Finding a budget that works and sticking to it can be hard! I have always struggled with budgeting and keeping my finances organized. Every couple of months I would try a new printable or budget system but never stick to it. I would pay bills on the day they were due (it is really hard to remember all of the bills that way!) and often be late.
A couple of years ago I started to write down all the bills, amounts and due dates on a sheet of notebook paper and pay bills only on paydays. This helped me so much! Then, I learned about home binders and my finances got even more organized! I started using printables that I found online but, they were really sloppy because I would have to cross things out that didn’t apply and add in things that I needed to be on there. A few months ago, I made some printables specifically for my needs and my finances got even more organized! Below are the steps I take each month for paying bills, making my budget and following it throughout the month, along with the printables that I use now.
Before I pay any bills or make my budget, I get all my finances and bills organized. I start by balancing my checkbook. I try to balance it on a weekly basis so that I know where my bank account stands at all time. Once I have my checkbook balanced, I gather up all my bills, home binder (which includes my budget, bill paying info, etc.), a pen and a calculator. Then I sit down at my kitchen table and get started!
Click Here to download my FREE budget & bill pay printable.
I use the printable shown above and write down all my income, bill amounts and other expected expenses. I estimate how much money I will need for gas, groceries and other things throughout the month based on what I spent the previous month and if I was over or under budget. This budget is my financial guide throughout the whole month! I also keep track of ALL my expenses using the expense tracker shown below. If I am getting close to my budgeted amount then I quit spending money.
Pay bills and budget for bills later in the month
I pay a majority of my bills at the beginning of the month and have two bills that get paid mid-month. Right after I make my budget, I pay the bills that are due at the beginning of the month and put a check mark in the paid column as I go. For the bills that I need to pay later in the month, I put what date they will be paid and make sure there will be enough money to pay them. Then, I pay them with my middle of the month paycheck and mark them off the list. At that time, I also make sure that I didn’t miss anything and that my household spending is still on budget.
Keep track of expenses
Click Here to download my FREE expense tracker printable.
I use this expense tracker to write down every penny that I spend during the month and what it was spent on. I usually save my receipts and write down my purchases every couple days that way I don’t have a lot to write down at one time. Doing this helps me see how much money I am spending on specific things, what things I need to cut down spending money on and let’s me know when I am almost at my budgeted amount.
Review and plan for the next month
I try to review my spending and budget towards the end of every month, before I do my budget for the following month. At the end of the month, any extra money gets transferred to savings or paid towards debt.
This has been such an easy budget and bill pay system to follow! I hope this helps you with your finances!