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I made my first Budget Binder in 2011. It was out of complete necessity because my finances were a mess. And not just any mess, they were a DISASTER. I had just married my husband and we had combined our finances. Neither of us were responsible when it came to money, which meant that we ended up with stacks of bills and papers on our kitchen counter.
We were unorganized and completely unaware of how this was affecting our life. Not only were we barely making bill payments on time, but we had NO idea that we had memberships that we had never canceled when we lived in another city (I’m looking at you, LA Fitness).
The moment we sat down to organize our finances all in one place, I felt like a weight lifted had off my shoulders. The clouds parted and the angels sang (okay…maybe I’m getting a little dramatic. But you get it). Approaching our finances was less overwhelming. I finally felt like I had a starting point.
Jump Ahead To
3 Benefits Of A Budget Binder
If you’re not a type-A person, then the idea of making a budget binder might seem daunting. Or maybe it feels flat out unnecessary. But I promise you that creating your very own budget binder will benefit you in so many ways!
1. You won’t be late on a bill ever again.
Have you ever missed a bill’s due date because you couldn’t find the bill? Maybe it was stacked high in a pile on the counter and it was left forgotten. I know I’m guilty of this! When you don’t have everything in one place, it’s easy to let things go and miss due dates. It’s easy to allow your bills and important papers to pile up until they are too overwhelming to deal with.
Creating a budget binder will help you never be late on a bill again. You’ll have everything in one place and your due dates will be listed on a calendar. Think of it as your very own personal finance assistant!
2. You’ll save time!
Although setting up your budget binder will take time and intention, you’ll ultimately save HOURS every week when you have a budget binder. You’ll no longer waste time sifting through papers or hunting down important documents. Everything will be in its place and easy to access!
3. You’ll have everything organized…just in case.
I don’t want to get morbid here. But listen up. Let’s say that you are the one that pays all the bills and keeps everything organized for your family. What if (God forbid) something happens to you? Will your spouse be able to find everything if its scattered about different areas of your home? Keeping your finances organized in a Budget Binder will allow your spouse to know where all the important documents are just in case they need to take over the bills one day.
Do I have you convinced yet? Great! Let’s talk about how to put your budget binder together!
How To Create Your Budget Binder
Before you dive in, I recommend buying a binder and monthly dividers (be sure to only grab one set). You can buy these at your local office supply store or even on Amazon.
Once you have your supplies, add a budget page, bill payment calendar, and bill payment log for each month. You can print these off as you go, or print them all at once. As you pay bills, track the amount due and confirmation number on the bill payment tracker.
If you get extra bills in the mail, keep them behind the month that you paid them. This way you have a record of how much you spent on each bill.
In the front of the binder, keep a set of stamps, your checkbook, or any other important documents that come in the mail. You can even add a section in your binder to track your savings goals!
The most important thing is that your budget binder makes sense to YOU. Grab my Budget Life Planner pages HERE. They have everything you need to get your Budget Binder set up today!
Where to Keep Your Binder
A lot of people ask me where they should keep their budget binder. To be honest, this is 100% up to you. No matter where you keep it, make sure your spouse or family knows where it is! This way they can access it if necessary.
You can keep it in your office, bedroom, or even a safe. Just make sure that it’s not inconvenient to grab. The goal is to use your budget binder often!
What To Do With The Papers When The Year Is Over
When the year is over, remove all the pages (but leave the monthly dividers in your binder) and clip them together. I like to keep my finance papers for 5 years in a small filing box (here’s one similar to mine). That way you have records of your finances. As you pay off debt, make sure you keep the confirmation letters forever!
Ready To Get Started?
If you don’t have your own budget binder set up, then head on over to my shop and grab your own Budget Life Planner. This download has everything you need to get your own binder set up and ready to go!
When you sit down to put your binder together, make it fun! Get a few friends together so you can create your binders all at once. Watch a movie while you get everything organized. And celebrate afterward with a dance party in your living room!
Need Help Budgeting?
Chances are if you’re putting together your budget binder, you might be ready to start writing your own budget! If you aren’t sure where to start, then I’m here for you, friend! Sign up for my FREE Budgeting Basics Email Course. I’ll teach you how to write a budget, how to find extra money in your budget, and how to pay off debt. Plus, you’ll get access to TONS of printables that I know you’ll love…all for free! Sign up below.