If you’ve been following my blog A Proverbs Wife here or on social media for at least a year, you already know my family’s personal goal regarding debt.
One of the ways we have managed to organize our finances and pay off all of our debt except the mortgage has been by using a cash based system.
A cash based system simply means, we pay cash for everything we can. Most of our bills are paid via mail or online, but there are several spending categories which we can pay using cash.
In today’s video, you’ll learn how I manage our weekly cash budget. This video was created for my other blog Aprons And Stilletos but I know it will be just as useful for my APW community as well.
If you enjoyed this video be sure to subscribe to my Aprons And Stillettos YouTube page.
I love chatting with you all on the following social media outlets and would love for you to follow me by clicking on the images below.
I must say that my husband and I have a great system for organizing our 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.
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.
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.
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.
We try not to leave dirty dishes in the sinks over night because I don’t want to create an environment for creepy crawly critters.
Our goal is to have everything in the kitchen and dining room cleaned up and clutter free before we go to bed.
Ending the night with a clean kitchen and dining room makes mornings run much easier in our home. No one likes waking up to prepare their breakfast only to have to wash the dishes need to prepare it before they can get started.
Here are 10 tips on how we maintain a clean kitchen and dining room.
1. I rarely hand wash dishes anymore but when I did I’d do them as much as three times a day. Nowadays, my husband and kids help out a lot in the kitchen and we pack our ultra quiet and super fabulous dishwasher through the day as dishes are used.
We run the dishwasher 2-3 times a day depending on the time of the year. Of course with the kids out of school during the summers there are more dishes to keep clean.
2. During the Summer, the first time I load the dishwasher for the day is after lunch. When the kids are out of school for the Summer there are usually enough dishes in the dishwasher by then to start a full load.
If school is in session, the dishwasher is not loaded until after school snacks have been eaten. This ensure all dishes are clean before I start dinner.
3. During the school year, the first time I load the dishwasher for the day is once after school snacks have been eaten.
My husband and I don’t make enough dishes during the day to run the dishwasher until later in the day so it’s used less often.
3. When preparing dinner, I already know all of the dinner dishes will not fit on the dishwasher so as I’m cooking dinner I set up a sink full of hot water.
While I’m cooking I wash (or have the kids wash) cutting boards, water bottles and food prep bowls.
4. After serving dinner, my youngest son is in charge of wiping the refrigerator doors, counters and the stove. My oldest son is in charge of sweeping the kitchen floor.
Each child must wipe their table spot and then vacuum the floor around their seat.
5. My youngest daughter makes sure the sink is clear of all dishes. Any dishes that couldn’t fit in the dishwasher after dinner are hand washed.
The hand washed dishes are places on a drying rack where they drip dry overnight and I put them away in the morning when I unpack the dishwasher.
6. My daughter then uses two squirts per sink of whatever spray we have and wipes down the sink and faucets.
7. Before we close the kitchen for the night we gather up all sponges and place them in their laundry basket and then turn the dishwasher on.
8. Now my kitchen and dining room is sparkly clean!
9. In the morning we all work together to put away the dishes on the drying rack, and unload the dishwasher.
10. Finally we rinse and repeat the process!!
Here’s my sparkly clean kitchen sink!!