Let me start this post by saying that I am not a financial adviser and all of my posts regarding budget related items are based on my own experience. I document my journey (which is sometimes a bit rough) online to hold myself accountable but also in the hopes that it might help someone else in a similar situation. I’m nearly 47 and do not have my finances under control. In fact, if you’ve seen any of my budget videos, more often than not it seems like my finances are controlling me.
Since it can be difficult to source Happy Planner items here in Hawaii, I tend to do a lot of Do-it-Yourself (DIY) projects. It is the easiest way for me to recreate things that I want but can easily access. Also, I know from comments on my YouTube page, there are a lot of people in the same situation. Perhaps it’s due to lack of availability at their neighborhood craft store. Perhaps it’s due to no neighborhood craft store. Perhaps it’s due to budget constraints. Whatever the reason, I know I’m not the only one who can’t always get the new shiny things I see on Instagram and YouTube.
I prefer Instagram. There, I said it. I like the fact that most of the caption is hidden so I get to choose how much I want to read and really, it’s just about looking at the pictures for me. If I want to know more about the picture(s) or if the caption is intriguing, then I’ll hit ‘more’. That’s the main reason I don’t like Facebook. There always seems to be a lot of drama. TONS OF DRAMA. Sometimes, the drama gets to be of reality TV proportions and I’m not here for it.
However, since I started my Happy Planner/YouTube journey, I find that Facebook can be a great place to get ideas and inspiration in my own planner journey. Especially if you belong to Facebook groups. I belong to several that deal with Happy Planner, Happy Planner Layouts, Bullet Journaling, etc. Lately, I’ve been enamored of the Hobonichi Weeks and have watched tons of videos on YouTube.
The Hobonichi Weeks is a yearly planner from Japan and has been around for quite some time. However, it’s only blipped on my radar for a few months now. I like that it skirts the functionality of a traditional planner system but provides the freedom of a bullet journal system. The fact that there’s so many people showing their decorated layouts certainly makes it more intriguing for me. However, there are some cons about a Hobonichi Weeks. As I can only get it from Amazon, 1) it seems kind of costly since with shipping, it would run between $40 – $50 and 2) its in a book bound system and I’m pretty sure I would find that annoying.
Fortunately, based on a tip of Anika from YouTube (Anika’s Kreative Plans), she suggested I check out another channel, Magical_Plans who made her own ‘Hobonichi’ out of Happy Planner products. Intrigued, I checked her out and I’ve been down the rabbit hole ever since on all things HappyNichi, Fauxbonichi, BujoNichi. I’m not sure who coined the term HappyNichi, but I think its an appropriate term.
As with many things Happy Planner, I can’t source the Happy Planner Half Sheet Happy Notes here in Hawaii. So I’ve made my own – I’ve included the video below. There will be a series of videos as I make a variety of components for my HappyNichi.
Strangely enough, however, I couldn’t find a Facebook group for HappyNichi spreads. Although I know zero about creating, moderating, or running a group, I decided to create my own. Right now its a public group (I really need to research the pros and cons of having a public vs. private group) and I’m hoping if you’re going down the HappyNichi rabbit hole too, you’ll consider joining. Lets go on this journey together!
I freely admit, I’m a stationary nerd. Actually, in general, I love stationary, writing utensils, and office supplies. Lately, I’ve been really into my planner system and I love the flexibility of my Happy Planners. Regularly, I use three different planners on a weekly basis. In my Big Happy Planner, I track my Etsy shops, blog, social media and YouTube channel in a DIY Dashboard layout. In my Happy Planner mini, it’s sort of my catch-all-on-the-go planner that houses a myriad of things. In my DIY Erin Condren/Happy Planner Budget planner, I track my finances (to include personal and business numbers).
I’ve mentioned in previous blogs that I recently started my own budget journey. It’s a few months in and lately it seems that I keep taking baby steps. Not in progress since I’m still overwhelmed with debt, but in understanding. I did a blog (with a free printable) that outlined how I thought I would be doing my monthly budget. However, as I’ve gone through a month, I realized that I need to tweak the process yet again. It isn’t about aesthetics but rather, as I go through each process a couple of times, I realize what works and what doesn’t. Its the natural progression for learning something new, but I’m impatient.
As I’m progressing through my budget journey to get out of debt, I’m learning more and more about budgeting, living frugal, and knowing where my money goes. But I’ve also discovered that there are things I can do that help me keep track of things. I’m definitely a Happy Planner person and creating templates and lists help me stay organized. The added bonus is that it gives me a feeling of control. I think part of my frustration in this journey has been the feeling that my debt and finances were controlling me, not that I was in control.
