My favorite element of every January 1 is simply that it is the first page of a fresh start.
And of course eating black eyed peas and cabbage for luck…eek! Does anyone else do this?
New Year’s resolutions are everywhere, but I swore them off a few years ago. When I make a change in my life, I want to do so out of desire to make my life better, not because its a new year and I have to do something different. One of my personal goals is to constantly evolve into the best version of myself…does that make sense? Also, most of my resolutions were quite lofty…I’m sure no different than many of yours…and I inevitably dropped the ball, felt like a failure, ate some ice cream, and fell back to square one of whatever arena held my resolution.
To start this year off on the right financial foot, I’m making a change…hopefully a change that will positively affect my family!
For the past few months, I’ve been pinning budgeting ideas on Pinterest like a madwoman, and I’ve found some AWESOME budget binders like this one from Abby at Just a Girl and Her Blog and this from A Cultivated Nest. After looking at these great examples, I decided to create my own budget binder/expense tracker tailored to fit my family and our crazy household finances 🙂
As with the printable planners I’ve created, a pretty cover page is a must 🙂 It’s the little things, friends.
FYI, most of the backgrounds I use for my printables come from Amanda Ilkov at Mandy Art Market. She has seriously adorable backgrounds and images for an awesome price…and tons of great freebies!!
The next page in our budget binder is the table of contents…without page numbers 🙂 When I sat down to create our budget binder, I broke down our expenses into the categories you see on the image below.
The financial goals pages are essential to our budget binder….need to have a plan to make a change!
Next is our monthly expenses sheet. In our binder, our monthly expenses include our bills…mortgage, cars, insurance, cell phones, the dreaded student loans, etc. The last section on this sheet is titled “send to savings.” Putting more money into savings is a HUGE goal of ours this year. With one income being commission based, I don’t have to tell you the importance of having money in savings not necessarily for a rainy day, but for a drought!
After the monthly expenses comes the breakdown of everything else we spend each month: groceries, purchases for the kiddos, gas, eating out, clothing, and entertainment.
One of my personal financial goals for 2016 is cutting down on my grocery expenses. Please tell me I’m not alone in making multiple trips to the store each week, heading in for just a few items and coming out with a cartload :/
It seems as though I’m always adding things to the cart at the store, especially when I have little helpers with me 🙂
As my hubby says, paying for gas is just not an area we can trim from financially. He and I both work about 15 minutes away from home, so fuel is not an area to cut! We have traded in vehicles recently, though, to be more fuel efficient. Even though this isn’t an area we can cut, it’s still nice to see how much is being spent in this category 🙂
We’ve done SO much better in this area since we’ve had our kiddos. When we were first married, it was nothing to go out to eat 4 nights per week. I was not the best chef…I’m still no Ree Drumond!!…and it was really hard to cook for two people, even when you factored in the leftovers. And, yours truly did not want to do the dishes! However, on nights when my husband gets home late, it’s still easy to just order a pizza or run through a sandwich shop.
Holy moly. This category is my WEAKNESS!! I love shopping. The thrill of buying that new outfit…there’s nothing like it. I guess you could say I’m a recovering shop-a-holic, like one of my favorite literary characters, Becky Brandon nee Bloomwood…have you read this series!? I’ve gotten much better in trimming this category over the years, and hopefully my once a month Stitch Fix shipment will help!
I should have added my monthly Netflix payment to the monthly expense sheet…is Netflix something I absolutely must have? Um, no. As much as I LOVE watching any episode of my FAVORITE show, Once Upon a Time, whenever I want, it’s not a necessity. However, I’m really looking into ditching cable and just using Netflix. Any thoughts on this?
I hope my budget binder has inspired you on this first day of a clean slate! If you’re interested in downloading my budget binder, click here!
Thanks for reading!