The Mindful Budgeting 2017 Planner

November 7, 2016

The Mindful Budgeting 2017 Planner

Well, friends… I’ve been teasing and talking about it for a couple weeks – but today, the Mindful Budgeting 2017 Planner is finally available! After years of looking for a daily planner that combined life + money and never finding it, I decided to create it myself. I first launched it last year, and considered the 2016 version of the planner to be somewhat of an experiment, in that I had no idea if anyone else was also looking for something similar. As it turns out, you were – and now I know I’m not the only person who can’t imagine life without it.

I don’t think I need to repeat all the ways tracking my spending and learning how to budget has helped me over the past five years. Instead, I’ll share some of the things the planner helped other people do in 2016: they paid off one credit card; all credit cards; car loans; the line of credit they regretted opening; and the consolidation loan they needed but were happy to kiss goodbye. The planner helped people through major life events and job transitions, including going from full-time work down to part-time so they could do more of what they love. And it inspired them to double their payments, do shopping bans, and even sell some of their belongings and assets to tackle other financial goals.

Between both the print version and the planner, more than 1,100 people are now using the Mindful Budgeting Program. And I think everyone who has used it, so far, knows there is no one-size-fits-all solution for budgeting. To achieve our financial goals, we simply need to make more mindful decisions – and that’s exactly what the planner does. Mindful Budgeting is a daily planner designed to help you track your spending, and make sure your monthly budgets align with your goals and values. If you’re looking for a tool to help you (or a friend or loved one) stop making impulse purchases, start making mindful decisions and move you in the direction you want your financial life to be going, this is it.

The Mindful Budgeting 2017 Planner

Even though this might look like an ordinary day planner, I consider Mindful Budgeting to be somewhat of a course, in that I’ve laid it out hoping you will use it a certain way. There is something for you to do every day, week, month and quarter, all of which I outline at the beginning of the planner.

The Mindful Budgeting 2017 Planner

Every day, there is designated space for you to track your spending as well as your to-dos. At the end of every week, there are also three questions for you to answer that will help you reflect on your spending and plan for the week ahead.

The Mindful Budgeting 2017 Planner

At the beginning of every month, you will write a budget – then later update it, based on the spending you track throughout the month. There is also space for you to reflect on your spending, your habits and any changes you’ve noticed in yourself.

The Mindful Budgeting 2017 Planner

Finally, every quarter, you will complete a four-step exercise that helps you figure out what your current goals and values are, so you can make sure your monthly budgets align with them; this is one of my favourite parts of the planner.

The Mindful Budgeting 2017 Planner

By using the Mindful Budgeting 2017 Planner, my hope is you will achieve your goals and finish 2017 with a better understanding of your personal finances. If nothing else, I hope the planner helps you realize what matters most to you, so you can make sure your spending and saving aligns with that.

Full List of Features
  • Daily spending sheets, where you can track both your spending and your to-do list items
  • Monthly calendars (with Canada/USA holidays)
  • Monthly budget templates
  • Space to do weekly check-ins and monthly reflections
  • Quarterly exercises to map out your goals and make sure your budget aligns with them
  • Spreadsheets to track both your debt repayment and savings progress
  • *NEW* Spreadsheet to track the difference between your income vs. expenses
  • Twelve motivational quotes to inspire you
  • Instructions on how to use the planner daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly, and
  • The link to a closed Facebook group for people who are using the program.
Two Covers, One Planner

This year, I decided to have some fun and create not one but two different cover designs for the Mindful Budgeting 2017 Planner. Rest assured, what’s inside both options is identical, so you’re not missing anything by ordering one over the other. Just pick the one that suites you best!

Mindful Budgeting 2017 PlannerMindful Budgeting 2017 Planner

Cost and Shipping Information

The Mindful Budgeting 2017 Planner costs $40 CAD + shipping.

As you can see, I’m Canadian and, therefore, all the prices you’ll encounter in the order process will be quoted in Canadian dollars. Prices will be converted from Canadian dollars to your local currency on your credit card statement. Our dollar is low, so this will almost always work in your favour.

