Is it really worth it to splurge on a planner? Planners can range anywhere from less than $20 at Target up to hundreds of dollars for a fancy leather binder and everywhere in between. So how do you decide how much of your hard earned money you should part with when you're purchasing a planner? Is it ever really worth it to spend $50 or $100? Is a $75 Erin Condren planner really better than a $15 one from Wal-Mart?
I've heard these questions asked frequently, and I wanted to share my thoughts as an avid planner who is also budget conscious.
To answer the “is it worth it” question, you need to know how the planner will impact your life. In the best case scenario, you purchase a planner that you use every single day. You're excited to open it each morning. The colors and the layout really match your style. Your planner helps you get more done each day, and you feel less stressed. It even saves you money because you never waste money on late fees, and you use it to track your budget.
If you spend a $100 on a yearly planner, that comes out to 28 cents a day. To me that's more than worth it! However, there is a caveat.
To me, a planner is worth the splurge only if you really love it and will really use it on a daily basis. It's far too easy to get caught up in the idea of planning but not actually using your planner regularly. Or perhaps you thought you would love the vertical layout, but you really can't get used to it and it constantly bugs you. Sometimes you get a planner that worked perfectly for you when you bought it in January but by September life has changed, and it really doesn't work anymore.
So how do you know if a planner is right for you? Here's a few things to consider:
1 – If it all possible, test out the layout before committing. Maybe you can find a free printable in a similar format. If you have to, draw it for yourself on paper and try it out.
2 – Don't overlook the minor things. If you really prefer a Sunday start to your week, but the planner you're considering has a Monday start, think twice about that. Those little things might seem minor, but they can easily bug you more than you imagined.
3 – Focus on what's really important to you. When choosing a planner, make sure you are spending your money for the features that really matter to you. Usually a planner with really thick paper will be on the more expensive side, but if thinner paper has never bothered you, there's no reason to factor paper thickness into your decision.
4 – How useful a planner is to you has nothing to do with how much it cost. If you love your $15 planner from Wal-Mart, that's great! Don't just assume that a more expensive planner would definitely be better. If there's something you don't prefer about your $15 planner, that's when you should consider buying a different one.
5 – Consider a more flexible planning system. Print your own planner just a month or two at a time. This way if you don't like something, you can easily change it. Use a flexible binding system like the discbound system or a Filofax binder. This is the reason I created the Sweet Life Society. Once you're in the club, you have a variety of printable planners in different styles, sizes, and layouts, so you can create the planner that is perfect for you.
So what do you think? Have you splurged on a planner? Was it worth it?