#write31days – Organize Your Budget

The goal today was to organize the car, but, here in the Northeast, the weather has been nasty.  Which means, I’m taking today as one of the off days in the Organized Home in 30 Days Challenge.

Instead, I’m going to talk about how our family (tries to) organize our finances.  We have a very simple and customizable budget in an spreadsheet.

A Simple Budget

 

 

Income
Monthly Weekly
Net Pay 1 $4,000.00 $923.08
Net Pay 2 $3,000.00 $692.31
Total $7,555.00 $1,743.46
Expenses
Monthly Weekly
Mortgage 2,500.00 576.92
Auto Insurance 120.00 27.69
Auto Loan 415.00 95.77
Cell Phone 135.00 31.15
Cable 200.00 46.15
Electric 150.00 34.62
Water & Sewer 50.00 11.54
Gas for Cars 125.00 28.85
OIl 450.00 103.85
Groceries/Household Consumer 800.00 184.62
Spending 1,261.00 291.00
Credit Cards 600.00 138.46
Gym 49.00 11.31
Kids Stuff 700.00 161.54
Total 7,555.00 1,743.46

I created my budget in a Google drive spreadsheet and I can’t for the life of me figure out how to properly share that at the moment.  It looks much prettier in Google drive.  But, you get the gist.  Everything coming in and everything is going is accounted for.  And, by the way, in case your curious, I completed fabricated the numbers above.

Having a budget and knowing where your money *should* be going is awesome.  At least in theory. I created that document and thought, $291 a week in spending money (hypothetically), I’m rich!  But somehow every month we were dipping a little into our savings.  But, I have a budget.  How could this be happening.  There’s no way we were spending more than $291 a week in incidental stuff, right?  RIGHT??

Wrong.  I soon realized their is another important step in budgeting and that is accountability.

Budget Accountability

After several months of raiding our savings, I did a deep dive on our checking account.  I went through every penny we spent in a month and figured out why we weren’t sticking to the budget.  After I painstakingly went through every expenditure for a month, I realized that our online banking has a handy export tool that will send all of your data to a handy dandy spreadsheet that can be sorted very easily.  If your on-line banking doesn’t have this, consider seriously changing banks.  It’s an amazing tool.  I’m now able to see every penny we are spending and what we’re spending it on, sorted, totaled and even in a pie chart if I want.  I started to realize that we were spending (hold on to your hat) $400 a month on lunches. Just the adults!  The kids buy their lunches at school and that is another chunk of money that we weren’t accounting for.  This is the Accountability step.  Create your budget and then figure out why you’re not sticking to it so you can fix it for next month.

I’ve officially missed a day of writing for #write31days by 25 minutes.  Actually, I started writing well before midnight, so I suppose that still counts, right?

This is a post I’m going to hit publish on, but it still needs work.  If you happen to be reading this, check back for updates during the weekend!

 

 

 

 

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