It's been going well, but there is always room for improvement, and one area of the budgeting system that we don't have down is the actual organization of our system. This post is what inspired me to make this budget binder*, which I spent way too much time on and am super excited about sharing with you!
The first part of the binder is the zippered pouch for my pen and calculator. These are very important budgeting tools. Next, we have the larger zippered pouch, which is where we will put receipts. I wrote "checked in" on the pouch so we would know those have already been written down on....
...our monthly budget sheet!
This is the budget sheet we have used every single month since August of 2011. It has the 7 main categories on it--entertainment, gifts, misc., personal, medical, gasoline, and grocery--and we write down every receipt amount, add it by week, and total it at the end of the month. We always know exactly where we're at and how much money we have left at any time.
I'm excited about this budget sheet. I just made it for 2013, and I think it will help see how much we're saving every month. This will be especially good to know because we're currently saving up for a down payment on a house.
I also add this checkbook register sheet, which I downloaded for free here. I think this will be much better and more organized than the stupid blue checkbook book I've carrying around that has pages falling out.
This last page is the one I am really excited about. The blog where I got this budget binder inspiration is called iheartorganizing (a great blog for organizing fools like me), and she has an Etsy shop where she sells some of her spreadsheets. I bought this finance checklist for $3.00.
Yes, I spent money on a spreadsheet.
But I will reject your scoffs, because I am certain this will revolutionize our system. Here's why: With this sheet, I can better keep track of the bills that have been stacking up on our counter. I've even paid a bill or two late because--shock!--I forgot. Good grief, what have I become?!
I added this spreadsheet to our budget binder along with a pocket folder so I can put our bills away as they come in and immediately note them on this sheet, adding a checkmark after I've paid it.
And that, my friends, is three dollars well spent.
So the budget binder is complete, along with extra sheets and a few more pocket folders for paystubs and coupons. I'm oddly excited about my bright red binder, and the nerd in me just wants to get to the end of January so I can write some stuff down on my new sheets!
I'm kidding, but I'm serious.
For more inspiration, go here.
*I bought all the materials you see in this post at Staples. Approximate cost: $35
Hooray for organization!