Thursday, April 21, 2011

My Budget Binder.


 I'd be lost without this thing. A few posts back I said I'd go into budgeting a little bit more. I've had lots of questions as to how I run my budget and stay organized. Well, here's how.

Here are a select few pages from my Budget Binder. {Yes, I have lots of binders, I know. I'm a type A, what do you expect?} These are the sections in my binder.
  1. Financial Goals.
  2. Outstanding Debt.
  3. Bank Records/Account statements
  4. Monthly Bills
  5. Monthly Expenditures 
  6. Spending Chart
  7. Receipt keeper.
Financial Goals, do you know where you want to be financially in 5 years and how you are going to get there? Be specific! And realistic.
Outstanding debt. Have it all together and keep a track of the balances every month and work to get it paid off. Pay more than the minimum payment. I know it sounds like common sense, but you'd be surprised. 
Bank records. We have made it so our savings account is VERY inconvenient to access. So we don't have online banking set up. So I like to know when a transaction from savings + or - was made, and the balance on a monthly basis.
Monthly Bills. I Have to be able to look at all of them together have them in one place, and be able to guesstimate the monthly expenditures.
Monthly expenditures. Yes, It's different than Bills. Bills are the money you owe. Expenditures are the things you have to buy to live... food, gas, clothes, date nights, entertainment, swimming lessons etc.
Spending Chart. THE MOST IMPORTANT PART. We keep ours on the fridge and it goes into the binder after the month for record keeping purposes. Write down EVERYTHING you spend. I don't care if its a quarter you put into the bubble gum machine. It adds up. I promise you if aren't writing it down, you have NO idea how much money you are wasting every month. I dread writing on that paper. And you better believe if I know Mike is going to look at it and ask a question about it... I am not buying it. It stops my impulse buying in it's tracks.
And Finally the receipt keeper. That's just a Velcro envelope that sits in the  back and holds important receipts. I don't keep all my receipts, I only keep the ones I may need to return something.

I hope this helps. And If you are interested in your own copy of the Budget Binder, then I will hopefully have a PDF download available soon. OR you can add yourself as a follower, make a comment under this post, and you will be entered to win a copy! I will pick the winner randomly this weekend! Happy Budgeting!   

1 comment:

  1. So I am digging this!! I have been looking for a way to re-vamp our finances. I would love a copy! count me in!