On Monday I showed how we stay on top of all that paper clutter. I looked at our mail caddy and how the paper is then transferred into our medium term filing binder. Long term filing is moved into a plastic storage box at the end of each year, making sure we purge as we go. And super important documents (birth, marriage certificate, insurance details etc.) are kept in a plastic folder for easy access.
What about our bills? How do they get from the mail caddy to the filing binder?
The day before we get payed each fortnight I pull out our mail caddy, 2013 filling binder and our budget binder. First I go through the mail caddy and make 3 piles; follow up, pay and file.
The file pile gets put straight into our filing binder under the relevant tab. The ‘follow up’ pile usually contains documents that need to be followed up (school notes, work info, make calls etc). I usually try to deal with as many of these as I can while doing our filing and make sure I put notes in my day planner for the rest. Any documents left from the follow up pile go back into the mail caddy.
Now our budget binder, inside we have a hole punch and a pencil case with a calculator, a couple of pens and a pencil. On the inside cove there is some scrap paper that is used for my calculations to make sure everything is balanced.
The first tab in our budget binder is Calendars, here we have a calendar for each month of the year. I use this calendar to record upcoming bills, direct debits and dates we get payed. With the pay pile we made earlier, I take every bill, whether it is to be payed that fortnight or not for 6 months, and add it to the calendar.
That pay pile can now be moved to our filing binder because I have all the due dates and amounts recorded for when we do our budget.
The next tab is for our budget. Once we have finished our filing, B and I sit down and work out our budget for the fortnight. We use the calendar to work out what bills we have coming up and any direct debits that are due to come out.. Our budget is based on the David Ramsay model meaning we budget down to $0 accounting for every dollar whether it be for bills, savings, or spending money. We also use a cash envelope system to help us stay on track (more on that in my next post).
We use a cash check-in printable with our cash envelopes. Each week we note down how much we have spent from each envelope so we can see where we are at and to spread our spending out over the 2 weeks.
In the account info tab we keep a record of all our card details, our regular direct debits, our bank account details and insurance info. It is super handy to have all this info in one place to reference when we need to.
We use a savings tracker for each of our savings accounts. It is so encouraging to see the number increasing, makes us more determined to reach our goal. It also makes us accountable should we ever draw money from the accounts.
Another motivational chart. This one is similar to the savings printable, we have one for each debt and track every payment made. It feels so good to see that number get lower and lower.
The next two tabs are for mine and B’s payslips.
The final tab is for bank statements. We don’t use this much anymore since we have converted to the cash system. If you are not using cash it is good to have a record of all your transactions handy when doing your budget.
So there you have it, our budget binder. Where do you keep your budget? Does anyone use an online system? I would love to hear from you.