Friday, March 28, 2014

52 Weeks of Printables: Week 13 - Monthly Budget

As I mentioned in a post earlier this week about budgeting, the final Finance printable for this month is a Monthly Budget Worksheet! Click the image below to grab your blank version:
Here are some suggestions for categories:

LoanFinancial AdvisorLaundry
GasLife InsuranceSpa & Massage
Public TransportationRetirement
Service & Parts

BILLS & UTILITIESAlcohol & BarsPet Grooming
CableCoffee ShopsVeterinary
ElectricFast Food
Mobile PhoneGIFTS & DONATIONSElectronics & Software
WaterGiftSporting Goods

AdvertisingDentistFederal Tax
LegalEyecareLocal Tax
Office SuppliesGymProperty Tax
PrintingHealth InsuranceSales Tax
ShippingPharmacyState Tax

Books & SuppliesHOMEAir Travel
Student LoansFurnishingsHotel
TuitionHome ImprovementRental Car & Taxi

Home InsuranceVacation
AmusementHome Supplies
Movies & DVDsLawn & Garden
MusicMortgage & Rent
Newspapers & Magazines

ATM FeeBaby Supplies
Bank FeeBabysitter & Daycare
Late FeeChild Support
Membership FeeKids Activities
Service FeeToys

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


Our March theme in the 52 Weeks of Printables series has been Finances and I thought it would be appropriate to share how we budget in preparation for this Friday's printable...a Monthly Budget Worksheet!

Each month we print out a blank monthly budget worksheet and start filling it out based on what we expect our expenses to be for the month. Some questions we ask ourselves:
- Are we planning to get haircuts this month?
- What season is it...will our gas bill (heat) or electric bill (A/C) cost more or less?
- Are we going to take a month off from going out to eat?
- Are there any annual/semi-annual/quarterly bills due this month?

Next, we add up all of the budgeted amounts in each category (auto, food, bills, etc). We like having categories because it balances out when you spend more in one area of a category and less in another. For example, in our Food & Dining category...groceries and dining out usually correspond with each other. If we buy more groceries, chances are we will go out to eat less and vice versa.

Then we take the sum of the budgeted amounts in each category and subtract it from our expected income. We put this "leftover" money in our Everything Else category. It could probably be called our Emergency Fund (which we were glad to have last summer when our A/C died, or when we had to call a critter catcher to evict the squirrel living in our know, all the fun life events like that). The main purpose of the Everything Else category for us is to provide some cushion in our budget for unexpected or extra expenses.

As we pay bills, we fill in the amounts for those expenses on our Bill Tracker and Budget Worksheet. Using the bill tracker helps us see trends in our fluctuating monthly bills to help us budget for the future.

After the month has ended, we go back and fill in the blank areas, like gas and food that have multiple transactions, and add up each category's actual amounts. Then we add all the categories together and fill out the actual expenses box at the top. We subtract our expenses from our income and see what our Take Home amount was...hopefully it's a positive number!!

A shortened version of the math:
Beginning of month
Add up budgeted expenses for each category
Add up budgeted expenses from all categories (excluding Everything Else category)
Subtract sum of all budgeted expenses from budgeted income (we'll call this "leftover" money)
Record "leftover" money in Everything Else category under budget

End of month
Add up actual expenses in each category
Add up actual expenses from all categories (including Everything Else category)
Subtract actual expenses from budgeted expenses (and actual income from budgeted income)
Find the difference by subtracting Total Expenses from Total Income
This is how much you "took home" for the month...Positive number is a surplus for the month, Negative means you spent more than you made

Here is a sample filled out Monthly Budget Worksheet:

Check back on Friday for your free blank version of the Monthly Budget Worksheet!

Friday, March 21, 2014

52 Weeks of Printables: Week 12 - Checkbook Register

Ever find that you run out of room when entering transactions in your checkbook register? Here is a full page version for all of us with big handwriting, or those who just want to be able to enter more information! Click the image below to grab:

Friday, March 14, 2014

52 Weeks of Printables: Week 11 - Medical Expense Tracker

If you itemize your taxes, you will love this week's printable...a Medical Expense Tracker. Click the image below to grab it:

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Junk Drawer: Battery Organization

Ever have one of those moments where you discover an area of your home that needs organizing, but you didn't know it needed to be reorganized?

This was my moment.

I use a wireless mouse and the battery died. We have a small drawer in our kitchen dedicated to batteries (anyone with kids can relate...always good to keep batteries on hand for new toys!). I went to get a new battery for my mouse, and this is what I came across:

I think I had a mini heart attack. I had no idea it had gotten that bad! So I emptied out the drawer (I also took the opportunity to wipe it was gross!), and found much more than just batteries in our "battery drawer."

In addition to the batteries, we had rubber bands, a lighter, random screws and pins, super glue, an "It's a Boy" cigar, and fortunes from fortune cookies. After returning the other items to where they belonged, I decided to take the new batteries out of the large boxes and put them together in a pencil box to save space:

Then I used my label maker to mark that these were new batteries, so they wouldn't be confused with the older batteries. (Ironically, I had to change the batteries in my label maker because they were dead. Oops!)

Finally, I put everything back in the drawer...and by everything, I mean only batteries!! (The bigger batteries in the back of the drawer are for our weed whacker.)

Let's get one more before and after shot:

Project Cost: $0

Friday, March 7, 2014

52 Weeks of Printables: Week 10 - 2014 Bill Tracker

It's a new month and we have a new theme for our printables series! March's theme is Finances, and just in time for the beloved tax season. First we'll start off with a Bill Tracker. I love to be able to see trends over time for all of our bills. Click the image below to grab it!