Why We Make a Budget

Why We Make A Budget

If I could give anyone any bit of advice concerning their finances it would be to first tithe and second, to do a budget every month.

I absolutely believe, whole heartedly, 100%, that tithing rebukes the devourer.

Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts.  

Malachi 3:10-11  King James Version (KJV)

The devourer is anything that comes to siphon money out of your pocket. I call the devourer Satan. You might call it debt or emergencies. For me, anything that opposes what the Bible upholds as righteousness or right living I consider the devil.

Father God also promises to open up the windows of heaven and unleash a tsunami of blessing in our lives when we tithe. This principle is something you won’t or be able to comprehend until you have tasted and seen it for yourself. Father God even says to us “prove me now” which in other words means, try me and see.

Beyond tithing, I create a written budget every single month. Germaine and I sit down and make a list of everything that needs to be paid for the month, both expected and unexpected. We write down how much we anticipate to earn for the month and we compare the two numbers.

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Organizing Your Bills

I must say that my husband and I have a great system for organizing our bills.

Organizing Your Bills

From the way we used to argue about how to manage the finances I could never have imagined we’d be on the same page using the same system.

Early in our marriage I tried all kinds of elaborate systems especially those that included spreadsheets and programs but my husband hated them. He felt they were too time consuming and didn’t like having to boot up the computer every time we needed to manage our finances.

As I learned more about his style I came up with a simple budget binder systemthat made us both happy.

We now use this very budget binder to organize our bills and invoices.

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This is my process

1. When bills arrive in the mail, I write the due date on my bill pay form, I then slide the bill inside of my “to be paid”  bill binder pocket so I have it on hand when it needs to be paid.

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2. At the beginning of each week my husband looks at the bills calendar to see what bills need to be paid and pays them. As he pays each bill he fills in the columns on our bill pay form so we have a record of balances, method of payment, which account we paid from and what balance may be remaining.

3. All bills that don’t need to be kept for tax purposes are trashed. If it’s one we file, he places it back in the “to be paid pocket”.

4. At the beginning of each month I go through the “to be paid” pocket and remove all of the paid invoices. I then file the paid invoices in my filing folder, grouping like invoices together eg. phone, electricity, etc.

5. At the end of the financial year, and after filing our taxes, I then gather the invoices and add them to our yearly income tax folder.  We keep these invoices for 7 years.

How to Organize your Bills and Budget

How to Organize your Bills and Budget

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.

How to Organize your Bills and Budget

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.

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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.

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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.

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INVESTMENTS – This is the perfect place to keep quarterly account statements and contribution slips.

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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.

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BANK – Here’s where we can store bank statements. I didn’t share a picture of anything in this section for obvious reasons.

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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.

How to Organize Your Bills and Budget