The Mindful Budgeting 2016 Planner

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Six months ago, I launched The Mindful Budgeting Program: a PDF that includes 8 templates you can print off each month and customize to fit your needs. When I first decided to piece the program together, my goal was to put everything I do on a daily, weekly and monthly basis directly into your hands, so you could stop making impulse purchases and start making mindful decisions.

Based on your emails, comments and reviews, I feel like we’ve accomplished that goal together. I have loved looking at the weekly spending sheets users share in the private Facebook group, discussing budgeting strategies for all different financial situations and celebrating wins together. I think everyone who has used the program, so far, now knows there is no one-size-fits-all solution for budgeting. To achieve our financial goals, we simply need to make more mindful decisions.

Since launching the downloadable version of the program, I’ve known that I wanted to create a physical version. Actually, that’s a lie. I’ve been searching for a planner like this in bookstores for years – scanning titles and opening anything that looked like this, but nothing ever has. Why is it that you can find gardening journals and one-sentence diaries, but no stores seem to sell budgeting planners!? I’ve never understood that… so, I decided to make it myself.

The Mindful Budgeting 2016 Planner

Everything that’s included in the downloadable print templates is included in the planner. When you turn the page to a new month, you’ll find a calendar, a budget template (which now includes areas to specifically track your income, spending and savings), spending sheets and weekly check-ins.

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When I used to search for budgeting planners in stores, I was looking for something that included designated space to track my spending every day, as well as write down my to-dos. Since the two often go hand-in-hand, I wanted them to be side-by-side – but I couldn’t find that anywhere.

The first template I designed for the Mindful Budgeting 2016 Planner was the daily page you see below; it’s so simple yet it’s my favourite part of the planner – and that’s the whole point. Repeating simple actions – like tracking your spending – is often what helps us make the biggest changes.

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Note: Most pages have two days on each page and some only have one, depending on how many days are in a month.

I have also created cover pages for each month that include personal advice/quotes. And, finally, there is a unique check-in at the end of every month, where you can dig a little deeper with your spending, reflect on the month that’s just ended and plan for what’s ahead.

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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.

I love the downloadable version for the flexibility it offers you, but I can’t wait to see what you do with this in your hands. Not only do I imagine the planner being thrown into purses or kept in a special spot at home, but I see it being part of your daily life, and using it becoming one of your healthy habits.

“Mindful Budgeting has given me a wonderful new way to look at and to track my money from week to week. I’d recommend it to anyone – even if you’ve never been into budgets before.” – Des, Half Banked

By using it, my hope is you will actually achieve the financial goals you set for yourself at the beginning of the new year, and finish 2016 with a better understanding of your personal finances and a vision of what you want to achieve in future years. If nothing else, I hope the planner helps you realize what matters most to you in life, so you can make sure your spending and saving aligns with that.

As you can imagine, this project was no small undertaking. I’ve been talking to my designer about creating a 2016 planner, since the day after we launched the downloadable version of the Mindful Budgeting Program. We’ve spent months designing it, looking for print shops, getting quotes, proofing it, etc. Now, there are finally hard copies sitting in my home – ready to be shipped to you!

Product Information

Here’s a more detailed list of what you’ll find in the Mindful Budgeting 2016 Planner:

  • Daily spending sheets, where you can track both your spending and your to-do list items (this is the reason I created the planner!)
  • Weekly check-ins, which will help you reflect on the week that’s just ended and get ready for the one ahead
  • Unique monthly check-ins
  • Monthly budget templates
  • Quarterly exercises that will help you map out your goals and make sure your budget aligns with them
  • Spreadsheets to track both your debt repayment and savings progress
  • Calendars (with Canada and USA holidays)
  • And instructions on how to use the planner daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly.

The planner itself is:

  • 6 x 9 inches
  • 340 pages (the size of a good book!)
  • Hard cover with matte finish
Cost and Shipping Information

The Mindful Budgeting 2016 Planner is no longer available. You can purchase the latest version of the Mindful Budgeting Planner here.

Fundraising Campaign: Budgeting for Better Orphan Care

If you read my friend Joshua’s blog, you know he recently launched The Hope Effect – a non-profit that is set to change how the world cares for orphans. From now until December 25th, I am donating 5% of all sales of the Mindful Budgeting 2016 Planner to The Hope Effect. When you purchase a planner, I will donate $2 USD to this cause. My goal is to sell at least 350 planners, so we can fundraise $700 for The Hope Effect; that’s enough to provide an orphan with education for one year.