Each Mindful Budgeting 2017 Planner is ordered, printed and shipped directly from Blurb – my print shop of choice. Your planner(s) should arrive in a cardboard box, similar to what you’d expect to receive if you ordered a book off Amazon.

Once you get it, I hope you’ll visit the link to the Facebook group and join the community of other mindful budgeters. It’s a safe space to ask questions, share your struggles, celebrate wins and support other people in their own journeys. I can’t wait to see you in there!

Fundraising for the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation

In sticking with tradition, I am donating 5% of all profits from the planners to charity again – and this year, I’ll be donating it to one of my favourites: the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation. Since I was a kid, I have always had my nose stuck in a book. I wouldn’t be the person I am today if I hadn’t learned to read at such a young age, and continued to read and learn from books my whole life. I’ve also been fortunate enough to never have trouble getting access to any of the books I want to read, but that’s certainly not true for all kids. The Indigo Love of Reading Foundation puts books in the libraries of schools in high-needs communities across Canada (including Victoria and Port Moody, where I have lived). I have supported this cause for years and am excited to be able to do so in a bigger way.

Happy budgeting, friends! And here’s to another year of mindful decisions!

41 Comments

  • Reply The Green Swan November 7, 2016 at 4:52 am

    Sounds like a very useful tool, Cait! I’ve found that budgeting and tracking expenses has been extremely helpful for me in getting a grip on my finances and spending in a more conscious manner.

    • Reply Cait Flanders November 7, 2016 at 10:29 am

      I’ve experienced the exact same thing! Actually, I’m also thinking of sharing how much my net worth has changed in the 5 years that I’ve been budgeting… soon!

      • Reply Jessica November 7, 2016 at 12:37 pm

        Please do share! I enjoy reading net worth changes and your story is so inspiring! looking forward to it :)

        • Reply Cait Flanders November 7, 2016 at 1:08 pm

          Twist my arm! Ok, I will do it :)

  • Reply Hanna @ minimal marathoner November 7, 2016 at 6:51 am

    Wow, so cool! I could use something like this, but the irony is that it would be a bit of an impulse purchase for me ;-). I really do need to get better with budgeting and tracking though, especially as I have a very financially-tight year coming up – I will definitely be keeping this in mind!!!

    • Reply Cait Flanders November 7, 2016 at 10:30 am

      Definitely don’t make an impulse purchase! If you’re still thinking about it in another few weeks or even months, then consider it. But if you don’t need it, that’s perfectly ok too! :)

  • Reply Erika November 7, 2016 at 7:12 am

    I am so excited for this! Just ordered mine. Finances are a big part of my 2017 goals so this felt like an easy purchase to make. Thank you Cait! :)

    • Reply Cait Flanders November 7, 2016 at 10:30 am

      I’m so excited to hear how it helps you next year, Erika! :)

  • Reply Tyler November 7, 2016 at 7:26 am

    So I can’t wait to get mine for 2017. I love opening the mindful budget and taking all my receipts from the day before drinking my coffee and going over the budget (yes I’m a nerd). The weekly check-ins really make me think. Sometimes the “best money I spent” was on lunch because I didn’t buy anything. Other times it was courses I bought, or gifts for my wife. Whatever the case it forced me to be more mindful on what I was buying, if picking lunch was the best option of what I spent my money on in a week it wasn’t a very good week.

    And before you ask Cait, no it wasn’t fast food I bought for lunch.lol

    • Reply Cait Flanders November 7, 2016 at 10:32 am

      HA! I wouldn’t ask, but I love that you’re SO conscious of that. It shows that lunch really isn’t a priority for you, Tyler! And you’d rather see your money go elsewhere. I’d say my job here is done ;) hehe

  • Reply Jen@SavedbytheKale November 7, 2016 at 7:30 am

    Hey Cait, I just wanted to let you know that I found your blog about a week ago and have been loving going back and reading through the archives! You are so inspiring, anyway I just love it when I find an awesome new to me blog that I can go digging through and exploring! :)

    • Reply Cait Flanders November 7, 2016 at 10:32 am

      Ooo I love finding blogs like that too, Jen! So glad mine is one of them for you – thanks for sharing that with me :)

  • Reply Mrs. Picky Pincher November 7, 2016 at 7:53 am

    I love that you’re donating some proceeds to charity; go you!

