I’ve been a budget-planning freak for a longggg time, but I just started getting into real-life situational budgeting about a month and a half ago. My husband and I moved into our new apartment (the tour for which is coming up soon!), and we’ve got all of the #adulting to do – including paying the bills.
Which is why I invested in the Plum Paper organizer that I posted a review of last week! I wanted to be have a tangible budget (instead of just the Excel spreadsheet I had been using) because I like to be able to sit down at my desk and view our finances all in one place at-a-glance. If you want to know what I’ve been doing to run a smooth ship, just keep reading!
At the end of every month, I sit down with my planner, organizer, cell phone, and a calculator. I get on the Internet and log into every single web portal we have for bills – DelMarVa Power, Progressive, our leasing company’s site, Comcast, GMC, etc. etc. etc. The list goes on and on ‘cause we have a lot of crap for which we have to pay bills. I use these websites to triple-check that we’ve paid-in-full up until that date, and then I write each bill (name and amount) into my planner on the correct dates for the upcoming month.
Once that’s done, I log the total amount of bills into the “Expenses” section of my budget organizer. Then I write in each of Ben’s pay-days (which are usually every Thursday) and each of my pay-days (which are usually around the 15th and 30th of each month) into my planner on the correct dates. I add up our estimated income and add that to the “Income” section of my budget organizer.
Hang on folks, ‘cause we’re just getting started..
Now I’ve planned out the income and expenses for the coming month. Sometimes, I’ll even add in how much I think we’re going to spend on groceries at the beginning of each week. Once all of that is written into my planner and organizer, I’ll take a look at the first week of the upcoming month.
Using what I know about what’s in our bank accounts on that date, I’ll add and subtract the incomes and expenses for that first week. I do this religiously at the beginning of every week because I want to make sure that we’re on track to maintain all of our bill payments with how much we’ll have/be making that week.
I know that this all sounds super crazy, but that’s just because it is super crazy. I’m a freak about budgeting because all of the adults in my life never were. I learned from their money mistakes, and now I’ll be able to put aside a good chunk of our income each month to use as a down-payment on a house later on – or a good car, or our kids’ college funds, or whatever! I’m trying to be a responsible adult about this. Of course, Ben just sees my budgeting as crazy – as would anyone else. But I thought I’d share the process with you all anyway.
So what do you do to maintain your household or personal budget? Share your process in the comments below!