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Finances

Setting up a Monthly Budget Book

Setting up a Monthly Budget Book

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I have been using my Erin Condren Monthly Planner for a couple of month now and used it for my January and February budget. The set up that I used works well for me and helps me to keep track of my budget. Today I will show you how I set up my Monthly Budget Book.




As mentioned before, I am using an Erin Condren Monthly Planner for my Budget Book but you can use any other planner or notebook. I reviewed the Monthly Planner in a previous post, you can check it out here.  If you are interested in purchasing this planner and haven’t ordered from Erin Condren before, you can use my referral link to receive $10 off your first order and I will receive a $10 credit on my account as well.

 

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Keep track of your Bills

Keeping track of all your Bills can be overwhelming. Use this free printable Bill Tracker and know when bills are due.



Nowadays, a lot of companies are switching to electronic invoices instead of mailing them out. This system has a lot of benefits but could make it harder for you to keep track of upcoming bills and payment dates as you don’t receive a physical copy of the invoice. Most of the time you will receive an email notifying you when a bill is ready. You log into your online account, view the bill and maybe print it for your records.

Bill TrackerI have a lot of my monthly bills set up for auto-withdrawal. It is great because I don’t have to worry about missing a payment, but it also makes me not pay attention to due dates and amounts.

To have a better overview of all your bills, I have a created this chart which will help me see all my bills, amounts and due dates. The bill tracker is categorized in yearly, quarterly and monthly bills. Most of the bills would be due monthly. I have a few bills that are due yearly such as renewal stickers for the license plate. Here is how to fill out the chart:

  1. Enter all your bills in the right expense category (yearly, quarterly, monthly). You can just write down what kind of bill it is (e.g. phone bill, hydro bill) or go by company name.
  2. Enter each bill amount. If bill amounts vary, I would use an average amount.
  3. For the due date, enter the day the payment is due or will be withdrawn from your account. Write down  20 for the 20th of the month.
  4. Monthy bills are obviously due every month, but to know when a quarterly or yearly bill is due you can circle or highlight the specific field.
  5. When the bill is paid put an X in the field.

I have not created an extra column for it but it be good to indicate how each bill is paid. W for withdrawal, C for cheque, CC for credit card, O for online payment etc…



It’s not too hard to fill out and it gives you a nice overview of all your bills. Let me know if you have any suggestions or questions.

Download the free printable Bill Tracker here.

How to keep track of your daily expenses

This post is about keeping track of your daily expenses and various incomes. If you want to stick to your budget or just want to know where all the money going, it is important write down EVERYTHING. Money coming in, money going out.




There are many great apps and programs that will help you manage your money. I am using a computer program but as you can see from this post, I am way behind entering all my receipts. I have good intentions but what good is it if the information is not up to date.

All I know is 5 months ago I spend more than a made. Yeah, pretty useless. The information needs to be current so you can cut your spending before you go over budget.

A good idea is to enter all your expenses at the end of each day. That way you don’t fall behind (like me) and your spending amount for each expense category is current.

I have created an income and an expense worksheet for me that I will be starting to fill out each day (I will make them available for download at the end of this post).

I am usually all for technology and pretty good with anything computers and cellphones where most of my information, appointments etc.. are stored, but lately I am finding myself to prefer writing everything down on a piece of paper. I think having a household binder is great because all family members are able to access it and get information. This will be my next project for sure.

Anyways, back to the expense worksheets. Once you have identified your expense categories (groceries, fast food, personal care, gasoline, pets, entertainment, recreation etc…) print one sheet per category. Some categories will have more expenses than others.

You can put smaller categories together on one sheet if you want. As the expenses occur, write down the amount in the right category. If you made a purchase at a store where some items are groceries and some are personal care products for example, split the amount between the categories.

Try to fill out the worksheets each day. That way the receipts don’t pile up and it will be easier to stick to your budget and expenditure tracking.

MonthlyExpenses

At the end of the month, add up all the amounts in each category and transfer the amount over to your Monthly Budget Worksheet which is available to download here.

The income worksheet works similar. Enter your paycheck amount, rental income, pension income, interest/investment income etc.. Again, add up the amounts at the end of the month and fill in your actual amount in the Monthly Budget Worksheet.




For the next month, print the expense worksheets again and start over.

