At the start of every month, no matter what day that might fall on, I always make it a point to dedicate at least 1 hour to planning. During this time, I bring out my planner and first look at the month at-a-glance calendar. In this section, I like to mark the key dates for the month (ie: friends’ birthdays, various social commitments, travel dates, etc.) to give myself a high level sense of what the month will entail.
From there, I translate these days into the weekly calendar pages and in even more details here, too. As I’m making plans for the month, I always like to keep in mind my philosophy about weekend balancing. This helps me to ensure that I’m not overcommitting myself or leaving myself without any time to catch up on life.The last piece of my monthly prep routine is recording my finances. While I keep a close watch on my bank accounts every week, I really enjoy having the time once a month to do a deep dive. In a large spreadsheet, I record how much money I have in each one of my accounts, how much I saved since the previous month, and then set goals for the upcoming month.
Even though this seems like a lot, I promise it can be done quickly once you get in the routine!