I was going through my budget binder this morning and thought about you all. I can remember clearly our decision to become a one income family and all the effort that went into making it a reality.
One of the things that really helped us make the transition was getting a clear picture of our finances. One of the first things I had to do as a stay at home wife was learn how to budget one income.
We were a two income family now living on one income so some changes had to made. The first thing I addressed was creating a budget book. We’ve improved it over the years to make it work for us so I’m going to show you what it looks like now.
How to Organize your Bills and Budget
This main purpose for our budget binder is to help us better manage our finances so to do that we created the following ‘tab names‘ and purposes for each section.
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 desk space.
BILLS — For this section I created a personalized Bill Pay Form which allows us to keep track of what’s due, what’s paid and how it was paid.
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.
GOALS — This is where we keep track of our long and short term goals. We also keep an ongoing list of home improvements we want to tackle, Christmas lists as well as clothing items that need replacing.
INVESTMENTS – This is the perfect place to keep quarterly account statements and contribution slips.
PASSWORDS & LOG IN’S – It can be easy to forget the log in credentials when paying bills online. This is where we keep track of passwords for those times when we want to pay our bills online with a specific site versus online bill pay.
BANK – Here’s where we can store bank statements. I didn’t share a picture of anything in this section for obvious reasons.
Our Budget Binder has become and invaluable resource when having our monthly financial meetings and I hope giving a peek inside gave you some ideas on how to organize and manage your finances.