Thrifty moms have a secret to planning a budget for the year. The secret is having a system, and being organized. Planning a budget for the year, and organizing it all in one place will make referring to it each month much easier.
But will it be easy if you pull out the junk drawer and all of the bills pop out?
What will make it easier is to have a budget binder, or financial folder set up to use each month.
Who wants to go hunt for everything, then sit down and plan for the year? Not me. I like to have it all in one place. My secret is my binder and the system I use to sit down and begin planning my budget for the year.
As a homeschooling mom, it is hard to maintain necessary parts of the home if I don’t have a previous record. My future homeschool plans are set for the next year because I do not reinvent the wheel. What worked last year can be tweaked and used again.
Finances are about the same with a few fluctuations. Even then, the spur of the moment purchase or unplanned for expense is easy to accomodate with a spot in the budget.
12 -Month Planning Calendar
The first secret that a thrifty mom uses to start budgeting is having a year at a glance completed spreadsheet. Tennis lessons cannot be put in the budget the month before, but can be planned starting in February. That is when I start saving for summer sports.
Thrifty moms see what is coming down the track months before the event happens. I start planning for finances in the summer, a few months before. I know that we have our homeschool payment due in July, tennis lessons, swim lessons and a vacation.
So that I am not surprised financially, I pencil these events in on my 12 month calendar. This calendar is one that I printed out, it is blank, so that I can pencil in the dates and events. This calendar is for budgeting future expenses only and stays in my financial binder.
A financial binder will organize all the divisions of the budget and financing of the home. This binder can be decorated and pretty, or just a plain old binder.
Sections should include: Weekly Cash Needed, Bill Payment, monthly budget, saving information, and debt snowball information. The debt snowball is whatever current bill is being paid off. For us, we are working on paying off our home early.
Our debt snowball section includes each month how much we are able to put towards the payment.
List of Future Savings Events
I have several checkpoints in my year that I save for each month. As time gets closer, I may save more. Each month I have money going towards Christmas, vacation, car repairs, medical (co-pays and out of pocket), homeschool, and emergency fund.
Each envelope does not have alot going in each month, but if and when I do need to pay for one of those events, something is already saved.
My pet peeve is to get to Christmas (like I used to do), and BAM! I need about 1000.00. Then it is a choice of which utility I am not going to pay, (kidding) or how many coupons can I stack for food. This really used to happen because I did not plan for the year, just for the next day.
Check the Calendar Each Month
As I prepare the budget and begin to pay bills I check the next month. It is important to always have a plan. Planning a budget for the year keeps surprises at bay and lowers stress. Thrifty moms look ahead each month.
The Habit of Planning
This one took me forever to conquer. After paying my bills every month, many are repetitive. I HAD to get into the habit of sitting down with my binder and planning for the year. Updating each month, make new notations and look at record savings info.
Planning is a habit. Set a specific month to sit down in the quiet and start the process. Go to Starbucks with a binder and financial information to begin planning a budget for the year.
The year can start any month….many moms just do it in January. July is a great month to start, or August. Pick a month and start the habit.
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