Planner Series: Decorating Budget Options

Hey guys! Hope you’re having a great March so far! I’m glad to have survived 2 months of nursing school. Only a few more weeks to go and I can finally say at that time…I’m 1/3 of the way through..and done with my first semester of nursing school! Whoop whoop!!!

If you’ve been following me on Instagram (@PHPortfolio), you’ll know that I’ve posted a few pictures of my planner and from previous posts, how I’ve used decorating my Passion Planner as a creative outlet while in school. I still do…here’s one from February (specifically, the week of finals that I talked about in my February nursing series post). And yes…if you’re looking at my post its…I reviewed 32 chapters in 2 days…for my two finals on one day…crazy…yes…



However, this isn’t a nursing student post…it’s a planner post. 🙂 I wanted to talk about the materials that I have for decorating my planner. I will say first off that it can get pretty crazy when you start getting into decorating your planner. If you’re a scrapbooking person, you will know that you can easily stock up on a lot of things. From paper to stickers to washi tape, a lot of money can be spent on decorating. This also is the same for planners. It’s tempting, and as a girl who actually isn’t a creative designer/scrapbooker/card-maker, I even got tempted when I walked into Michaels. The girl who only spent time looking at the various model collections available in this craft store (i.e. Cars & airplanes), finding myself at the sticker and washi tape sections of the store is a bit of a surprise.

The thing is, I wouldn’t spend that much on the supplies just mentioned — stickers, washi tape….I feel like, as much as it’s been a creative outlet for me, it’s something that I also don’t want to stock up let alone spend money on. Nursing school is already an expensive investment, so buying things like stickers & washi tape or pens isn’t a priority for me. So, how can you save on things that can be expensive for decorating your planner?

1. Check out your local dollar store – You guys….my favorite places to find stickers and washi tape…is the dollar store, especially Daiso (washi tape is about $1.50 for one to 3 rolls; and guess what…the quality of these tapes are better than ReCollections at Michaels). I’ve bought stickers at Dollar Tree (i.e. if you see my pictures of what stickers I have, you’ll see some Star Wars and Avenger stickers).


2. Dollar section of Target – I will say that this section has gotten a lot more expensive than the old days when Target use to have a true dollar section. However, there are gems still available for a dollar or more (usually maximum is $5). I don’t normally go for the thigns over $1, only because I’m biased and like going to places like Dollar Tree and Daiso. Those smile face stickers and others are from this area. 🙂

3. Wait for sales – As you can see, I have stickers from Michaels, particularly the booklets. You guys…as pretty as these are, they’re $20 a piece. O_O…. I hate to say it..but that’s expensive for stickers, even though there are quite a good number. Did I buy this full price? HECK NO!!! I wait for coupons and sales. So both books you see here I got for about $10 (still expensive…but…better than $20; these were actually Christmas gifts to myself) 😉

4. Buy one storage container (small box; which is quite important). DO NOT BUY a 3 drawer sterilite because let me just say…it gets intense REAL fast if you do. Soon, you’ll spend so much, it’s like you did a haul…and hey, let’s face it, if you’re already a scrapbooker, you may already have a lot of the materials. Don’t feel like you have to buy separate items for a planner. If you’re creative, you can make anything work to decorate your planner. Since I’m not a scrap booker and I don’t want to go crazy, I bought a small box (this is a plastic shoe box from Daiso), and limited accessories to just this box. That’s it, don’t past go, don’t upgrade to a larger box. One box, that’s it. If I need more, then I’ll go about buying more stickers, but this is the box I have, and it’s the ONLY one I’ll have for decorating my planner. Do you need as much as I do? Absolutely not. Again, if you’re on a budget, make sure you stick with a goal you’re comfortable with and stick to it. If the box is a small basket, that’s fine.


So there you have it guys! Again, decorating has been one of the ways I de-stress while I’m in nursing school. It’s also a way for me to document by hand what happened this year, because let’s face it…it’s crazy, and I’m sure i’ll get crazier before it winds down. So, being able to document some wins, losses,  be reminded of motivational quotes and my goals are pretty awesome in my boat. However, to take on something like this doesn’t have to be expensive. I definitely want to encourage you to budget wisely, check out the dollar store, wait for sales, and don’t spend what you don’t need to to pick up something like this if you’ve been wanting to try it out. You don’t have to get a Passion Planner if you don’t want to, a $10 planner from Target works just fine. Also, if you want a passion planner, a lot of times, they have sales, so I definitely want to encourage you also, if you want to try one out, to wait until you can afford it. Don’t push yourself to try something if you’re not ready or if you don’t have a budget for it. You could even decorate w/ markers if you are creative and can draw.

Let me know if you want any tips on how to decorate your planner or any questions you have with regards to my planner. 😉


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