I created this Sinking Funds Detail sheet in order to have an idea of things that I had or already needed. I thought it would also be a great place to track important dates (personal or professional) since one of my sinking funds categories is for gifts. I think this system (which will be moved to each month as needed in my Happy Planner/Erin Condren DIY budget planner) will also help me budget one of my cash envelope categories more efficiently.
If you’re in the planner community, whether Happy Planner or Erin Condren (being the two I predominantly see), then you know that the struggle is real when it comes to planner stickers. Either you have the money but the stock is low in your area (or just not available locally), or the stock is there but the funds are low.
I fall in the middle of that quandary… I have funds (although I should use it towards debt) but I cannot locally source Happy Planner items where I live. Because I live in Hawaii, if I order through Michael’s, Joanns, Hobby Lobby, or Happy Planner.com, not only do I pay regular shipping charges, but Alaska and Hawaii typically have additional shipping charges. Perhaps I’m so used to amazon.com but I really don’t want to have to pay for all that extra shipping. I’d be okay paying shipping costs like any other customer from the 48 states, but as we have USPS locations here, I don’t know why I should have to pay more. I enjoy decorating my planner so although stickers are not necessary to plan, they do inspire and motivate me to continue to plan.
My local Walmart has very minimal Happy Planner items and a local craft store has some of the older products but at a very high price. As far as I know, those are the only two stores on Oahu that carry that product line. I don’t think you can buy Erin Condren products on island but I’ve seen on Instagram that she does have brick and mortar stores in the mainland.
Instagram put these on my radar
A week or so ago, I saw a post on Instagram that showed some new sticker books from WalMart. I didn’t get my hopes up as things I see on Instagram (even at a store located in Hawaii) doesn’t mean my area stores will receive the product. Much to my surprise, I was able to find two of the sticker books. I’ve done a flip through on my YouTube channel of the contents [warning, I’m really great at doing flip thrus].
Pen & Gear Sticker Books
The Pen & Gear Sticker books are a Walmart brand and according to their website, items are usually an in-store purchase only. I’ve purchased other Pen & Gear sticker sets (sold in a pack of four on sticker glossy paper) and I thought they were okay. For my purpose, the glossy stickers work best in my mini due to the size but only work with a ballpoint pen.
I didn’t have much hope to find the new sticker books and having purchased their stickers in the past, didn’t think they would be as awesome as Happy Planner stickers. Boy, was I wrong. Although not sized for any of the Happy Planner sizes (mini, classic, or Big), I think the new Pen & Gear sticker books really work well with the mni and classic sized planner. I’ll have a separate blog post on the comparison between these and Happy Planner stickers. The stickers are matte, beautifully detailed, and a great value for your money. I paid $7.32 for the 30 page sticker books and $3.12 for the 15 page sticker books. I’ve seen others who paid $6.88 and $2.98 respectively. The 30 page Happy Planner sticker books can run between $3.50 (on clearance at Joanns, Michaels, Walmart) thru $24.95 (at a local craft store). To my knowledge, Happy Planner does not have an equivalent to the 15 page sticker book.
If you go on your own hunt for these, please note, you’ll probably have the best luck looking in your stationary aisle near the notebooks. That’s where I’ve found mine and others have had similar success in the same aisle. You could also look near your store’s planner section and if all else fails, check out the scrapbook or craft section.
Check out my video and good luck in your pursuit of these beauties. A definite recommend from me!
I enjoy crafting and being creative. I think I use it as an outlet as my regular, full-time job is so structured. Over the years, my crafting projects have changed in scope and scale. I used to love scrapbooking and Hawaiian quilting. Now I am more into crochet and paper crafts.
I think the Do-it-yourself (DIY) aspect of crafting has always been fascinating to me. I enjoy trying to figure out how to make things that I see on Pinterest, Instagram, and in stores. Sometimes the drive to DIY a project is due to lack of sourcing the actual product (Happy Planner items are EXCEEDINGLY difficult to source here in Hawaii). Sometimes the drive to DIY a project is cost. Sometimes the drive to DIY a project is simply challenging your skills and creativity.
Since starting a YouTube channel several months ago, I’ve done several DIY projects revolving around the Happy Planner system. I ADORE the disc bound planner system for one main reason: the ability to customize your planner (and conversely) and your accessories.
A YouTube friend (Tameka from @pastriespumpsandpi )of mine put out a #MissMakerMarchChallenge (#MissMaker is a girl in the Happy Planner line-up). Each week she would be doing a DIY project on her channel and put it out in the universe that if anyone was interested in joining, all they needed to do was use the #MissMakerMarchChallenge hashtag. As soon as I saw her Instagram post, I knew I would be participating.
