are not going to derail the universe.  Enjoy yourself and forgive yourself and eat better tomorrow!

Sign up below and get your free holiday cheat sheet!

Don’t forget to check out these beautiful holiday card templates!

The holidays are coming – Meals (part 2)

Oh the eating that happens during the holidays…  Whether you visit lots of friends and family or celebrate the holidays quietly at home, eating is a center point of almost all holiday events.  Appetizers, party trays, chips and dips, mounds of potatoes, stacks of cookies, and the list can go on.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s all good stuff!  But a little planning and balance means you can enjoy all of your favorites.

The storming of Normandy

Yes, this is actually what my family calls my holiday meal prep list.  I start with my menu, then check the recipes, then make a grocery list, then make my prep list.  I still make some of the same recipes that my grandmother made for our holiday meals growing up.  And some of the prep starts several days in advance!

So one of the holiday “essentials” is the green bean casserole and I have to admit I did not have this dish with a holiday meal until I was over 30.  But I have learned to either make it or have someone bring it!  If you are looking to ease the burden of being the host or hostess, definitely consider having other family members contribute dishes to the meal.  I do recommend asking them to bring dishes that are ready to go and won’t mess up the ‘oven rotation’ such as salads or desserts or appetizers.

The Normandy list has gotten easier over the years.  Partially because I host smaller groups nowadays and partially because I save the list every year so that I have a place to start for the next year!

But anyone who has cooked a full holiday meal knows, the planning and organization is essential!

Special diets?

One of my sisters-in-law has Celiac and is very strict in avoiding of gluten.  My mom and I have successfully adjusted two of those family recipes I mentioned earlier – the squash casserole and the cornbread dressing.  (Why, yes, I am Southern.)  Gluten-free ingredients are getting easier to find it seems.

If someone in the family has a special diet requirement that would be more difficult to accommodate, I think it’s reasonable to ask them if they can contribute something just in case.  I have been known to take my own sliced turkey breast to a meal when I knew steak was being served.  But since I was being the picky one, I was more than happy to bring my own.

Maintaining your “diet”

Most of these holiday parties and meals are not offering the healthiest of selections.  And once the holidays begin, there are usually ample opportunities to overeat and to choose unhealthy foods.

My biggest recommendation is to balance everything out, either by the day or by the week.  If you know your weekend is going to be full of fried or cheese-covered or chocolate-filled treats, then be cautious of what you eat leading up to the weekend and probably the week after.  Focus on lean protein and fresh fruits and vegetables.  You can also balance an individual meal, right on the plate.  If I know I want to have some of the less-healthy options, I always try to fill half my plate with the fresh fruits/vegetables first before serving the other treats.  Green salad and fresh fruit salad get huge portions before I serve myself some of the necessary squash casserole and cornbread dressing!

Sign up below and get your free holiday cheat sheet!

Don’t forget to check out these beautiful holiday card templates!

The holidays are coming – Gifts (part 1)

I know, school just started back and it’s only September.  I mean, it’s still in the 90s here in Dallas.  But the holidays will be here before we know it.  I’ve already started stockpiling the gifts I will need for my loved ones.  In an ideal world, I like to buy them throughout the year whenever something strikes my fancy for someone.  But life doesn’t always work like that.  So advanced planning for the holidays can really save time and headaches (and possibly even money!).

Our first topic is Holiday Gifts.  We’ll get to meals and travel later.

Planning the gifts you give

Truthfully, this is one of my favorite parts of the holiday season – giving gifts to my family and friends and coworkers.  Sometimes I track ingredients if I’ve planning handmade gifts, but mostly I track what I am giving to whom.  I love this gift tracker.  I usually have at least two in my planner, one for birthday gifts throughout the year and of course one for the holidays.

Organizing the gifts you receive

This part is a little harder for me.  Sometimes I don’t know what to do with the gifts that I receive.  I love that someone thought of me and wanted to give me something, and I never want to hurt anyone’s feelings.  But what to do with it now?  It needs a place to call its own, not to mention any maintenance that might come with said gift.

