The Budget Binder Review
We’ve had a lot of changes in our lives over the past 2 years. A new baby, moving, getting more serious about our “hobby farming” and more. Life always seems to be different and we always have something new to learn and figure out!
One area of our lives that I haven’t been totally happy with was our budgeting. Yes, we set a budget each month and went over it periodically but I felt like it wasn’t very organized and we didn’t have as much going into savings accounts as I hoped to put away. We’ve followed the Dave Ramsey method for paying off most of our debt (the snowball!) but it’s the day to day budgeting and bill paying that wasn’t organized and was getting a little confusing.
I recently had a chance to make the acquaintance of NY Times Best Selling Authors Steve and Annette Economides, whom you might know as “America’s Cheapest Family“. I loved their Budget Binder System that they used (you know I have a love of binders and notebooks!) and I asked them if I could share about their Budget Binder with you.
The Budget Binder System is a simple system to help you manage your debt and bills. There is a monthly budget worksheet where you can plan out how much you need to set aside for each area of your budget. What I found really helpful with this section was that they included a percentage chart based on how much income you bring in each month. All we had to do with plug in our minimum monthly income (since we have irregular income and not guaranteed I went with the minimum we bring in each month) and take a percentage of that amount to figure out how much we “should” be paying for each category in our budget. Of course we did have to re-arrange a few things since not all of our expenses are in a typical budget (farm animals!) but it was easy to make it work.
There are also worksheets in the binder for debt payoff, income and outgo, and more.
Another one of my favorite sections of the binder is the stewardship pages. There are several pages where you can keep track of not only how much money goes into each category each month but how and where you are spending that money at and how much is left. Since this was previously one of my most disorganized areas of our budget this section helped us greatly and now I can easily see how much money I have left to spend in each category no matter if we have cash on hand or if that money is in our checking account.
One more of my favorite things about this binder…it also included a cd with the downloads of each of the worksheets that you use in the binder so when we run out all we need to do is print new ones right from that cd so we can keep using the binder for a very long time!
After using the Budget Binder for a few months I’m very happy with where our budget is at now compared to where it was before we started using the binder. Both me and my hubby can easily see the categories and what money is left in each and it’s much more organized and easy for us to figure out each month. If you are struggling to keep your budget and your finances organized I highly recommend that you check out this system!
Steve and Annette Economides from MoneySmartFamily.com would love to also give one Little House Living reader the chance to have a Budget Binder. All you need to do is fill out the Rafflecopter form below to be entered to win!