So far in our Money Makeover we’ve talked about gaining vision, setting a savings target and specific savings strategies.
Today I’m showing you how I keep track of each of these elements of our money plan by using a simple DIY budget binder.
Many people use online systems to keep track of financial details and bookkeeping but I prefer to use a physical notebook and hand write the details because it cements them in my mind and helps me to stay on track.
I have also found that I am much more motivated to keep up with my spending and saving when I use tools that are bright and colorful rather than dull and boring. I need to make dealing with money as pleasant as possible.
So here’s a peek into what I like to call my Money GPS because it tells us where we are headed financially and how to get there.
I use a 1 inch binder with a clear plastic cover insert on the front. I inserted my Money Vision Page as the cover to keep our financial vision in front of us as we make our day-to-day money decisions. (Print the Big Money Vision Page here).
In the front inside pocket I have a copy of my Grateful For/Growth In Play Sheet to remind me to be grateful for all that we have and on the right I have a plastic pocket divider where I place our bills to pay. When I receive a bill in the mail I immediately open it, discard the envelope, write the bill amount in my calendar on the paycheck date before the bill is due and then file the bill here.
After the divider I have placed our Savings Target page in a page protector to remind me of our current financial goals.
Monthly Spending Section
The next part of my Money GPS Planner is the Monthly Spending Section. Every time we spend money we record the amount on a spreadsheet categorized into different spending areas such as groceries, toiletries and household needs, gas for the car, etc. so we can see where our money is going and make adjustments if a category total gets out of control. You can use this FREE Printable Budget Worksheet to help you start recording your spending.
Once the receipts are recorded they go into the page protector behind the Savings Target Page. At the end of the month I review our spending and place the receipts in an envelope labeled with the month and year which goes into our annual file for taxes.
On the right you will see my Monthly Paycheck Planner from the 30 Days to an Organized Life Book. (Print the 30 Days Monthly Paycheck Planner here.)
You can also print the Money Makeover Paycheck Planner HERE.
Behind the Monthly Paycheck Planner I have our Monthly Spending Plan (print here) with our target budget amounts as well as our Freedom Account Spreadsheet which I use to keep track of our second checking account which we use to pay bills and save for irregular expenses like car repairs. (Click here to read more about how we use the Freedom Account to manage our money and print your own spreadsheet.)
Click HERE to see my next post in which I show you the debt section of our Money GPS Planner.
Today’s Money Mission: Set up a Money GPS Planner/Budget Binder for your finances. Print the pages that I use (listed above) or click here for additional money tracking and planning pages.