I’ve tried to shift some folks to donations in my name or “experience” gifts but not everyone accepts these shifts.

I’m a big fan of experience gifts — a day trip somewhere, a special meal out, or tickets to an event.  Some of these gifts are not available right now in light of the ongoing pandemic, but it can be done.  My mom and I like packing car picnics and taking drives in the area where she lives around Austin.

However you want to plan your gift-giving and organize your gift-receiving, make sure you have the right tools at your fingertips!

Sign up below and get your free holiday cheat sheet!

Don’t forget to check out these beautiful holiday card templates!

Wedding Bells: Managing Your Time (Part 4)

This one is closely linked with the Managing Your Events.  And I want to repeat myself – make sure to balance the “have-tos” with the “want-tos” and do not overextend your obligations.  I know we are tempted to keep everyone else happy but your mental and emotional well-being is important too.

The timeline for everything is important for several reasons:

  • Having schedules and checklists helps keep you on track.  And you don’t have to worry about keeping everything in your head.  Writing it down helps clarify the steps as well as frees your brain for other activities!
  • Schedules and checklists also help keep the expectations realistic – if you forgot that you have a fitting appointment in three weeks, you can check your schedule before you commit to a bridal shower that day.
  • Whether you use an electronic or a printable schedule, it makes it so much easier to share with other folks.  If it’s all in your head, how do you share that?

As you get ready for your wedding, time will move very fast and very slow.  Make sure that your timeline also includes time for yourself.  You don’t want to arrive at the big day stressed out, exhausted, and ready to strangle someone with your veil.  Whatever your self-care looks like, make sure to include it in your schedules.

But I would also like to give you a gentle reminder that you shouldn’t dawdle either.  Even if your wedding date is eighteen months after your engagement, it will truly be here faster that you realize.  If you wait to the very end to schedule key aspects of the celebration, you will be disappointed in what you are able to pull together.


Etsy wedding planner

If you are ready to start your wedding planning today, check out this beautiful planner full of timelines and checklists to get you started on the right foot!

Wedding Bells: Managing Your Events (Part 3)

We’ve talked about managing the people of the wedding and managing the budget for the wedding, but what about the actual wedding celebrations?

There are lots of events surrounding the big event – parties and celebrations and showers and luncheons and more.  I wish I could promise that you have control over that, but you might not.  Especially if your hosts and hostesses are spread out around the country.  When our lives were more local, it was perhaps a little easier.  One combined bridal shower with everyone, perhaps a luncheon on the day of the wedding to make sure the bride eats, and then the wedding.  Now it’s harder with family and friends in all cities and states and countries, and everyone wants to celebrate with you.

I do recommend that you try to keep it “to a dull roar” if you can.  For example, try to make sure that your future mother-in-law doesn’t book a bridal shower on your actual birthday (hypothetically speaking of course).  Maybe instead of a formal bridal luncheon on the hectic wedding day, you simple arrange for a simple sandwich platter at the venue where you and your bridal party are getting ready.

One easy way to keep the cost down, whether for yourself or a host/hostess, is to carefully time the event.  A bridal shower at around 3:00 in the afternoon means you could serve a dessert selection and some punch.  Compared to one at 7:00 in the evening when your guests might expect a more substantial food menu.  And being from the south, I have to admit that potlucks are a favorite event of mine.   I read about the cutest idea that asks all of the guests at the party to bring a “family favorite” to the celebration with a card about the recipe and who it “belongs” to.

Just make sure to balance the “have-tos” with the “want-tos” and do not overextend your obligations.  I know we are tempted to keep everyone else happy but your mental and emotional well-being is important too.

One quick but important note regarding the timing of an event – Please make sure that your bachelor/bachelorette events are not on the night before the wedding.  It’s just not worth it and everyone is better off if you have those parties earlier.


Etsy wedding planner

To stay as organized as possible, I recommend using a planner to keep everything in one place!