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Planner Girl on a Budget

Every Sunday is my planning time. It's part hobby part having my life together as while planning is a creative release it also helps me go into the week with a clear mind. Last night I unintentionally created a layout that's super budget friendly so I thought I'd take an opportunity to talk about planning and spending.
I am what might be referred to as a serial hobbyist - in the time that I've been writing this blog it's gone from spending all my time and money to any social opportunity available to Lilly Pulitzer to Essential Oils to Wedding Planning to now planning - and beauty and fashion but those have been pretty consistent. And when I get into something I have a tendency to go hard which usually equates to big spending. But here's the deal (as I write this I'm speaking just as much to an audience as I am to myself) you can be into a hobby without it costing a fortune. This is of course a generalization - if you want to take up sailboating as your hobby that's going to set you back a little more than other hobbies. I know people who are into yoga and take classes at a pricy studio, only wear lulumon , go through multiple bottles of smart water a day, and wear a top of the line activity tracker - I also know people who do yoga at home and got a refillable water bottle from the dollar spot at target and wear old navy tank tops to work out.
But specifically, for planning I want to talk about some of the ways I try to keep myself under control:
When I first started decorative planning I got a lot of items from the dollar tree and the target dollar spot, and I still get stuff from those places. The target dollar spot especially seems to have embraced the planner trend and always has goodies such as sticky notes. page flags, pen bags, pens, stamps and stickers. And let's be real y'all - buy one set of sticky notes and page flags and use them until they run out, pick a pen bag and stick with it until the zipper breaks or looks beat up. There's a lot of planners out there that keep their stickers in fancy sticker binders - I keep mine in dollar tree photo albums.   

These $1 albums hold a lot of stickers, and the cover can be removed if you want your own design.
At Michael's and Hobby Lobby (yes, you can be pro -choice and shop at Hobby Lobby) you can always get a coupon online for 40% off a regular priced item. Go everyday for a week if there's several things you want that aren't on sale or bring  a friend / spouse / kids if your local craft store isn't conveniently located. When I go into craft stores I always head to the clearance section first to see what's there that might satisfy my crafting desires. Michael's has also really embraced the planner community and has a whole section of goodies where stickers are $3.99 a pack and can often be purchased on sale on top of that. Some of my favorite washi is from a $10 value set purchased at Michael's.
This entire box of washi is $10 at Michael's!
When shopping on etsy limit purchases to Tuesdays when a lot of stores do $2 Tuesday for sticker sheets. Follow your favorite shops on instagram and Facebook for discount codes (I always look up a shop on instagram before making a purchase if it's a new to me shop). Lots of etsy shops will also do "opps"grab bags for sheets with minor issues (mis-cuts, one sticker missing or messed up) overstock and discontinued sheets. Yes, etsy shop owners are people supporting themselves and their families so I'm not saying to beat people up on price but look for ones whose pricing fits your budget. Also, try to limit purchases to a few shops rather than buy one or two sheets per shop (this helps control shipping costs, which can really add up) and also builds loyalty which can mean freebies and discounts.
Stickers from BrandysShop on etsy are $2 a sheet everyday.
The biggest way to keep spending in control though is perspective. You don't need everything all at once - when I first started decorative planning my supplies fit in a mini craft box I got from the dollar spot at target, it's grown to be more than that by now but it has also been two years. In our consumerism society spending has come to equal success but the reality is there are people who spend $500 a month on a hobby and have large credit card debt and there are people who spend $50 a month on a hobby and have a fat bank account so doing things on a budget doesn't mean someone can't afford to spend more - often it just means that they are very wisely choosing not to spend more.


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