How I Manage Our Household Budget

Hello again!

I must apologize for my absence for the past few weeks! I’m so sorry. I have many ‘reasons’ but I’m sure if I started listing them they would sound much more like ‘excuses,’ so, what it really boils down to is being unmotivated laziness. Sure, I’ve been busy doing other things, but if I weren’t so lazy after those things, we would have had blog posts every day!

So what have I been up to? Well I’ve been sewing a little, painting some furniture, sorting through my closet in an attempt to simplify my wardrobe, working of course, and, drumroll please…. I finally worked out a bill payment/income/savings system that WORKS! I love it!!

I’ve tried other people’s methods and systems and printables before, but nothing ever seemed to work just right for us. So far the best system I had going was tacking the paper bills to a bulletin board in the order they were due. Which was logical… except for all the bills that we don’t get paper statement for! We had a couple set up to auto-pay, and the rest we just tried our best to remember. Not exactly  fail proof. So when I came across a link to this printable on Thirty Handmade Days, I was excited. ‘Maybe this is the one‘ I thought to myself, Ted Mosby style. (Side note, I’ve been on a HIMYM binge lately too) So I printed ‘er out and started penciling it in. Only to find, sadly, that it was not perfect for me 😦 wah wah wah. While it is awesome for a TON of people, it just didn’t work quite right for our needs. I loved the idea that it was on on one page in a simple, easy summary, but I realized I needed just a little more detail on mine. I also love the spending records in the packet, but wanted to see if I could incorporate them both into a one-sheet deal. I couldn’t. But I do love what I came up with… after several trial and errors – Check it out!

Two Page Month-at-a-glance Downloadable

And speaking of trial and error – I hope this works for you to download! This is my first time sharing a document, so I hope I’ve done it right. You’d think an hour of googling would pay off… Ha ha

Why is this the perfect system for us?
First off, I wanted to keep better track of exactly how much we’re making. With my house cleaning work, there are many variables, so even when I estimate what I should have coming in, sometimes someone is sick, or on vacation, or has extra cleaning or organizing to be done, so my income changes up or down accordingly. I wanted to be able to see exactly where we had extra income, and exactly where that money was being spent. So at the beginning of the month, I look at my work schedule and fill in the Expected Income box. Then I record every check I deposit, as well as any (however small) etsy sales (cause that’s not takin’ off yet!) on the Income Ledger portion below, and keep a running total on the far right. That way, at the end of the month, it’s super simple to copy all income into the Actual Income box back at the top.

As for the bills section, I listed them in order that they are generally due, but because the due date and amount changes on some, I left those columns blank so I can write in the specific date and amount when I get the statement, either in the mail or online. I also left enough room in the Paid column to record payment confirmation numbers if needed.

I didn’t include credit cards in the regular bill lineup, mainly because I had a different format in mind. I wanted to clearly see our progress in paying them off, so I needed room for starting balance, recording payments, and more than one a month, if possible (I try to send some of that extra income here) and of course the ending balance. I did include a section for new charges, although with the goal of paying all our debt off, it’s not a category I plan on using unless there is an emergency. (and no, ice cream and beer do not count as emergency purchases! Ha ha)

As for the Spending Ledger…..I have to admit, it’s a category I’ve got mixed feelings about. I did want to try the cash envelope system, but my husband wasn’t as enthusiastic as I was, so I came up with this. And I have to say, the thought of saving all receipts and copying them down when I get home does discourage impulse buying!! And we can see exactly what we’re wasting money on, assess what we need to change, and do it!

So that’s why I love my new system! Hopefully it works for you too, or at the very least inspires you to find what does. Thanks for stopping by!

 

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