How To Plan For A New Month + Plan With Me!

Sunday, April 25, 2021

 Gifted - This post contains previously gifted items

It seems that the months are going quicker than ever. I love the changing months at it brings me hope and motivation. Planning ahead helps to increase your productivity and reduces the number of things you have to remember. Every month, I like to prepare a few things for the month ahead. It means that I don't carry unnecessary work over into the new month. Here are some things you should do at the end of every month so every month your best month!


Why You Should Prepare For A New Month

Every month is a fresh start. It brings a new range of challenges and opportunities, and there are some things you don't want to be thinking about. You should plan your months for so many reasons. Here are a few important reasons why you should prepare for the next month:

  • You can outline your goals for the new month
  • It helps you to get your life and mind together
  • You can see where your finances are at
  • You'll be able to see where your goals are headed
  • You can make changes for things that aren't working so well
  • You'll have an overview of what's going on in the month

Things To Do At The End Of The Month

The end of the month signifies a new start, so you want to have everything in line before you get there. I like to make sure I do these things at the end of every month because it gives me one less thing to worry about. I spend an afternoon sorting all of these things out rather than doing bits here and there. It gets the job done quickly and is more productive!

Check your finances


 Make sure you know where your money is going, how much you expect to pay and what you'll do with anything "leftover". You should regularly keep track of your finances so you know you have funds for an emergency and can check for irregularities. I use an excel spreadsheet for this. I estimate how much money I will recieve from my apprenticeship and then factor in all of my expenses. For me, my main expenses are rent, fuel, food and trips out. Don't forget birthdays, insurance and emergency funds as anything could pop up! If you save money every month, make sure you keep that aside when working out how much money you'll have left over at the end of the month!

Set new and accomplishable goals 

The new month is the perfect time to achieve and set new goals. Every month is different, so switch up your goals depending on the season. Make sure you're going to have time to achieve the goals or at least work towards them. Setting unachievable goals and not reaching them can be demotivating. This is also a good time to look at your previous goals and reflect on them. If something didn't work out right, what are you going to do this month to achieve it? If you set a goal but didn't reach it, don't discard it. You can work on it harder or change the goal slightly to fit your needs/lifestyle. 

Book any appointments and meetings 

Book that blood test, eye appointment, hair cut and dentist appointment. Make sure you schedule time with friends and family. Whatever you need, make sure you give people plenty of heads up! Now's the chance to book yourself up and know what you'll be doing next month. It's really important to schedule in all of those check ups. Being in lockdown for nearly a year means that lots of people have missed out on the care they need. This is your sign to go and get your routine check ups! 

Plan your blog posts 

If you're a blogger, make sure you know what you're doing in the next month. At the end of a month, I like to make sure all of my emails and messages have been replied to. Don't leave people hanging on for an answer! I also will go through and reply to any comments I have received. I am quite busy during the week with work and school, so usually return comments at the weekend. Now is also the chance to pitch new collaborations and plan your blog posts. Even if you plan a week in advance, knowing what to write about is a great way to start planning your photos and what to write!

Schedule time for things you want to do

If you would like an afternoon for blogging, mark that in your calendar. Maybe, you'd like to spend the day at the beach or shopping? Schedule time for what you want to do, rather than just the things you need to do. Self-care is so important, so make sure you have time to look after yourself too. If you have a busy lifestyle, than relaxing on an evening may not be so easy for you. If you schedule in that time, you'll never have an excuse to not take care of your mind and body!


Planning The Month Ahead With Me

I have an academic planner, which I love to pieces and use every month. It has a monthly overview as well as individual blocks for each day. I was kindly gifted this planner, but I will be purchasing it again in September when this one is finished! If you'd like the same one I use, it's called the Amanthis Master Mindset Journal. To plan without this specific planner, you can use excel, another journal or a notebook! 

To start with, I will look at the month and schedule everything. Make sure you include days out, important dates and even blog posts to publish on certain days. I like to lay this all out so that I can factor in anything for my budget. For example, if I have a hairdressing appointment and am also meeting my friend for coffee, I'll need to budget for both. I prefer scheduling the month before budgeting so that I'm not moving money around during the month. I have everything already set out. I do this on the monthly overview page of my planner.