I’m still in shock that the planner is finally done, here and ready to be used. What was once a frustrating thought about how it seemed impossible to find anything like this in stores is now a reality… in my hands! Even if you don’t want to buy one for yourself, family or friends, I hope you’ll celebrate with me. This project was a huge undertaking and I am so excited to finally see it come to life (and use it myself!).

Happy budgeting! :)

  • Hi Cait! THIS LOOKS AWESOME!

    Question: would it be best to get the Program to go with the planner or can the planner stand alone w/o the PDF Program and still have the majority of the info? What would I be missing out on if I only got the planner and not the program?

    Excited to order one of these!

    • Hey Erika! Good question. The planner includes everything that’s in the original program, except for some content at the beginning (mostly talking about my personal relationship with money and spending). But you certainly don’t need that to use the planner, as it has instructions of its own. I’m going to leave both up for sale, in case someone would rather get the downloadable version than the physical planner… but you only need one – not both! :)

    • Ah, awesome! I already have a planner for next year so I think I’ll grab the PDF program – thank you for answering the question & congratulations on the launch of the planner! I love your outlook on money & life and SO enjoy your blog. Keep up the great work!

      • Thanks, Erika! I appreciate that – and hope you’ll join the Facebook group, when you get the PDF program!

  • Well this is exciting! Can you share a photo of the calendar/to do list part. I’m in the f I always stages of picking my ’16 agenda and while I love this , the to do part is super important too!

    • Sure thing, I can add that now! The to-do area is simply lines, the same as any agenda/planner. I just wanted there to be a combination of the two: track your spending + write out whatever else you need to do that day. :)

    • Seeing the ISBN code on the back was a moment I won’t forget, that’s for sure, Maggie. Thank you for the sweet comment! I appreciate it :)

  • Hi Cait! Congrats on what looks like a wonderful planner. According to my math, if you have a page for each day of the year, the book would have more than 340 pages. Did you combine Saturday and Sunday on one page? Thanks!

    • You’re right – the original had over 500 pages, weighed almost 2 lbs. and cost A LOT to ship out, haha. So I ended up putting two days on one page, for most of it. There’s Mon/Tues, Wed/Thurs, Fri/Sat, Sun/Weekly Check-in. There are the occasional days that get full pages, simply because of how many days are in that month. But you’ll mostly see two days on one page. It looks/functions so much better now! Just wish I’d thought of it before we laid it out the first time. ;)

  • I’m so tempted to put this transaction on a credit card and pay it off on Thursday when I get a nice paycheck but that seems counterproductive when purchasing a budgeting planner so patients I shall have.
    I’m really proud of this accomplishment and I look forward to many more from you.
    Tyler

    • Yes, I’d rather you be patient than have that weighing over you, Tyler! The product won’t go anywhere. :)

  • Congrats, Cait!
    Very proud of you and can’t wait to check it out in person.
    I’m not sure if I will keep it for myself, since I’m currently using a July-June planner, or give it for a Christmas gift, but either way it will be put to good use!
    I really like the charity component as well! Well done!

    • Thank you so much, Dayle! I appreciate all of your support throughout this process, and donated the $2 from your sale over the weekend. Also, it’s really nice to see your name in the comments section again. I’ve missed you :)

  • Just the other day, I was trying to find a planner that had enough room I could write in some budgeting/spending notes. I think you read my mind, Cait! :)

    • Ahhh, that’s amazing, Shannon! I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who thinks about this stuff, hehe.

  • Ooooooh SO tempted to get this. I started tracking my spending in a spreadsheet at the beginning of 2015 and have kept it up all year (woo!) because I wanted to become more aware of where my money was going. It has been such a good experience so far!

    But I just moved to a new city and will probably be making less money so I decided that I’m going to step it up a notch and that 2016 will be the year of the budget. So this could be perfect! .. I may ask for it for Christmas :)

    • That’s a good idea, Elizabeth! I certainly don’t want it to break the bank for anyone. Even if you use a free spreadsheet or cheaper option, like the printable PDFs, I do love that your goal is to make 2016 “the year of budgeting”. Let’s coin that term ;)

  • I love planners and yours looks beautiful. I bet that your planner will soon become the norm/standard for day/monthly planners. You truly are a trailblazer. Congrats!

  • Hey Cait, congratulations! You should feel really proud for creating this and seeing it all the way through. I’m excited to get mine.
    PS: I know you have a Facebook group for the Mindful Budgeting Program, but I wanted to say that I was really happy that you chose to host the Blonde on a Budget community using Boardhost instead, as I cut myself off from Facebook earlier this year due to overuse. :) (On a related note, I may be the only person in the world not currently on Facebook: Barack Obama literally joined this morning!)

