Checks and Balances

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post “ISP Search“:

Hi Hadias, I have a general question regarding how you keep track of your spending and budget so well. Do you use a specific program or do you just use Excel? Also, how often do you record your expenses?I would love to know because I have been struggling with accurately and regularly accounting for my families expenditures. Thank you.

I manage the bulk of my budget in a black and white composition notebook. Other tools that I use are my check book, online banking, Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University Software,  Dave’s envelope system and book.

I will exclude the Dave Ramsey stuff for the sake of keeping things simple.

I set up my budget at the beginning of each month. On a notebook page I make columns. The heading of the first column is (Company Name) second column is (Amount Due) third column is (Date Due) next (Amount Paid) next (Date Paid) next (Balance) next column (Conformation number/Payment method) next column (Fees/Penalties).

Each person will need to figure out what type of information they want there budget to give them.

Under the Company Name column I list all of our bills but I also include other financial obligations in place of company names such as Tithes, Gas/Transportation, Food, Doctor Bill, etc.

Now in order to keep track of what is spent I set a budgeted $ amount for each category. Each time my husband gets paid he withdraws everything except his money for weekly gas. We discuss where we are going to direct every dollar of his paycheck. For instance on our first pay period, we allocate one fourth of the mortgage payment into an envelope marked (Mortgage). On the front of the envelope I write the date, the amount of money I added and where it came from (paycheck).

I do the same with every category. In my grocery envelope I put in $60.00 each week. Whenever I go by the store whatever I spend is subtracted from what’s written on the front of my envelope. When I make purchases I also include receipts. This helps me see where our money went at the end of the month and also allows me to budget correctly. If an envelope is having consistent shortages or surplus then I need to reallocate.

The easiest way to track spending is to keep all of your receipts for 30 days. After 30 days compile a list of all of your debtors and expenditures. This will give you a basis for a budget. Tally up all of the receipts from each category and then you will have a accurate idea of what you are spending and where.

A big part of being successful in managing finances begins with all adults involved getting on the same page. This is often easier said than done.


  1. Earthmommy says

    Hadias, you must be one of the most organized people I know! Thanks for posting this. I am going to give your system a try because I too get lost in the record keeping and sometimes make costly mistakes because of that.


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