Chaotic or Calm? What’s the vibe as September rolls in?

How is it September already???

I absolutely love the summertime – it feels free and more fun and spontaneous!  Where I live, the days are LONG so it feels like there are actually more hours in a day, but I have a strong appreciation for September and getting back to my tried & true routine. A fresh start if you will.

The energy in September feels like a Second New Year to me!

When everyone in my house is back to the daily and weekly schedules they need to adhere to, whether it is work or school, my time management and budgeting tools get put into use full force.

In the past, when I tried to just wing it when dealing with everything my family had to do… well, let’s just say things didn’t go well!

As far as my TIME MANAGEMENT goes, my planner is how I keep things together for sure. I’ve tried many and have found one that works best for me (and it is creative and inspirational too).  For me, its a physical planner that I write in but you need to Be True to YOU and if a digital planner is a better fit for you then go for it!  But it really REALLY helps to have everything in one place for easy reference when life gets super busy.

I also use my calendar and reminders function in my phone to help with it all.

And this year, more than ever before, BUDGETING is happening big time to help me make the most of my family finances since things have gotten more expensive across the board this year.

What does this look like?

I know how much I bring in as far as income sources, it doesn’t change too much so I have that in mind then I deduct my monthly expenses (like water, hydro, gas, car) so I have a pretty clear idea what I’m working with for everything else.

Groceries have been the most challenging the past few months but I’ve been working on trying new recipes, and I definitely shop the sales!  This week my grocery store is having a case lot sale so I was able to stock up on some of my staples for a much better price and because it is a bulk-buy I won’t have to buy those things as often as I usually do freeing up a bit more money in the next couple of months.

I know a lot of people aren’t fans of planning ahead. Heck, I used to be one of them!  But I’ve found that doing so actually reduces my stress because I’m not feeling like I’m spinning out of control trying to deal with the next crisis.  I found FREEDOM in having a solid routine to set the foundation of my days.

That said, flexibility matters too… more on that in an upcoming blog post.

I recently asked the women in my online community a question: On a scale of 1-10, how much does time management and budgeting impact your quality of life?

Do you feel like you’ve got a good handle on it? Or are you caught up in the chaos?

Here’s some tips to help make it a little easier on yourself:

  • Have a consolidated space where all your and your family’s activities, etc. can be viewed (planner, digital app, wall calendar… whatever works best in YOUR world.
  • Make use of the calendar app and set reminders on your phone.
  • Clean out and assess your pantry, fridge, and freezer. Make a “cheat sheet” of the items you use and need to buy regularly and get into the habit of checking your stash before ordering or going to get groceries.
  • Try meal planning. It can seem overwhelming when you want to get started, but once you have a firm grasp of what you’ll be making for dinner in the coming week you’ll know what you need, how long it will take to prepare it, and if there’ll likely be leftovers to make use at another mealtime.
  • Take a good look at your finances. (I know, this can be tough sometimes.) Do your best to determine your usual monthly income, what your set monthly expenses are, and how much you have to cover all the rest after that. It might be a real wake up call for some, but it will help you plan ahead. If money is tight, be firm about what you can let go of either temporarily or permanently. (I paused our Netflix and Audible subscriptions to help make ends meet during a recently financial set back… little things add up!)

As a Solo-Mom and as a Life Coach, finding solid useable practices to help lessen stress levels is super important to me. The tools shared here are all things I personally make use of and can say they’ve helped improve the quality of my mom-life immensely!

Always from the heart,

Jennifer

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