One of my New Year's Resolutions, you can read about them here, was to
start continue working on getting out of debt.
I've been working on the budget, more making it habit, for the last year and a half. It hasn't really gotten really nitty-gritty until these last several months where I really buckled down and started following the zero-balanced budget as suggested by Dave Ramsey. I really suggest that you read his book Total Money Makeover; and, if you have kids, read Smart Money Smart Kids which he co-authored with his daughter. Really great reads. I borrow them from the library every now and then to refresh my brain and discover something I missed. They also have sheets that you can copy and use for your own budgeting in the back of the book.
I will say, before my introduction to Dave Ramsey, I had no idea how to build a budget and (key) make it work. I had ideas and kind of categorized what I already spend, but had major difficulty going that next step into using that to plan out how I was going to spend my money. Since starting the envelope system I literally carry standard paper envelopes in my purse when I leave the house and only for the intent for something specific. But, it took a while to figure out how to document my plan
So I came with these printable pdf sheets to use for my Budget Binder. They are not very pretty but solely focus on function. Beside, the kids usually color all over them anyway.. :)
The Budget Binder Printable pdf sheets has 12 printable pages with fill in blanks for writing down info. I have columns that divide the months down by weekly and bi-monthly. You can pick.
Included and brief:
1. Record of Accounts - a place to write account log in info. For those times you forget your password.
2. Income Tracker - this works best for weekly or bi-monthly incomes. I write down net and gross
3. Debt Tracker - Write down your debt balance after each month statement. Watch your balance drop
4. annual expenses - for those expenses that are easy to loose track of. Break down by month, or by paycheck to see how much to stash away to cover those yearly doozies
5. Annual expense account - have you bought a home and had an escrow account? This is what I use for a savings account solely devoted to paying those annual bills. I keep track of how much goes in each month and when bills are due to make sure I am on track. I basically treat it like an escrow account. write down the total amount the month it is due and go from there with the monthly amount to set aside.
6. Monthly Due Dates schedule. I don't use this anymore, but it's great for starting so you can see what bills are due when
7 Monthly Expenses Worksheet - Write down the total amount of the bill due, divide it amongst the regular number of pay days and deduct that from your pay. When the bill is due, you have the money to pay the bill.
8. Monthly Expenses Envelope. I write down the envelopes that I have, use the number of money left over after bills are paid and disperse into the envelopes until all money is in a category
I am sharing these budget printables with you for free to share the knowledge and basis to begin living within your means and Establish a Budget.
What do you do. Do you have a strict budget? Or just enough to get by? Or are you like how I was a few years ago and new where the money was going but need that extra step to make a plan for where it will go in the future? Do you use a certain printable, or create your own?