The first step of taking control of your money is having a functional budget. If you do not already have a working budget I cannot recommend strongly enough that you start one today. To help you get started, I’ve put together a Complete Printable Budget Binder that you can download here for free.
This Complete Budget Binder includes
- Cover Page
- Yearly Goals Page
- Year at a Glance Page
- 12 Monthly Budget Worksheets
You May Need
- A 3-ring binder with inside pockets and a clear cover pocket
- Clear sheet protectors for pages (sheet protectors can both protect pages and allow you to use a dry-erase marker and reuse pages)
- A hole punch
- A calendar
- An accurate list of expenses and income
How It Works
My goal in creating these pages was simplicity. I wanted this budget binder to be as simple and functional as possible for busy moms who are trying to juggle it all. Here’s how it works:
Prepare Your Binder
First, print pages, hole punch or place in sheet protectors, and insert into your binder.Place the cover sheet into the clear front pocket of your binder.
Prepare Your Information
Take out your calendar and think through each month. Mark any dates that may present extra expenses such as birthdays, holidays, special events, vacations, and even when big bills are due such as insurance. Refer to this when you start making your monthly budget.
Yearly Goals Page
Set some clear goals for the year. How much would you like to save? How much debt would you like to pay off and by what date? Make your goals clear, measurable, and realistic.
Write down the practical steps you will take to achieve each of your goals. I also recommend setting deadlines for achieving your practical steps, marking them in a calendar and celebrating each small victory to help you stay motivated.
Year at a Glance Page
The year at a glance page is designed to help you have a clear picture of where you stand financially each month, with spaces to document your beginning and ending savings and debt amounts.
Hopefully, you will be pleased with your numbers at the end of each month as you progress through the year and become accustomed to operating with a budget.
Monthly Budget Worksheets
Finally, take a look at your monthly budget sheets. For some of you, the monthly budget will stay reasonably consistent each month. For others of you, income and expenses will change from month to month. I recommend completing each month’s budget form before the month begins so you are prepared to jump into each new month.
Goal: This is a zero-based budget. That means, when you subtract your expenses from your income, the answer should always be zero. You should not end up with a negative number at the end of the month and you should not end up with a positive number at the end of the month.
If you plan not to spend all your income, designate that money into savings (or whichever category you see fit). The goal is to give every single dollar a name
Dave Ramsey says, “a budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went”.
I encourage you to be persistent and consistent. Set reminders, make notes, use the envelope system, have a budget party at the end of each month, celebrate small victories, whatever you have to do to stay motivated!
Having a functional budget was the first step in allowing me to achieve my dream of staying home. A good budget is not only necessary but life-changing.
I hope this resource will be helpful to you. I had so much fun creating it!
Best of Luck!
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