    • Haha, is that right!? I’ve heard from a lot of people that they don’t use Facebook and, truthfully, I don’t check it often either. I do like the private Facebook group, though! I know not everyone can join it, but it’s nice to connect with people who are using the same templates as you, sharing progress, struggles, etc. I thought about creating a forum for it, instead, but the privacy in the Facebook group is nice. Anyway, I’m grateful to have both options going! Thanks for being such an active member of the forums :)

  • This looks great. I’ve been following your blog for a few months now. I was happy to stumble across it! I’ll have to put this planner on my Christmas list. I love working with a pen and paper when it comes to a budget, and your planner makes it look super easy and organized.

    • That was the goal, Betsy! I didn’t want to overcomplicate it… as soon as it gets complicated or flashy, it’s easy to lose people. I made it simple enough that you could make it part of your daily routine. I can’t wait to see what you think of it!

    • Ditto! And my spreadsheet has always worked, but I can’t deny that I’m someone who prefers to write things down by hand.

  • Hi Cait,

    I’m so happy to support you – you are truly an inspiration! I write financial wellness articles for our staff members on our intranet. I’m super excited to give away two of your planners to members of our team.

  • This is a cool product, and should help keep people in line with the budget. I’ve never really looked for 1 like this in the book shelves, but I’m glad you created it. Good luck and hope you motivate others to budget better.

  • CONGRATULATIONS, CAIT!!!!

    I love the planner idea. I’ll have to talk to my husband…and check our budget. ;)

  • Wow, this looks fantastic! I can see it coming in very handy as I do a lot of this by hand :). PS- have you seen the Bullet Journal method video? I thought that was pretty awesome too!

    • The Bullet Journal actually confuses me! Haha. It just feels so complicated… or maybe I’m too simple to understand it? I’m sure it works for a lot of people! I know my friend Amanda does it and loves it :)

  • Love the idea of this kind of agenda. I was on the hunt for a 2016 planner, so I ordered one of yours. Can’t wait to get it and start planning! Thanks for putting the work into this project – what a neat idea.

    • Thank YOU for supporting the idea, Laura! I’ll let you know as soon as yours has been shipped. :D

  • Just ordered this and I’m very excited about it! I debated on it since you created this post. I wasn’t sure whether I would use it. But today I realized that even when I was happy with how well we were doing with staying on budget, I always felt like we could do better and now I think it’s because I was focused on the dollar amount rather than the purchases themselves. Looking forward to mindful budgeting in 2016!

    • I’m so excited to be part of your new budgeting strategies in 2016, Emily! Will email you as soon as your copy is in the mail :)

  • I’m so excited to have ordered this planner! I love picking out my new diary for the new year, and this product seems to perfectly align with a lot of the goals I want to set for 2016. You’ve done an amazing job, it appears to be such a well designed tool to align with streamlining your goals and expectations. Can’t wait to get started once it arrives! (I’ll have to be patient, Australia’s a long way away!)

    • I should still be able to get it to you before January 1st, Emily – so no worries there! Will let you know when it’s on the way :)

  • There is more than a bit of irony about making this purchase from you, you know! I’ve been on my own similar journey for several years and was pleased to discover you and learn that you are among a great group of folks making it ‘hip’ to save money and consume mindfully. There must be a reason that I hadn’t yet found just the right planner for myself for 2016 — little did I know I was waiting for yours all along. Keep up the great work. I look forward to receiving the planner.

    • This made me smile, Sharon. I’m REALLY excited to hear what you think of it, as you begin using it! Will let you know when it’s in the mail :)

  • This looks so neat! Congrats to you for publishing this. I think it will help lots of folks :)

    Also, I wanted to pop by and say I loved hearing you on Ontario Morning today-I tuned in after the intro, but I kept thinking, this must be Cait. It sounds like what she writes! Then Wei called you Cait and I was so happy I was right :)

    • Ahhh, that’s so cool you heard me, Sarah! I actually wondered if any regular readers would happen upon it :) Wei was a great interviewer! I always love doing stuff with CBC. <3

  • I just ordered the planner and I’m so excited! It looks like it will be so useful and now I don’t have to use my ratty ol’ notebook for my weekly budgets, spending logs, and other things I keep track of. Thanks so much for creating this!

  • Now that the year’s half done, will you sell these at half price?!?!? :) If so, I’m in!!!

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