    Is there a digital version available? I’m a paper person myself but this looks like a guide that would be neat to use in an online format.

    • Reply TJ November 7, 2016 at 8:46 am

      I had the same thoughts about a digital version, as I do all my financial management at my computer and my physical hand writing is atrocious. There was a downloadable one last year, but my understanding is that you still had to print out the sheets (rather than ones you could fill with typing)

      Despite that, the printed format looks super slick and I absolutely plan to purchase it. :)

      In future years, I would love to see a downloadable version but I understand why Cait might not go in that direction. Probably more effort to produce and so much easier for meanies to pirate.

      • Reply Cait Flanders November 7, 2016 at 10:36 am

        Not sure about creating one that you could type into… think I’d rather make an app!

    • Reply Cait Flanders November 7, 2016 at 10:35 am

      There is actually a digital version! It’s technically meant to be printed off, but it’s just two PDFs that could guide you to do all the same things as the planner does – at half the cost. :)

      http://caitflanders.com/mindful-budgeting/

      • Reply TJ November 7, 2016 at 11:07 am

        Oooooh! I must have missed it because it’s a separate sales page. The frugalite in me likes saving the money and saving the environment. Thanks for the heads up.

        • Reply Cait Flanders November 7, 2016 at 11:34 am

          No problem! I mean it’s a little different in that it doesn’t have all 342 pages that the planner does, haha. But the idea is just to track your spending daily, answer the questions each week, do a check-in each month, write and update your budget, etc. So you could definitely use it as a guide!

  • Reply Deborah Grant November 7, 2016 at 8:14 am

    Is there a pdf version for 2017? Have I just completely missed the link?

    • Reply Cait Flanders November 7, 2016 at 10:37 am

      There’s a PDF version that is blank (no dates). It’s technically templates that are meant to be printed off, but you could use them as a guide nonetheless! The exact same templates are what I used to create the planner. :)
      http://caitflanders.com/mindful-budgeting/

  • Reply Susan November 7, 2016 at 9:56 am

    I’m so excited for this planner and I’ll definitely get one. I’m a little disappointed in your charity choice but that’s your prerogative. My issue with the Love of Reading is that (while the intentions are wonderful) all the proceeds go back to Indigo so it helps their bottom line and they get to claim the donation on their taxes when customers make donations in the store. I support literacy and support the intention of the organization and love that the school libraries do get the books.
    I will definitely support you and this wonderful venture of yours. I’m hoping to be more diligent in using this year’s. I fell off the wagon a few times but am determined to get back on it.

    • Reply Cait Flanders November 7, 2016 at 10:44 am

      I *totally* understand the part re: it helping their bottom line, but at the end of the day, don’t most charities (attached to people or companies) work that way? Technically, you could say the portion I’m donating would even help my bottom line. It actually won’t make a dent on the income tax I’ll owe for 2016, but it’s still a donation I’ll make and could claim. Just thought I’d add to that discussion and be transparent in the process! Like you, I do love that the books actually do make their way into the libraries. I’ve seen LOR make some big changes in two schools, specifically, when they donated lump sums I could never have imagined. Anyway, appreciate your support and I hope the planner helps in 2017, Susan!

  • Reply L November 7, 2016 at 10:05 am

    Looks great! Have you ever thought of developing an app?

    • Reply Cait Flanders November 7, 2016 at 10:53 am

      I *have* thought of it! But I’d need a developer… and cash to invest in it, haha. It’s something to think about, for sure!

  • Reply Annie November 7, 2016 at 10:45 am

    Thank you! This is exactly what I was looking for. My financial goals went a bit off track this past year because I kept meaning to create a way to track my budget but never got around to it. This will make it so much easier and fun, I hope. My goal for 2017 is to save much more than I did in 2016 and I know paying closer attention and seeing the numbers “in black and white” will help me better curb mindless spending. I know it’s only November but I’m sending my best wishes for a Happy New Year!

