It’s almost the New Year! Let’s get our lives organized! Here’s my Budget Binder, and I hope it helps you and your family save money in 2015!
It’s time for the third Organize Your Life With Binders Series! So far, I’ve showed you our House Binder, Emergency Binder, Blog & Small Business Binder, and Meal Planning Binder. Here’s a really important one for frugal living: The Budget Binder!
The Budget Binder is crucial for living a Frugal Lifestyle. This keeps us on track to make the most of the money that we have and maximize our savings.
To make my Budget Binder, I used these supplies:
- 1″ Staples Better Binder
- Avery Big Pocket Dividers – 5 Tab
- Staples Pencil Pouch
- Avery Monthly Dividers
- Baseball Card Pages
- Notebook Paper
- 3 Hole Punch
- Label Maker
You might also want to use these supplies:
My binder is pretty basic, but I’ve added some things that you might want to use for your own binders! I decided on Green for the Budget binder, because Green = Money. Get it? Staples has a ton of colors and sizes in their Better Binder Line. They really are better binders. I love them!
I printed a basic “Budget” in 48 pt font for the spine window. I wanted it to be easily visible from a distance, and I wanted it to match my other binders.
I keep a pencil pouch in each binder so that I always have a pencil/pen/eraser. I also keep things like State Fair Coupons in the zipper pouch because they are small and you can use them next year. I always use pencils for my budget binder so I can make changes. I picked up a bunch of mechanical pencil packs for a quarter each at Staples during Back to School Sales this year!
I created a set of cohesive printables for each binder that was modern, yet simple. Since I would be printing a lot of pages, I didn’t want something that used all of my ink. The design is subtle, and meant to conserve as much ink as possible, while still looking cool! I made a cover page to slip in the clear binder cover, and use another in a page protector to make it like a real book. You know, a title page!
The first section is the actual Budget. I’ve broken this down into monthly Budgets using my Avery Monthly Dividers. Each month has a blank copy of our Monthly Budget, as well as 2-3 Expense Detail sheets.
These are for our “problem” categories, so that we can see where our money is going. Currently, the “problem” categories are Clothing, Personal Care, General Merchandise, and Restaurants. All of the fun stuff! Bummer. I basically jot down each transaction in those categories with details about what was purchased and how much on these pages.
The second section is the Bills Paid section. I just have a simple checklist in this section that I use for the entire year. Once I pay a bill, I mark off the box. There are 12 boxes for each bill, 1 per month. Since you only print one of these pages per year, you could keep it safe in an Avery Page Protector.
Some people might want to use a calendar to jot down due dates for each bill, and I’ve included a blank Calendar Printable if you want to use it. If I were going to include this in my binder, I would use a second set of Avery Monthly Dividers inside the Bills Paid section to keep them organized.
Those two sections are the meat of the Budget Binder. I have a few more Budget-related sections to keep things in one place and easy to find.
The next two sections house my Store Rewards Cards & any Gift Cards we receive. Each section has Baseball Card Pages to keep things organized. I use the Keyring App on my phone, so I don’t carry my Store Rewards cards. You need them sometimes, so I keep them in the 3rd section in my Budget Binder.
I love getting Gift Cards! They are my favorite gifts!! I keep any gift cards we get in this section. Restaurant Gift Cards, Shopping Gift Cards, whatever, they are fun money that doesn’t come out of the budget. I keep them here so we don’t lose them! You can’t use them if they are lost!
I keep some loose Notebook Paper in the back of the binder for any notes I want to jot down.
One section that I don’t have in my binder that you might want to have in yours is a place to jot down Log In information & Account Numbers for your bills/accounts. I personally don’t include this in my budget binder. This information is very sensitive, so I keep this locked up in a safe place. But, I realize that some might want to include this in their Budget Binders, so I’ve made a printable for that information.
I use my label maker to create all of the label tabs. It just makes the binder look more polished and neat!
That’s it! The Budget Binder really helps to stay on track and organized! You can’t live frugally if you don’t know where your money is going. Keep track of your income and expenses with a well-organized Budget Binder!
I’m attaching my Printables here for you to download for FREE! These are non-editable PDF Printables. That’s why they are FREE! I do have some conditions of their use: These printables were created by me under a creative commons license. You may use these for your personal use to create your own House Binders, but please do not sell them or use them for any commercial reason. Enjoy!
What do you think? Anything you would do differently? Do you think this would help you get organized and stay on top of things? Do you like the printables? Tell us in the comments! If you like this post, please Pin it to Pinterest!
Check out the entire Organize Your Life With Binders Series!
Coming soon: House Remodel Binder, Manual Binders, File Box!