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. In 5 Ways to Jump-Start Your Household Budget by Soni Sangha, Erin Lozano, co-founder of the online financial planning tool Green Sherpa offers this suggestion for tracking your spending: take a month to track every single dollar you spend. That way, you’ll be able to determine your spending pattern. From there, put your expenses into two categories: one is for non-negotiables, or expenses that cannot be cut such as your mortgage, utilities and insurance. The other category will contain everything else. Track and categorize your expenses from the first month in an easy-to-read spreadsheet. For your second month, use the first month as a guideline and aim not to exceed your first month’s expenses, while you continue to track.
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.
Home Budget Divider Templates
- Get on the fast track to monitoring your finances with these quick and easy pre-designed templates. Choose from the 8-Tab set, which features icons for Emergency, Financial, Medical, Utilities, Credit Cards, Legal, Education and Pets categories, or the 10-Tab set, which features icons for Emergency, Banking, Medical, Insurance, Utilities, Credit Cards, Legal, Education, Vacation and Pets categories.
Titles are customizable, and included icons can be replaced with images of your own preference.
Home Budget Dividers for 8-Tab Ready Index Table of Contents Dividers
Home Budget Dividers for 10-Tab Ready Index Table of Contents Dividers