Planning for the New Month

Somehow, the month of February is now gone! Time flies when you're having fun, I suppose.

But looking ahead, there's a brand new month just waiting for us. Thirty-one days lay before us, waiting to be filled with all sorts of wonderful things that will bring glory to God.

So where do you start? If you're like me, you're a planner. A blank calendar page is just longing to be written on, and here are some great ways to get a handle on everything you'll need for the month of March. "Stuff" is my favorite Bible word, so that's what I'll use today.

* Family stuff. The best way to see who goes where and when is to have it written on a master schedule. This may sound like a lot of work, but then there won't be any surprises. I know we get tired of asking each other every morning what the schedule for the day is. With us, it changes a lot, but we generally have a good idea that we can put down on paper. The family stuff includes work and school schedules, lessons, sports, family activities and anything else you do, either together or as individuals. It's so important to know where everyone is.

* Church stuff. Know what's going on in your home church and be there for it. When you bring home your bulletin on Sunday, write down the schedule of events on your master calendar. Add in birthdays, anniversaries and special events so you can have cards and treats ready. Put it all in one place so you can see it at a glance.

* The financial stuff. Go ahead and write down when all of your bills are due. If you've got electronic bill pay set up, then use it as well. But make sure you have a visual of when everything has to be paid. Then you'll be prepared and avoid all those late fees. This will also help with budgeting because you'll be able to see exactly when you get paid and exactly when things are due.

* The food stuff. This is one I never leave to chance. Write out menus, and then use this plan to make your grocery list. Sure, it may change from night to night if schedules change, but you'll still have all the ingredients you need on hand. No more emergency trips to the grocery store because you forgot one or two things. That's how your spending can get out of hand so easily.

* The fun stuff. And please make sure you put some great, fun things on your master monthly list, too. Check the newspaper for some events or activities you'd like to try. Plan an indoor weekend or a weekend out and about in the community. If you have it down in writing, especially somewhere you'll see it all the time, you're more likely to remember and do it.

Fill the month of March with so much wonderful stuff that your calendar can't even hold it all

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