I recently did a complete overhaul of my Homemaking Binder. What used to house a little bit of the many categories related to manage my home have been broken down into standalone notebooks. My HMB had a section titled household which covered everything from menu planning to financed. It was getting crowded in that section so I decided to create a separate binder specifically for managing our money.
I started by adding a full pack of dividers to the notebook. From there, I began brainstorming what information I’d need to have in this binder to successfully manage our money. When choosing the sections I started with the purpose of the binder.
I need it to enable me do the following:
- See what bills are due
- See what our bank balances are
- Complete or weekly $0 based cash flow budget
- See and update our past, present and future financial goals
- Manage, evaluate and track our investments
- Access all of our financial passwords and log in’s easily
From this brainstorming session, I came up with the following ‘tab names‘ and purposes for the tabbed sections.
TO BE PAID – As bills are received they are placed in the front pocket of my binder. I used to have these in a file on my desk so having them in my notebook has freed up some desk space.
BUDGET – This is where I have my $0 based budget sheets. I used the sheets found on page 36 of America’s Cheapest Family Gets You Right on the Money: Your Guide to Living Better, Spending Less, and Cashing in on Your Dreams. I typed up and printed a version that suited my needs.
BANK – I store my monthly bank statements in this section until my husband and I sit down to complete our monthly checkbook register balance. Once everything is balanced, the statements are transferred to my large file box until the end of the year.
GOALS -This section is one of my favorites. After paying bills and balancing checkbooks it feels good to turn to this section and remember why we are putting in the work, time and sacrifice necessary to be debt free. In this section, I have our long term and short term goals written out with as much detail as possible. I also have goals pertaining to our home such as buying a new dining room table or replacing the carpet with hardwood floor. The reason I’ve moved these from my homemaking binder is because in this book I can create an actual budget and set goals to get the things we want and need.
INVESTMENT – Whether for college or retirement this section let’s me know what we have invested. I keep quarterly account statements in here along with prospectuses and contribution slips.
PASSWORDS & LOG IN’S – This is a one stop shop for all of our banking, investments and financial institution passwords.
Finally, I added a calculator, pencil holder and some pencils to make it complete. I am excited about my new binder and am looking forward to using it in the coming months and years.