Saturday, September 15, 2012

Weekly Planning

As we get ready for our third baby and simultaneously send our oldest off to preschool, we have realized that our lives are suddenly getting more complicated and probably won't get less complicated again until we're empty-nesters.  Sad prospect, I know.  We realized we can "get by" by hanging on and being surprised as each day comes, or we can grab this bull by the horns and stay on top of it (you know--tell our life and schedule what to do instead of it telling us what to do--act and not be acted upon).

To this end, I made a template that Andrew and I use every Sunday night as a reference during our new Weekly Planning Meeting.  Sounds exciting, right?  It really has been great for us. We address everything on the list weekly, unless otherwise noted.  We re-save the template with the date in our files and take notes on what we talk about for our records.

Here's the basic outline:

Weekly Planning Meeting


Once a month we review our Vision, Mission, Values Statement

Family Assessment

Here we talk about our family as a whole, our relationship as a couple, and each individual.  We talk about the family as a whole every week, but the individuals are on an as-needed basis, and at least monthly.  It breaks down like this:


  • What is the current spiritual state of the family?
  • Is there anything that needs to be addressed?

Marriage Relationship:

  • What is our current spiritual state as a couple?
  • Is there anything that needs to be addressed?

For each person:

  • Give a compliment to the individual
  • How is he/she doing emotionally, physically, spiritually?
  • What can I (we) do to serve him/her better?


  • Weekly Calendar Items (our template links to our google calendar)
  • Future Calendar Items
  • To Do List (we use

Financial Planning is a wonderful, free online resource for budgeting.  It links all your accounts and keeps track of your budget.  This section would be different for everyone, depending on what they're working on, but here are some possible discussion points:

  • Review accounts and previous week's expenditures
  • Any big payments coming up?
  • Pay credit card
  • Review "To Buy List"*
  • Long-term savings
  • Budget
  • Emergency fund
  • Donations
  • Financial goals
The "To Buy List" is a Word doc we've created to curb our spending.  If we think of something we "need" or "want" (if it's not a legitimate emergency), we put it on the list where it sits for a month before we decide if it's really worth fitting into the budget, and if it really needs to be bought right away.  When we do this, we often find that it's a) something we don't need, or b) something we can put off buying because we want other things more.


Is there anything else we need to address?

And that's it! This planning session has really assisted us on a number of levels. On the most basic level, it has brought an awareness of what we have going on in our calendar, family, and bank accounts. On another level it has provided a forum to discuss the important/not urgent items in these categories that could easily be overlooked or forgotten until they become urgent. It has enhanced our interdependent relationship as a couple as we have a dedicated time to talk about our relationship, our children, and our family. We talk frequently about these subjects outside of the meeting, but as life gets busier it will be essential that we have this time set aside for such conversations. Above all, it has increased our love, discipline, and synergy. 

What recommendations do you have for planning as a family/couple/individual? Any suggestions for prompts we're missing in any of the categories? Any cool apps that would keep us more consistently aware of the plans throughout the week? 


  1. Wonderful. We need to institute this!

  2. I've been looking for something like and I'm excited to start using it. Thanks!

  3. We need to institute this as well!