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Plan With Me on a Budget: Getting Started with Free Printable Stickers

I am so excited to be getting into all my new planners this week! It’s the same new-notebook, fresh-supplies feeling that I always remember from the beginning of the school year. 2017  is particularly exciting for me because I have big plans for my new Planning on a Budget Series!

Hobby Planning on a Budget


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Planning is such a fantastic hobby that is growing in popularity all the time. I love that I can be creative in my day-to-day life and make all the tedious to-dos beautiful. It almost makes me want to do chores… almost.

You can spend anywhere from $7 to $25 dollars for sticker kits on Etsy and sticker sites, but I will show you that you can create the same styles of spreads for pennies on the dollar. I’ll be sharing what materials I use to print and plan and extremely inexpensive layouts.



Happy Planner  is an inexpensive name brand planner. The paper quality is fantastic. Smooth and thick, you won’t have any shadowing unless you’re laying it on thick with a Sharpie. Look for the best deal on HP at Costco or on Amazon from the Me & My Big Ideas shop.

Can’t spend the $20+ for a name brand planner? I started with a composition book. Composition notebooks are easy to come by at any office supply or grocery store and run anywhere from $1 to $10+ depending on how cute you like your covers. I prefer the bound, college ruled books with no holes punched, but there are a huge variety to choose from. You may prefer spiral, wide ruled or a larger or smaller size.

A note about using a comp book planner: it will not last you the entire year. I use 4-6 pages per week, plus notes in between. If you’re looking for something to last longer, think about a 5 subject notebook.

Washi Tape I try to spend less than $1 per roll. Look for sales, check out the Dollar Store, or order a bundle online.


Micron felt tip pens for the richest, darkest black ink. Long lasting!
Pilot V5 series for the finest lines and glossy stickers.
PaperMate InkJoy for medium thickness and writing on glossy stickers.
PaperMate Flair for thicker lines.


Avery Full Sheet Labels to print sticker sheets. Roughly $0.10 per sheet.
Printer with remanufactured ink a money saving alternative to name-brand ink with remarkably similar results. I can’t tell the difference at all.


A sharp pair of scissors dedicated to paper and a 1/2 inch paper punch for cutting out functional stickers are the only other tools you really need. Optional tools include a hole punch for your disc planner or binder if you’re using one of those or building your own.


When I break down the cost for each planner spread, I don’t count items like scissors, pens, the planner or any accessories that came with it. These are just part of your initial investment – items you’ll use hundreds of times before they need to be replaced.

I do count consumable items – like label paper and ink, washi and stickers purchased separately. This is my cost break down per item:

Label Paper: $0.20 per sheet

Ink: $10 per cartridge with about 50 printed pages per cartridge = $0.20 per sheet. This is just an average. My ink typically lasts a lot longer, but I’ve had printers with more expensive ink that didn’t print as many pages.

Washi: Rolls are usually 9 or 10 yards. Using 2ft or less per spread = $0.10 per week

Etsy Stickers: A girl’s gotta splurge once in a while! I just love the cute stickers from Etsy. Two dollar Tuesday is my favorite day of the week!

The spreads is this series will all come in under $3 per week for supplies. Yes, you can afford to plan. Go to town!


Check out my Plan With Me on a Budget playlist on YouTube.
All spreads are under $3!!!

View the playlist on SRL Printable YouTube channel.

I hope this helps get your started planning on a budget. Your spreads will be beautiful, even with only a few bucks to spend each week. What’s your favorite free printable site? Comment below or join the conversation in our Facebook group.

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Find all your new favorite Free Printable sites here.

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