Next, I set the goals for the month. I will look at things I'd like to achieve, when I want to do things and what I need to finish from the previous month. It's important to reflect on the month and identify if anything didn't work. If you didn't reach a goal, make it your top goal for the new month. Goal setting improves productivity and motivation. It's also a great way of tracking progress. Make sure you're setting realistic goals, but ones that help you to progress in life. 

Finally, I will look at the budget. I have a spreadsheet that tracks all of my finances. Yes, I am an accountant, so I find this part really fun. It's important to keep track of where your money is going. If you hate doing spreadsheets, you can use a notebook to record income, regular expenses and what you plan to spend elsewhere. It's good to know where you'll end up at the end of the month. I always do this just before payday. As soon as I get a paycheck, I will move money into my savings and help to buy ISA. Anything left is allocated before I have money to spend on the things I want. It really helps if you have a second source of income or a side hustle, as any money you make from there can go on treats!

As a blogger, I also will take steps to plan my next month worth of content. I already have a lot of posts written, but I like to have a stockpile in case I am busy one week. Before the end of the month, I will plan out what blog posts I'd like to share and on what days. I try to link it in with an event or season that is going on. I will schedule tweets and promotion, make sure all emails are answered and comments are returned. I try to finish any work or guest posts that are due, so I'm not carrying anything over into the next month. 

Planning Tools That I Use

Planning tools are great as they allow me to do everything I need and keep myself organised. There are an infinite amount of tools that I like to use to keep organised, but I thought I'd keep me list simple, affordable and accessible to most people. Here are some of my main and favourite tools that help me to keep organised when planning for the new month!

Amanthis Mindset Journal

I will forever praise this journal and how much it has helped me out. There are monthly and weekly tabs, space for periodic goals reflection, motivational quotes and even space for assignments, notes and contacts. It's the perfect planner and I really love using it for planning out my months. It's also not too expensive, so I'd recommend it if you're looking for an affordable planner.

Microsoft Excel

A basic one, but something great for blog post planning and finances. Excel or any alternative that your laptop may have will work. It's a great tool for finance, even if you don't use it for blog posts. I have a template for budgeting out a month. If you'd like a copy, please pop me an email! I'd be happy to send it across with tips on how to use it!

Notion/Trello

Notion is a great project management tool. It lets you move things around with ease, build task pages and keep track of deadlines. I love it, and I even use it for work! Notion is free, so can be downloaded to your laptop. You can also collaborate with other people, perfect if you have a team project on the go!

A Calendar App

Most mobile devices come with a calendar app. I like Google calendar and use it to keep track of all of my things. It's helpful to use a calendar that has reminders so that you'll never forget when things pop up. I like the Google calendar app as I can use it on my phone and desktop. It's also really easy to move things around. I also find it helpful to sync the calendar with my family, so I know what they're doing throughout the month. I like to have a written calendar too, which is in my planner. 

How To Deal With Sudden Changes

Plans get cancelled, things pop up, and sometimes things just don't go right. As much as we all like to plan ahead, things can change very quickly and adapting to those things can be hard. Here are some tips for how to deal with plans suddenly changing

  • Learn to be flexible - Even if you didn't write your month down, things would be popping up anyway. Don't let writing your plans down in a calendar stress you out when it changes. It's easy to move and in life, we have to be a little flexible. 
  • Try To Move Things Around - When something gets changed, don't panic! Look at your schedule and see what can be moved around. You don't need to be flexible to move things around. If in doubt, ask people you'd made plans with. See if you can postpone your meet up or come a little bit later. 
  • Allows Some Things To Be Flexible - When I plan my month, I plan in study time and blogging. However, these time blocks are flexible and I can move them around if things come up. When you plan your month, have slots of time for nothing in case you need to fit some last-minute things in. 
  • Take The Change As An Opportunity - If something got cancelled then take that time and do something productive. If you need to move things around then maybe it's the world telling you some things on your list are too much and can be removed for now. Look for the positives in whatever has come up or been cancelled. 

