So, several people have messaged me about how I organize our finances. This is the first part. I will finally be printing off our printables and setting up our home binder tonight or tomorrow and will post pictures of that when I have it set up. For now, I will explain what I’ve been doing this far.
Picture #1) First, the calendar. I’d found these cool blank paper calendars at walmart sometime last year and never really used them till now. You can print off calendars or use whatever calendar you want. That part is all the same. How I have organized that is ONLY finances. No birthdays or other event reminders. ONLY bills. So I write down what bills are due when in red pen and underneath it I write the amount of the bill (I know how much on average each bill is each month, so we all ready have it set aside for the most part). When we have called and paid the bill, I put a blue check mark on the calendar next to the bill so that I can remember that we all ready paid it (no check mark means I need to call and pay! It’s great for reminders, since I have the memory span of a potato).
The note cards - I have a finance to do list. If I need to move payments, if we need to talk to the bank (wellsfargo sucks so we have to go correct shit they’ve messed up a LOT. We will be switching to Chase soon). Next, I have a note card with all the bills that are due week by week. When we are working on a specific week of bills, I mark down how much we still need. Say we have $400.00 worth of bills due one week and I have set aside $64.50, I write the 400, write the subtract 64.50, mark out the 400 and write NEED $335.50 and continue that way until I have set aside enough money for that week’s bills. I have several note cards taped up for separate weeks. At the bottom I have “August Goal - Put $100 in savings”. This is just a general. We generally put more than that in to savings, but I like having a note card taped up to remind me to set money aside and not go out on shopping sprees with all our left over money. Everyone needs a rainy day fund.
Picture #2) My envelopes!!! I prefer to work in cash. There is a simple reason for this (and yes it may be more annoying to make more bank visits, but it keeps us in check) Whenever my disability drops, and whenever Ash gets a paycheck, and whenever we get any other sort of income, I cash it. Immediately. We normally have a relatively low balance sitting in our bank account. Why? Having all of my money just sitting in my account and walking around with a debit card pretty much means I am walking around with a large sum of money at my immediate disposal and will have a harder time not giving in to impulse buys.
Each bill has an envelope. Eating out/thrifting has it’s own envelope. I take cash, break it down, and put however much cash is due for each bill in its own respective envelope. A few days before the week that the bill is due, I go and deposit all of it in the bank and it is only there to pay bills. Apart from that, the cash stay in a safe place in its envelope so that it cannot be touched while we are out. We have a set amount of spending money each week, so it’s not like we walk around broke all the time.
Picture #3) My expense manager. Plenty of people use those booklets that come with their checks to do this, but I prefer to have a smaller notebook. I also use the expense manager app on my phone. Literally, I track each and every penny we earn and spend. I always know exactly how much money we have to the penny. It’s good to know this. I do it both on my phone and in the book, because you never know when technology will fail you…and also I suppose I am old fashioned and like to write things down with pen and paper. I will take a picture of the inside of the book when I get this one set up. I just started it. But my phone I have been doing for some time now. Track ALL of your money. Never be clueless to how much money you actually have, because you may spend bill money!!!! Since I don’t always have time to input my expenses right then and there, I always save my receipts (always ask for a receipt) and sit down at the end of the day and put it all in.
Picture #4) CHANGE JAR!!!!!!!! I cannot stress HOW important this bit is. Since we deal a lot in cash, we get a lot of change. And I ALWAYS throw our change in to the jar. You would not believe how many people I know that either waste or toss their change because it’s heavy. My change jar is fairly empty right now because I recently went and cashed it, but let me tell you a little something.
When I went and cashed the change that we had put in there and forgotten about for 2 1/2 months…I walked away with $80. EIGHTY DOLLARS. I don’t know how many people are well off enough to not give a shit about that kind of money.
Well, that’s that for the first part of our home finance organization. If you have any questions, always feel free to send me an ask!