At the beginning of a new month, I like to take the opportunity to start a fresh and “get my s*** together” for lack of a better term.
It’s time that I like to use to tie off any loose ends from the previous month and plan ahead a little bit so I can be confident that the month ahead will play out as smoothly and productively as possible.
Today I want to share with you the 12 things that I do at the beginning of every month to help me feel organised and in control.
12 Things To Do At The Beginning Of Every Month
FILL UP THE CAR WITH PETROL
I like to fill up with a full tank of petrol at the beginning of the month so I can go about my journey’s for at least a couple of weeks without having to stop to fill up. This might not apply to everybody, but as I currently drive a Fiat 500 and my daily commute to work is a 10 mile round trip, I don’t get through a lot of fuel.
This allows me to get a big chunk of my spending sorted on payday, and I don’t need to worry again until midway through the month.
DO A MASSIVE FOOD SHOP
Similarly, I like to do a huge food shop at the start of the month and make sure that I have a freezer full of meat and dinners to last me at least two weeks.
I’ll also stock up on cleaning materials, toiletries and other ambient items for the home so that I only need to buy a handful of fresh items each week, and I get the majority of my grocery spending done at the start of the month when I have just been paid.
BUY GIFT CARDS AND PRESENTS
I like to double check to see if there are any important birthdays, anniversaries or other events coming up, and if so, buy cards and presents well in advance so that I don’t forget and have to rush around on the day.
You’ll also find that you save a lot of money this way, as buying cards and gifts in a rush gives you less time to consider your purchase and you won’t have time to shop around for the best offer!
FILL OUT YOUR CALENDAR
Fill out your calendar with any important events, reminders and appointments that you have for the month. If you and your partner have flexible work schedules, then also make a note of the hours that you are both working, so you can easily plan other things around work.
Being able to look at your calendar for the month will make life so much less stressful, as you’ll be able to make additional plans throughout the month without having to get back to people after checking your schedule, plus you aren’t likely to forget important dates.
BOOK IN DATE NIGHT
Date night is so important no matter what stage in a relationship you and your significant other are.
Whether you have been casually dating for six months, or happily married for ten years, ensure that you schedule in at least one date night every month.
If you can fit in weekly time together then that’s even better, but understandably, parents and busy working adults won’t always be able to commit to this.
Just be sure to prioritize some time with your partner – quality alone time is one of the most important factors in cultivating a happy and long lasting relationship.
The only way to successfully manage your finances is to follow a monthly budget. Keep a log of all your income and outgoing for the month and track what’s left for spending and saving. This exercise will show you areas that you might be overspending, and what cutbacks you can make to save money.
Choose a method that works for you: you can use an Excel spreadsheet, money management app or even good old fashioned pen and paper. How you keep your budget is not important, what matters is that you do it every single month consistently.
I like to give my home a thorough clean top to bottom at the beginning of the month.
I pay attention to those once in a while jobs like cleaning skirting boards, the oven, fridge and so on. I also like to have a de-clutter of things like paperwork, receipts etc that I no longer need in order to keep my home clear of any junk.
Having a monthly clean of your home means you never get to a point where the mess becomes overwhelming and takes you a lot longer to sort out.
THINK ABOUT ANY IRREGULAR EXPENSES
It’s really important to check at the beginning of the month if you have any larger, one off expenses coming up.
Consider things like your car service, insurance payments, a holiday, a particularly special birthday for a family member. Make a note of what you need to budget for and that way you can make sure you are vigilant with you spending throughout the month, and when the day comes around, it won’t come as a big shock and you won’t have run out of money.
PICK A NEW BOOK
Pick a new book at the start of the month that you can take the next thirty or so days to read.
Some people get through books much quicker than this, but others will know that sometimes, simply finding the time to read can be the biggest challenge. Pick a novel that has a captivating story that will draw you in and allow you to escape to a fantasy land for a little while, or if you’re more of a non-fiction fan, then chose an educational title that will help you learn new skills in a topic you’re interested in.
SET SOME MINI GOALS
Set yourself some smaller goals throughout the month, that will help you in achieving your big goals for the whole year.
If you’re focused on saving money, then you might set yourself a goal for this month to not buy takeaway and fast food, and cook all your meals at home instead.
Setting smaller, more manageable goals every month, that will contribute to you achieving your larger end goal, will make your ambitions much more manageable and will highlight how crucial it is to take small action every day.
CLEAR OUT YOUR HANDBAG
Most women I know, myself included, collect a whole bunch of junk in their handbag – very quickly. Anything from gum wrappers, receipts, empty medicine packets, letters and more. This makes it very difficult to find what you actually need in your bag and before you know it, your bag has become like a black hole of nonsense.
Have a clean out of your bag every month, and make sure you’re only carrying around the things that you actually need to have with you. You can also use this time to top up on the essentials that you like to carry with you that might have run out such as tissues, lip products and feminine items.
CLEAN OUT YOUR CAR
Your car also collects a whole lot of junk very quickly. Fast food wrappers, tissues, drinks containers and dirt that’s made it’s way in from outside.
I also find that I end up with a load of stuff that’s waiting to be taken to the charity shop, returned to its rightful owner, needs to go back into my house and so on, but instead, I just leave it in the boot of my car and forget it’s there.
Clean your car out every month and throw away any rubbish, get rid of the clutter and have a quick hoover to get rid of any dirt. I recently purchased one of these portable vacuum cleaners, and it makes it so easy for me to keep my car super clean all the time, without having to pay for an expensive car wash.
To Finish Off…
I hope that you enjoyed this post and that you will be able to put some of these tips into action to ensure you lead a more productive and stress-free life.
Let me know in the comments below which tip was your favourite and if there is anything else that you like to do at the start of every month to set you up for success!