Life’s Short. Make it Pretty. {may designs review + giveaway!}

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At the end of the month of September, I sat down to catch up on my spending tracking. Though I was great at tracking (and spending) in August, I did less well on tracking through September. I didn’t think I was spending too much, but I had a HEART attack as I added up the totals I spent on food. For just me – one person – I spent $228.35 on food. That is totally unheard of for me – and even worse that that included a free $50 haul from Relay Foods and did NOT include a $20 bar tab from a Mayer Hawthorne concert! It’s time to do something serious. I need a dedicated budget tracker (not just jotting down what I spend in my planner) and I need to STOP spending so much.

I fell in love with May Books the first time I saw them, and was excited to find their expense notebook and food/exercise tracker. I ordered one of each and after a month or so of using them, these are my thoughts.

  • May Designs books are absolutely gorgeous! They’re hand stitched notebooks with beautifully printed covers. They’re about the size and width of the standard Moleskine notebooks, for reference. In addition to the two I chose, they have several planners, plain or lined notebooks, and other inserts to choose from.
  • Budget book: I wish there was a better system for outlining variable income. There’s only one small line, but I have so many different secret shopping incomes that it’s hard to figure out where to distinguish all of it. I also don’t like that there are so many lines for savings, insurance, and investments as compared to other things, like shopping. My insurance and investments right now come out of my paycheck, so they aren’t even included in my monthly income anyway. And as much as I would love to have enough money for 12 lines of savings goals – I just don’t right now. I’m working to customize it more for my needs, but I’m not quite there yet. I do really like that in the back there are sheets for special event/vacation budgets, though.
  • Calorie and exercise journal: There’s literally nothing I would change about this. It has places for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks, your daily target calories, a water tracker, and a place to log exercise. Everything has plenty of room, and it’s a great tool to use for pre-planning what you’ll eat in a day. I do this a lot to keep my dinners on track, since I don’t have White-Out at home 🙂
  • Another criticism is that the pretty designs on the front seem to be rubbing off, so that means I need to take better care of them than just throwing them in among the clutter of my Thirty-One Retro Metro. This would be easier in a more structured/organized purse than my “throw in and carry around everything that fits” mantra.

Click through for more photos and to enter the giveaway!


Inside and back page of the calorie & exercise tracker



First & last pages of the budget journal


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Leave a comment and let me know what book you’d design!

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  • Reply Rachel

    Love these designs and the idea of keeping track of EVERYTHING in one journal! 😀

    October 10, 2013 at 8:50 am
  • Reply Carrie H

    Love the journal that tracks my water and diet.

    October 10, 2013 at 8:55 am
  • Reply Leah F.

    I really like to exercise tracker. There are so many cute colors to choose from too!

    October 10, 2013 at 11:05 am
  • Reply Lisa

    There are so many to choice fun. I can’t really choice one. i always have someone else before I will choice one. 🙂
    I need help with my budget!

    October 10, 2013 at 7:26 pm
  • Reply Lindsay M.

    I would probably get a budget planner. 😀

    October 10, 2013 at 9:07 pm
  • Reply Emily N

    I think I would probably do a food/exercise tracker. I love to have that stuff on paper!

    October 11, 2013 at 9:02 am
  • Reply Cori @ olivetorun

    These are a-d-o-r-a-b-l-e! So glad you reviewed them!

    October 11, 2013 at 5:18 pm
  • Reply Elizabeth Goodman

    exercie tracker for sure!

    October 11, 2013 at 8:55 pm
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