Track Your Expenses with a Home Budget Binder

Mortgage payments. Utility bills. Stuff for the kids. Groceries. These expenses relentlessly come in, month after month. But after you’ve paid your monthly bills, do you ever wonder why your income doesn’t leave you with a favorable outcome? Even if you’re not an extravagant spender, you feel like your bank account is left with an empty feeling inside. Where does all the money go?

It’s time to take control of your household budget. The beginning of the New Year is the perfect time to start fresh and track your spending habits using your own home budget binder. It also makes a thoughtful gift for a new couple or young adults starting out on their own.

Create your command center
When you’ve got a whirlwind of documents to manage, make sure you keep them all together in one convenient place. You’ll never lose your bills, invoices and other important financial statements when you store them in the strong and durable Avery Heavy-Duty Binder. Keep track of your documents inside by creating separate sections for each category with Avery Durable Ready Index Dividers, designed to last longer and withstand frequent referencing. One idea is to identify each section by month using the Jan-Dec Tab set. Or, you might want to organize your expenses by type: home, utilities, insurance, credit cards, etc. using the 8- or 10-Tab set, and customize your table of contents quickly and easily with free Avery Templates.

Capture your spending habits
Next, you’ll need to find out where all the money’s going. Try tracking your spending for one month, either writing it down in a journal or entering it into a spreadsheet. Make a list of items that are "must haves," such as your rent or mortgage, utilities, healthcare, insurance, groceries, etc. and the items that are not on the list will soon stand out. Keep tracking your spending month after month to see the difference you'll be making in curbing the unnecessary spending.

Get serious with your efforts
Once you get in the habit of routinely monitoring your spending, you’ll be able to recognize where the money’s going. In fact, you might want to get your whole family involved. Start with conversations on how everyone can do their part to watch their spending, and use your home budget binder as a workbook for the family to follow.

When you track your expenses, you’ll have a better idea of where you can afford to cut costs and learn how to buckle down on saving. And with careful monitoring, you should be able to find ways you can trim your expenses and create a healthy home budget. Before you know it, keeping an eye on your budget may eventually give you the favorable outcome you’ve been looking for.