With it being a new year and all, I decided it was time for my family to get out of debt and stop living paycheck to paycheck. Now deciding all of this was pretty easy, but applying it would be much harder.
Where does one start when changing their spending habits? By seeing their spending habits! I first realized that before I could change our habits, I needed to know what those habits were. So DH and I sat down and wrote them all out on paper. It wasn't pretty but it was a great start. After listing all of our expenses, I was lost on the next step. I knew that we needed to find a way to separate the money from the checks into sections for our bills and other expenses, but how? I had tried a few methods in the past but I never stuck to them. One method I had tried many times was the envelope system. Ya know, have one envelope for each expense then dividing your checks into the sections so you have money for all of your bills? Yea that one. So I researched it a little more to discover this Dave Ramsey fellow. He's pretty spot on with his "how to" on the envelope system. After watching his videos covering the baby steps, I decided to try the envelope system again but this time with success.
So I create my Bill Budget Organizer based on the envelope system. I'll explain with pictures!
I had this little black planner case in my crafting stash. I had planned on using it for a recipe book, but it was perfect for the bill budget organizer.
I left the note sheet that came with the planner in the case. I'll be using the note section to record our income, debts, parental assistance, and anything else I need to write down.
Now I used one envelope for each expense. I hole punched and labeled them, then I put them into the planner case. I organized the envelope by using different colored gel pens on the labels and putting them in order by earliest due to latest due. The different color gel pens are to represent which expenses are paid with which check. Each envelope is labeled with the title of the expense, the due date, and the amount due. The check mark indicated if the expense has been paid. I also keep the receipts in the envelopes until the end of each month; then all receipts will be filed away in my filing cabinet.
So the color key: Blue - check 1, Green - both checks/dual check expenses, Purple - check 2
And I almost forgot . . .
Then there is another notepad and business card holder sheets behind all the envelopes. I also keep a datebook found at Hallmark in the front left side pocket (not pictured) to keep track of due dates and appointment dates.
By the way, yes, we have more than just 8 categories. To tell y'all the truth, we have a total of 20 envelopes.
Soooo, what do y'all think?!