You can download free copies of the worksheets here:

MonthlyIncomeWorksheet

MonthlyExpensesWorksheet

Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions.

Thank you

 

 

How to use a monthly budget worksheet

Free printable monthly budget worksheet

A great way to keep track of your monthly income and expenses are worksheets. The information can easily be written down and everyone can use them.




The worksheet that is featured in the post is the Monthly Budget Worksheet. It will give you an overview of your monthly income and expenses and how much money you have left at the end of the month.

There are 3 tables that focus on Income, Expense and a Summary. The income and expense tables are divided into budgeted and actual amounts. To better keep track of the actual amounts, a separate worksheet should be used for each category and filled out daily (free printable worksheet for that will be posted soon)

As you can see the expenses are divided into categories. I have listed the most frequent ones and left a few blank spaces to enter your own.

First step at the beginning of the month is to enter your budgeted amounts. These amounts are estimates and do not need to be right to the penny. Rounded amounts in hundreds are good. Start with your estimate income. Let’s say $5,000 month. Obviously you do not want your expenses to be higher than your income. If you want to save $300 every month for example, enter total budgeted expenses at $4,700. Now allocate the $4,700 between your expense categories. You want to start with your fixed expenses such as Mortgage, car payment, insurance, utilities and other bills. The amount that is left is your disposable income and can vary each month.

During the month keep track of expenses for each category. Enter them as purchases are made or keep the receipts in an envelope and enter them when you get a chance.

At the end of the month add up all expenses for each category and enter the amounts in the Monthly Budget Worksheet. By calculating the difference between the budgeted and actual amounts you can see if you over- or under-estimated your spending in the different categories. It might be necessary to adjust your budgeted amounts for the following month if they were way off. Or maybe you were shocked to see how much you are actually spending on fast food this month and try to cut spending next month.




The notes section is for anything you might want to take note of. Write down if you had any extraordinary expenses that month or additional income. Maybe you were very satisfied with your budget and spending that month and would like to do the same in the next month or if you were not happy suggest what can be done better in future months.

You can download this free printable worksheet here

 

This post was happily shared on Share The Wealth Sunday Blog Hop #58

 

How to keep track of your finances



 

keeptrackoffinances

Part of being organized in my opinion is to know what your household income and expenses are. It is important to know where you are standing. What are your assets, how much is your debt? What bills need to be paid?  How much money did I spend this month? There are many ways to keep track of your finances.

I am using an old version of Quicken Home & Business which does everything I need and provides a great overview of our current net worth. You can also compare your spending to the previous month or year. The only downside for me is that it is an older version and not longer supports the download of your bank transactions, which means every transaction has to be entered manually. As you can see I am very far behind entering the receipts, but at least I kept them all. This will be a weekend task for me. Maybe with a nice cup of coffee and a movie playing.

 

receipts1

Another great option are spreadsheets. If you know the basics and are able to create simply formulas this can be an inexpensive way to manage your finances. You can create your spreadsheet the way it works best for you.  I will create a separate step-by-step post on how to create spreadsheet to keep tracking of everything.

Some people though find it easier to write everything down manually. This can be done in a simple notebook or with awesome templates that can be found online. I am planning on creating my own household binder that will include important information for our household and my husband is able to look at the information as well.

We decided that I am in charge of our family finances as I work in the accounting field and I believe it is important for my husband to be able to see where the money goes. I am pretty sure most times he does not know how much money is in the account or how much the bills are. I think a lot of times he does not want to be bothered with it but he should know as well.

Keeping track of your finances will help you achieve your savings goals, pay down your debt and show you how much you are spending on things. I was  shocked to see how much we were actually spending on groceries and fast food every month. You would not know otherwise. We get groceries once a week but I found myself stopping at the grocery store after work to pick up some extra things. These extra things added up to an extra $100 each week on top of my grocery bill. Fast food was a big expense as well. $20 here, 30$ there, couple of coffees, maybe some lunch…..crazy!

I suggest the first step is to write down all your income and expenses for one month. Separate the expenses into different categories. This can be just a few categories or as many as you want (e.g Vehicle expense vs. Car insurance, maintenance, gasoline). After the first month, have a look and see where your money goes. For the next month try to adjust your spending. Set limits and try to stay within budget. The extra money that’s saved move it to savings account or emergency fund.

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