AN ENVELOPE SYSTEM THAT KEEPS YOUR BUDGET ORGANIZED!
Finally, I actually have a system for keeping track of all those stupid receipts and using them to help me budget! And it doesn’t involve one of those fancy “Home Management Binders.” I had to share this system with you guys and hopefully this helps you budget better…it has me!
What You Need:
An envelope, preferably a longer one! Yep, that’s it!!!
I used to despise receipts because they just cluttered up my purse or our house. I finally found use for them and have budgeted better than before with this system.
Before I explain this simple system, you must know that I document each transaction in our budget book. So, in a nutshell, I would buy something, get a receipt for it, go home and write it in our budget book next to the area it belonged. As simple as that sounds, there are a million things that occur between those commas. and if you’re like me, you just stuff the receipt in the shopping bag or your purse, which means you lose it, throw it away, or spend hours searching for it so you can return something.
Not only do you eliminate this, but you can use them to help you budget!
Here’s how it works:
1. Get your envelope and write the month/year on it.
|I like to coordinate the color with the month…yep, I’m a dork!|
2. Stick it inside your wallet.
|The longer, skinnier ones work better, but this is all we have right now.|
3. Every time you make a transaction, put that receipt ON TOP of the envelope since you have not documented it on your budget yet. Do this with every receipt you get until you have time to document them.
4. Once you have your budget book, collect all the receipts ON TOP of your envelope and document them where they should go (i.e. Toys R Us purchase of $42, I would write next to “Beckham” in our budget). This would be a good time to check your budget with your online statement and make sure all your purchases are accounted for.
|Remember, this is how we document our expenses. So I would write the amounts on the receipts next to the category they belong to. Click here to read more about our budget.|
5. Once you’ve documented the purchases, put them INSIDE the envelope. I try to place newest receipts in the back, so it’s old-new from front to back. This helps when I need to find one.
6. Repeat steps 3-5 until the end of the month.
7. File away so you always have those receipts in case you need them later. Before you file, you can go through them and throw away the ones you know you don’t need anymore (groceries and such). That’s what I do.
The reason this works for me:
–I know what I have documented and what I have not (receipts on top of envelope vs. inside).
–I have all my receipts in one place in case I need to pull them out for any reason (i.e. return). I actually did this a lot this month, so it was useful for me.
–Keeps my receipts much more organized and the way I budget organized too.
I can’t say his enough…To budget effectively, you must be in your budget book often (or wherever you keep track of your spending…and no, your online statement isn’t it). By often, I mean, as much as you spend. If you spend daily, be in that book daily!
A budget is:
1. A list of categories you spend (electricity, groceries, car, etc…)
2. How much you plan on spending, based on your income, in that category
3. How much you are spending that month in that category (every transaction)
4. How much you spent that month in that category
5. How much you went over or under.
|And we’re off to