This will be the first blog post that highlights my ‘entries’ into the challenge. Check out my YouTube Video below and follow along with my quick and easy tutorial. I show how to make your own crocheted bow or crocheted flower and then turn it into a planner clip.
My goal is to have a blog post for each of the DIY projects I have on my channel. I’ll list the supplies used as it’s easier to list things in a blog post than in the description box of my video.
Materials used in the video:
4-ply yarn in any color (any weight yarn could be used but the thicker the yarn, the thicker the final results)
Crochet hook (I used a J, 6mm for tutorial purposes but I’d recommend a G, 4mm hook size)
E600 or super glue (as mentioned, a hot glue can be used but isn’t as permanent as E600)
Optional: Button or gem for crocheted flower center.
I’ve mentioned this in my Monthly Budget Blog. I’m not a financial expert. I’m not even a financial amateur. I’m whatever comes before financial amateur – financial newbie? My budget journey to get my finances under control is fairly recent. Actually, to be perfectly honest, it’s still in its infancy as I started a couple of months ago (January 2019).
In this journey, each step has been overwhelming and stressful. I’ve done a lot of research online, via Pinterest, and YouTube and perhaps that has been part of the problem. Information overload can make a confusing situation even worse. But in the few short months, I’ve picked up a few tidbits of knowledge that I thought I would share. By no means am I an financial expert and will never give you any financial advice. But I’m hoping that the bumps I’ve encountered will help you in your own journey. Continue reading “What are Sinking Funds? + Free Printable”→
I’m not a financial expert. I’m not even a financial amateur. I’m whatever comes before financial amateur – financial newbie? My budget journey to get my finances under control is fairly recent. Actually, to be perfectly honest, it’s still in its infancy as I started a couple of months ago (January 2019).
So far, I’ve found it to be overwhelming, stressful, and frustrating. Of course, I’ve never taken a class or met with a consultant or financial planner. All my efforts to take my finances in hand comes from research I’ve done online (predominately YouTube and Blogs via Pinterest.
I’ve always paid my bills on time so I’m fortunate in that respect. I know that there are lots of people who struggle with that aspect because of limited funds, resources, unexpected expenses, etc. But since my debt is so large, I didn’t think I’d ever make a dent and therefore just paid my minimums.
I don’t think debt is inevitable. Unlike many, I’m okay with having debt. But between my credit card bills and my student loans, we’re talking six figures worth of debt. The longer I thought about it, the more anxiety it gave me.
In January 2019 I decided to start my budgeting journey. And to make it extra stressful, I also decided to document my journey on YouTube. I thought it would be easy since I don’t budget the way that most people do since I didn’t have a lot of money to throw towards debt, savings, sinking funds, etc.. Be that naivete or arrogance, I’m not sure. Quickly I realized that I would need to have a more structured budget. That’s where my problems and anxiety really went into overdrive.
In early March 2019, I really, really struggled with this. I think part of the problem was information overload. I follow quite a few people on YouTube who do budgeting videos and I was trying to emulate their styles and methods. Tried to remember how THEY did things and then tried to make MY numbers fit. There was even a video that I posted where I had a bit of a breakdown (a bad combination of being tired, frustrated, and overwhelmed). Fortunately, 1) I really want to get my finances in order and 2) I had such overwhelming support and encouragement from the YouTube community.
YouTube ‘Meltdown’ video:
The entire process of how to make my budget work for me has been constantly on my mind. I know that a budget is a living thing and does/can change as things come up. But I also think that having some kind of structure is important if just to have SOMETHING to work off of from month to month.
For March, I’ve done my monthly budget kind of late because I was still figuring things out. But going forward, I see how I can set it up for the new month and then work on it periodically throughout the month so that it’s worked real time. Check out my video on how I set up (and will be setting up) my Monthly budgets.
YouTube Monthly Budget Video:
Free Monthly Budget Printable
Because it was SUCH a trial for me, I’ve also included a Free PDF printable template of how I’m setting up my monthly budget. It’s simple and straightforward and for now, I think is exactly what I need but this could change and I’m okay with that. It’s not pretty or decorative and that’s okay for me. Being a Happy Planner, I have tons of stickers to do that but I just really needed to make something that was functional.
Having done some test print runs, I think if you print this at 85%, you could cut off the excess and this would fit a classic Happy Planner (printing at 100% would fit the Big Happy Planner). Printing this at 70% should fit your Happy Planner Mini but in any case, you’ll definitely want to test this out.
Hopefully, this will be helpful to you and you won’t go through as much stress as I did. I’m new to all this: Budgeting, blogging, and YouTube so this whole thing has been new and scary and exciting. I hope you decide to join me on this journey!