Good morning! I met Ashley on Instagram a few weeks ago. When I started the budget series she mentioned she was updating her finance binder. I asked if she would write up a post about how to put together a binder for those of you who may prefer to have your information in a binder versus a spreadsheet. Ashley is super sweet and you can find her over at Ashbloom.
Today, I have finished compiling my finance binder! Woohoo! If you know me, you know that I LOVE organization. This binder is key to success at managing finances. Have you ever forgot to pay a bill. Life gets hectic with the kids and work and sometimes we miss these things! I wanted to let you know that you are not alone! The bills that aren’t always fresh on my mind are the auto draft bills. My financial life has become less complicated since we started using www.mint.com (financial budgeting website). I have the app on my phone so that I can have access any time. It sends me weekly reminders via email and pops up messages on my phone when I haven’t read my “alerts” (essentially, reminders that you have a bill coming up. I balance my checkbook pretty much on a daily basis. I like to know to the penny what is coming in and going out. I guess that is why my husband hired me to be his bookkeeper for his business! I loved Accounting when I was in high school! I finally decided to take our personal finances up a notch by starting a finance binder. It merely keeps me more organized and on top of things. First, you just need a simple three ring binder. I recommend a 2 inch binder at least! You can design the cover however you please! Here’s a pic of my cover:
Next, I inserted a poly zip envelope….This was a pain to find in stores! I finally found at Office Max for $2.19. This is a great place to store pens, pencils, extra tabs, calculator, highlighter, etc. All the necessary supplies will be at your fingertips!
After the poly envelope, I put a spiral notebook in the binder. Note, mine will be changed to college ruled! I like to write small! This notebook will be used for any notes that I may need to jot down.
I bought some sheet protectors that will be perfect for storing my stamps, return address labels, and envelopes inside my binder. I blurred out the bottom part, didn’t want to make my address public!
After these pages, I printed a blank calendar from my computer, and inserted into a sheet protector in my binder. I also purchased a planner from Target on clearance for $2.98 to keep with my binder. This way I can see the months ahead. Inside my binder, I only do one month at a time. Each month I will be cleaning out my binder and filing away all my important papers. The main goal is to be organized. Yes, I am OCD to the max, but you can do it on a level that you are comfortable. I will be going through the calendar and writing the bills that are due on each day. After I make the payment, I am going to highlight them with a marker. Don’t forget to write down your auto draft payments here! Notice, I am starting fresh with March! Most of my February bills are paid, so I figured that starting in a new month would be best for me! Do what works for you!
I’ve included a “Get It Done” printable that I found on the internet. This is for me to keep track of what I need to accomplish!
Next, I found a weekly printable that will help me keep track of each individual week. I printed one out for each week in the month and filed in my folder using index dividers.
At the very back of my binder, I have a poly button folder that I can use to hold bills that come in that need to be paid. Once I pay a bill, I’m going to use a three hole punch and put the bill in my folder under the corresponding week and mark paid. I already write the check number for each bill I pay on the actual bill. This way, it will be filed in my folder within reach if I need it!
Don’t get me wrong, I love Excel! I don’t have this program on my Mac at this time, so that’s why I am using the printables. Trust me, I LOVE SPREADSHEETS!!! This way is just a fast, simple way to put together a binder and become more efficient at managing your money!
I hope this was beneficial to you! Please comment if you have any questions! Also, I love it when people share their suggestions with me! I hope each of you have a blessed day! Happy budgeting!
Love in Christ,