Monday, September 2, 2013

My Bill Binder ( how I stay on top of our finances)

I have a few binders that I use regularly. My Family Binder, My Kitchen Binder, My Farm and Garden Binder and my Bill Binder. I will make posts about all of these binders and how I make/use them in later posts. I want to start with my Bill Binder first.
My Bill Binder has been so helpful in creating and sticking to a budget. It is where my bills go as soon as they come in the mail and it's where I go on pay day when I am paying my bills. I know what is due and to who. I can make little notes like so and so's birthday is this month, or field trip on this date and what the cost is so I can remember to budget it in. All my expenses are written in there.
My go to place for organizational printables has always been Donna Young. She has amazing printables for homeschooling to.

Now lets build our Bill Binder.
First you will need a three ring binder. I like the ones with the clear plastic cover on the front so I can slide in a pretty print and label it my bill binder but any three ring binder will work. Some people like to cutsey theirs up, some like to keep it simple. It's up to you. I find it easier to do one of my least favorite chores if I can do it while looking a prettiness so I use washi tape and colored pens to decorate and write in my binder.
Next I add 2 folders with pockets. One is for paid bills and one is for bills that need to be paid. If I pay a bill online I can write the confirmation number on the bill and add it to the paid bill folder. Having my previous months bills available also lets me compare what we are spending month by month.
I also like to add a pencil pocket. I always write in my Bill Binder in pencil because I sometimes have to change when I will pay a bill or amounts. I also like to keep a highlighter in there, when a bill clears my bank I highlight it. This makes it easier to balance my account.
And finally I print out one page like the example below for each month of the year. (12 pages total) Just click the link below.
Donna Young month at a glance 
 (Update: these are no longer free on her site. She now requires a membership but you can find others like it for free just Google bill planner free printables)
I hole punch it and it goes into the binder as well. 
Now when I receive a bill it goes into the To Be Paid folder and I write it on the page for the month that it is due. 
Here is a sample of a page in my binder. 
Remember these are Donna Young's Printables.......Not mine. I have been using them for years and they are EXTREMELY helpful.