Top Tips For Organising Your Months

Organising can be hard, but it's helped me to stay calm and improve my productivity. It's also decreased the amount of stress I have as I know what I'm doing and when. Here are some of my top tips for organising your month and how to make it easier for you!

  • Only plan a week before the new month - You'll have the most up to date information about your finances, where your goals are at and what plans you'll be making. Try not to plan the next month more than a week in advance. Focus on getting your current goals and tasks checked off first! 
  • Review the previous month - It's all good moving on, but you should also look at how the last month went. If you didn't tick lots of your to-do list off, maybe you're taking on too much. What things are you grateful for? What do you need to do this month? Make sure you reflect on how the last month went!
  • Review your time as you go - If you're week one into the new month, feel free to re-evaluate your plan. Maybe you had a busy week so ticked off more than you planned for? Make sure you tick things off as you go!
  • Create a daily or weekly checklist - Every Sunday, I write down all the things I'd like to get done in the week. I tick it off as I go along but never assign days. Sometimes if I write it down that I'll study for 2 hours on a Friday, it puts pressure on me if I don't get it done. If setting days aside works for you, then go for it!  


Planning for the next month doesn't have to be hard. It can take 30 minutes, but the results will be rewarding. Since I started taking control of my finances and planning things ahead of time, I've become less stressed, more wealthy and happier. Planning for your month doesn't need to be complicated. It also doesn't have to be a daunting and boring task. I love to jam out to some music while brain dumping everything I need to do for the month! Do you like planning for the new month? I'd love to hear how you prepare for a new month and what tips you've picked up!




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16 comments

  1. These are fab tips! I like that you are not planning too far in advance, but just enough to be organised. Makes the goals more achievable, doesn't it? This is something I need to get btter at!
    Thanks for sharing :)

    Aimsy xoxo
    Aimsy’s Antics

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  2. These are some great tips Em, I need to plan my finances a lot more than I do! Thank you for this x

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  3. These are all great ideas, and I love how you’ve included your blog, finances, self care etc in your planning. Thanks for sharing!

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  4. This is a really great post! I've started planning my month by setting goals and looking at my finances and it has helped me be more productive and sensible x

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  5. Excellent post! Great ideas about how to plan the week for things you want to do. I like not setting a rigid day & time.

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  6. Purposefully planning for the next month is a great habit. I have only recently started doing this and I can't believe I didn't do it before! The weekly checklist is a great idea. I will have to try that. Thank you!

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  7. I love this! Definitely love being organised and working out what im doing every month and having it planned out in front of me is so satisfying!x

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  8. It's already time to plan for the next month! This is a lovely post, and will definitely come handy when I set up my bullet journal for May. And finances are so important, I agree.

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  9. Great tips! I like to look ahead but only so far at a time so I don't get overwhelmed. I like that you say plan but be willing to be flexible.

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  10. Thanks for sharing, I need to plan a little bit more, great ideas :)

    Nic | Nic's Adventures & Bakes

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  11. I always check my finances at the end of the month, I love seeing if I can add any money to my savings! x

    Lucy | www.lucymary.co.uk

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  12. This is such great advice Em. Planning really is essential for me, it keeps me focused and on task as I tend to float along without a clue most of the time!

    I definitely will be using this advice to make sure I am 100% prepared for the month ahead x

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  13. I love hearing about other people's processes and learning from them. I have a set process for my finances at the end of the month, but I don't really have anything in place for the other areas. Thanks for your tips and suggestions!

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  14. I always love a good organisation post for sure! I'll admit that my monthly plan with me are similar to yours except for I'm not great with tracking my finances all the time and I don't use notion - but this is the fourth time I've heard of it today so shall be checking it out soon, I'm sure!

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  15. These are honestly some really fab tips and I love planning my finances every month! Thanks for sharing great post gal x

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  16. I love love love your planning posts. I can't quite believe we're at the end of April already - I feel like I've only just got into the month. I am hoping that May will be a good one for me, it's my birthday month.
    I also love Trello for being organised - I love the set up

    Rosie

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