Trying not to spend money when it’s not necessary, I managed to organize our bills, budget, receipts, a calculator and a pencil in a simple three ring binder.
Everything is snuggled together, all in one spot. I was so tempted to buy the Deluxe Executive Envelope System, but passed it up to avoid spending. I found a binder, some dividers in the closet and voila…
Step One: Gather Supplies
- Three ring binder
- Dividers (to split up months)
- Envelopes (to hold receipts)
- Small Calculator
- Small notepad
Step Two: Print Copies
Make copies of the monthly budgeting forms. Make copies for the current month only. We tweaked the forms a bit (as you might also)… so to avoid wasted paper, just focus on one month at a time. These forms are a good guideline, but everyone’s situation varies. (OR you could use the beginners budget form I created in the downloads section).
Step Three: Place The Dividers
I used number dividers. For each number, I indicated which month it represented on the divider (these are the only dividers I found in my closet. You could use tabbed dividers and write the month on the tabs).
Track your total debt amount on the front of the divider… carry it forward each month so you can see your progress!
Step Four: Fill The Binder
- Front sleeve is for outstanding bills, calculator and pencil
- Three hole punch envelopes for receipts. Place the envelope next to the divider for each month. Keep every receipt.
- Place your budget for the month you’re working on.
Step Five: Start Your Budget
Now that you’ve got everything together in one place, take time to budget and start your debt snowball. Your budget should be planned before every month. I have our debt snowball list numbered from smallest balance to largest which I’ll carry forward each month. You can write this right along side your budget.
If you’re just starting, it will take a good three-four months before your budget all pans out.
Track everything, save receipts and take time to put this together… most importantly your budget. Soon you’ll be enjoying a debt free life!
If you want to get creative, print out a picture of something you’d like to have or somewhere you’d like to visit when you have the cash and place it under the front clear cover of your binder. Or you could have an inspirational saying or something that will help motivate you to stay on your debt eradication path.
Do you have a unique way of organizing your bills? Please share your tips and tricks.