This is Part 2 in a series for Simplifying Your Life with Digital Files.
Last week I showed you how I handle the issue of the Ever-Changing Address Book. Today, I'm tackling a much tougher issue:
Issue #2 - Family Budget Planner was non-existent
I am a planner by nature, but planning our family cash flow has always been a bit of a chore. Now, to be honest, I do Accounts Payable for a living. While it isn't my choice for a lifelong career, I have learned a few things that I have translated to my family budget.
One of my weekly tasks at work is to create a cash flow projection for our company. I have adapted this to fit our family's needs as well. I have a beginning balance for each time period - for us I use the 1st and 15th of each month since that's when I pay bills and when my husband gets paid. (I get paid every two weeks, so it's a little harder to plan around that schedule.)
Rather than keeping a paper check register, I simply track all of our spending here. Everything is itemized so I can easily see where our money goes. I have a formula at each "Balance" point that calculates our remaining balance after each expense.
*Side Note: We have two checking accounts - one for bills and the other for everything else. You can see "Delta" on the left and "LGE" on the right. I just track which expenses come out of which account and the total for each is at the bottom.
If you'll also notice, I have tabs at the bottom of this spreadsheet as well. The Monthly Breakdown is key to maintaining our budget. Let me show you what that looks like:
I have a list of our bills and the due dates:
I have a list of our pay days (I get paid every 2 weeks, and my husband gets paid on the 1st and 15th, so it can be a bit difficult to keep up sometimes), and a list of the monthly car insurance and life insurance deductions that are automatically drafted from my account:
I also use this to track our debt payoff. We only have one major debt, so I keep track of each payment and the remaining balance afterwards. I know exactly when this will be paid off, and if I want to send more money one month, I can see how it affects our payoff:
Finally on the Monthly Breakdown, I have a snapshot of what our month should look like and how much we have remaining after each pay period:
How do you handle your family's financials?
Part 1 of this series, the Family Address & Date Book, can be viewed HERE.
Part 3 of this series will show you how I create forms for my website and other purposes.