    • Reply Cait Flanders November 7, 2016 at 10:56 am

      The spreadsheet for tracking the balances of your savings accounts was sooo helpful for me this year, Annie! I’d never really tracked this before, but it was SO motivating to see the numbers change month-to-month. Hope it’s just as helpful for you too! :)

      • Reply Annie November 15, 2016 at 10:06 am

        My planner arrived last night. It’s gorgeous! I’m excited to have this tool to help me in 2017. I took a quick look through but will be going through it more thoroughly in the next week or so to prepare myself for Jan 1. Here’s to happy financial planning!

  • Reply Shelly Seward November 7, 2016 at 10:52 am

    Congrats on your Mindful Budgeting 2017 Planner! Hope you get lots and lots of sales! I just ordered mine; the one with the lovely quote! I think every time I look at it, it will remind me whether or not I need to make that purchase. I will make more mindful decisions!! I love that you are donating some of your profits to the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation. I have always loved to read and think its very important for children!

    • Reply Cait Flanders November 7, 2016 at 11:00 am

      I love love love the one with the quote, and am certain it will serve as a good reminder, Shelly. Thanks for your support! Excited to see what you do in 2017 :)

  • Reply Audrey November 7, 2016 at 11:43 am

    Would you consider making a spiral bound planner? I like a book that will lay flat when open on my desk. If you do, I will be the first one in line to buy it.

    • Reply Cait Flanders November 7, 2016 at 1:04 pm

      That was the plan for this year, but the print shop I was going to use fell through – and I would’ve had to do all the shipping myself, which I just don’t have time for this year (my book is due in January). So I’ll try again next year!

      • Reply Dayle November 9, 2016 at 9:44 am

        Sweet!

    • Reply Dayle November 9, 2016 at 9:44 am

      Ditto to this! :)

  • Reply Kalie @ Pretend to Be Poor November 7, 2016 at 11:54 am

    Beautiful planner, Cait. You’ve definitely come up with a unique and useful product. That’s pretty neat that well over a thousand people are now using it!

    • Reply Cait Flanders November 7, 2016 at 1:07 pm

      To break that down further, just over 500 copies of the planner sold last year + another 600 people have purchased the print template version :) but the 2017 planner is my all-time fave (because of those covers!).

  • Reply J. Money November 8, 2016 at 3:29 am

    IT’S SO PRETTY!!!!

    • Reply Cait Flanders November 8, 2016 at 6:13 am

      Thanks, friend! :D

  • Reply Tara November 8, 2016 at 12:25 pm

    I have been reading your blog for so long and I always have enjoyed how you seem to weave the personal stories with your advice in such a way as to not seem completely commercialized like so many of my old favorite blogs have since become. Anyways, I don’t always like a lot of bloggers attempts to sell eBooks/classes as they sometimes come off as pyramid scheme-esque, but when I see products like your journal that appears to be a true self-helping product, it seems worthy of support. I just bought one, and I’m looking forward to better changes with my budgeting in the new year. Keep up the good work and the wonderful writing. I truly enjoy it.

  • Reply Cathleen November 11, 2016 at 7:16 pm

    Done and bought, can’t wait. I’m doing Courtney’s full year course this year, too.

  • Reply Lauren R November 12, 2016 at 11:38 am

    Thanks for posting Cait, I ordered mine yesterday. I’ve previously been thoughtful about budgeting for a month, then I fall off the budgeting bandwagon. This tool will help give me more incentive to stick with it! Is there a community (Facebook or otherwise?) for Mindful Budgeters to connect?

  • Reply Sarah Li Cain November 12, 2016 at 3:58 pm

    You could technically have a pdf where people fill it in right off the computer. Tons of people have that, so you just save a new pdf each week or day.

    Developing an app isn’t expensive. I’m tempted to do,something like that with childrens books but I trying to keep my focus ;)

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