Friday, 17 October 2014

Planning for Christmas - Budgets & Money - Filofax Friday

Welcome back to week three of planning for Christmas! How is everything going for you? Well I hope. Are you all sorted with your Christmas cards now or have you not even started? Well since last week, Mr B came up with a totally different idea for a card so we are still working on that but I don't mind, we still have plenty of time to get it all sorted.

This week I wanted to talk about money. No one likes talking about money for many reasons but for me I think money is THE most crucial thing to plan for when it comes to Christmas. I put money aside every month throughout the year which means come December I don't have to worry about finding money for presents I just know it is there. This works well for me as I work very part time I know that I will be able to buy a present for Mr B come Christmas time.

I really hate it when you see loan adverts on the TV around Christmas, encouraging people to spend, spend, spend. It is just a bug bear of mine. Believe me, I am not here to judge or preach and I am by no means I finance guru I am just saying how it is from my own personal point of view for my own circumstances and you must do what is right for yours. I came accross this quote by Dave Ramsey and it really resonated with me (I have made this as a downloadable printable insert for your planner in the download section below).

So I just want to share how I make my money work for me at Christmas time. Firstly I like to use a spending money tracker sheet. Why you ask? Well for me I find I don't spend as much when I can see what I have spent previously. If I can see a whole list of washi tape purchases it kind of makes me feel a little bit guilty and makes me question as to whether or not I NEED to buy that extra roll of tape. It is a really simple gesture but it really does help and it also allows me to see how much money I have with a running total. I try and write every purchase down but I don't beat myself up about it if I don't. If you have never done this before, give it a go. Write everything down and see if it makes any difference to your spending at all. If it doesn't then you haven't lost anything but if it does well then whooop whooop to you my friend that is another mince pie or two you can buy at Christmas.

Pen from: Insert and dashboard from:

If you are not that disciplined and want to go 'cold turkey' (did you get the Christmas pun there) then you may want to consider a no spend month or two to see how much you can save. Obviously Christmas is coming up and you have the day to day stuff to buy like food but consider making a little pact with yourself to not buy any uneccessary items until Christmas and instead put anything you do see that takes your fancy onto your Christmas wish list. I am sure your partner would be most grateful for a list as after all it relieves the burden and pressure off of them too trying to find that perfect gift for you. I am pretty sure you have enough stationery or art supplies in your stash, re-visit what you do have which I find really fun to do and find all the things that I had forgotten about. (Hmmmm maybe I shouldn't have said that as I have not long stacked up my Etsy shop with Christmas goodies, stop there and buy first he he!!)

Dividers from: Stickers from: The Idea Owl
All of these inserts are available as a printable download in the download section below.

I found another quote that again really resonated with me. I think we have lost sight of what Christmas is all about. I for one can't remember most of the presents I was given as a child but I do remember that trip we took on the steam train to see Father Christmas and that time when my 80 year old grandma decided to join in on our game of Twister and ended up flashing her knickers. We have agreed with our friends to not buy physical presents this year but instead to use that money and go out for meals or for a day trip and I am really looking forward to those rather than yet more bath salts ; )

Anyway you get my meaning, hopefully. It is all much better articulated in this weeks accompanying video. I was able to talk much more freely about money than I am to type about it. I find myself feeling really awkward about it.

This week's download contains the pages as shown in the video as both personal size and A5. You will need software that can 'unzip' the folder to release the files as both pdf and jpeg.  To download the files for week 3 please click here. Please note that the inserts that I am offering as freebies as part of this series are different to the ones that I sell, so if you have already purchased a set of my inserts these are in addition for you. If you haven't purchased any of my inserts and would like to or just have a nose at them you can view them in my Etsy shop here. Please note: These inserts are entirely free and a gift from me and only the inserts provided are free, I say this because I know some people might prefer one of the other designs that I offer but it is only the ones in the freebie set on offer at this time.

Next Week
So there we are folks, I hope that has been intersting for you and has prompted you to think about your Christmas budgeting a bit. I will be back next week for more Christmas planning and as we type I am still trying to decide in which order I want to do it in!

I am so pleased to have what I think is an awesome giveaway to go along with this series and I hope you will agree. The giveaway is brought to you by myself and the lovey Charlotte. Please do thank Charlotte for her kind generosity by visiting her:


Charlotte has only recently started her blog but you will not be dissapointed, she has some lovely images and planner lovliness so please do go and have a look.

So what can you win....some lovely things that is what my dears! I have three prizes for you... the first prize is everything that you see in the photo below which is.... from me: a brand spanking new red original Filofax which retails for £60.00 on the Filofax website, Christmas sticker sheet, candy cane planner charm, washi sample card and your choice of Christmas printable inserts from my shop. From Charlotte: a Christmas fly leaf, dashboard, set of dividers and pen. Everything that you need to plan your Christmas this year and every year after!

The second prize is everything you see below...from me: a Christmas dashboard, washi sample card, sticker sheet, Christmas tree planner charm and your choice of Christmas printable inserts from my shop. From Charlotte: a set of beautiful Christmas dividers.

And last but not least the third prize is your choice of Christmas printable inserts from my shop.

You want to enter? 
If you would like to enter the giveaway to win the Filofax shown above please use the rafflecopter widget below.  To enter you will be asked to follow both mine and Charlotte's Etsy shop which is mandatory to receive your entry (this is just as a thank you for hosting the giveaway but you are not expected to make a purchase!). All other 'follow' options are optional so don't worry if you don't have those accounts, it just gives you extra chances to win.

By submitting an entry to this giveaway you agree to the following Terms & Conditions:
  • Open internationally
  • You must be over eighteen years of age or have parental / guardian permission.
  • I will package the item(s) and will send in good faith but I cannot be held responsible for any loss or damage to the item in transit.
  • The prizes stated above are the only prizes - no alternative colours, no cash alternative.
  • The inserts are digital for you to print at home and will not be supplied printed.
  • Three winners will be chosen at random and notified by email. Winners will be announced on this page after the closing date.
  • If the winner(s) do not respond to my email within 48 hours a new winner(s) will be chosen.
  • Your email address will be added to my newsletter database - I will not sell this to anyone else nor will I constantly be spamming you and you can unsubscribe at any time!


  1. Thanks for this video Mrs Brimbles. It's very rare to hear of budget planning in the planner community (it seems to be spend, spend, spend mostly), but this video is real life.

    1. Thank you, yes I agree, sometimes we can be very tempted by all of the hauls we see!

  2. Thank you so much for this video Anna. It is difficult for me to feel like I'm not giving to loved ones as much as I'd like. My family isn't materialistic but I still like to spoil them, especially my parents and brothers. The last few years I haven't been able to spoil them and this year is more of the same...I will make them each a set of mixed cards for various occasions throughout the year...and they'll appreciate them more than any store bought gifts. Thank you for the downloads. You are so generous! Hugs :)

    1. I think that sounds like a lovely gift and one that they can look at all year round too x

  3. What a great post and video Anna! I'm fairly new to your blog but just love how down-to-earth you are :) I love your idea of setting a bit aside each month. I use an expense tracker every month and I totally agree with you that it makes you more aware of what you are spending as you watch that disposable balance go down!