Today is a big day at Living Low Key! Our 2018 Free Budget Binder Printables are here!
We’ve received multiple emails asking how we keep track of our finances, so here it is! We’ve created this FREE budget binder in the hopes that it’ll help you keep track of your income and expenses while paying off your debt and saving more. Let’s start this year off right!
Who’s ready to get their finances in order?
Grab Your FREE 2018 Printable Budget Binder
Want to see what’s included in our 2018 Budget Binder?
Free Budget Binder Printables – The Cover
The cover page is super simple – I even left a spot for you to write your name. I hope you love it as much as we do!
Setting a financial plan is a must! Without a plan, you won’t reach your goals.
When it comes to financial goals I’ve found it helpful to set both short-term and long-term goals. For example, a short-term goal would be saving X amount of money by the end of the month. A long-term goal would be paying off your car loan or mortgage.
So how do you put this goal sheet to use?
Choose a goal! We are currently trying to pay off my husbands truck loan (yes, after 7 years we have a small auto loan again). So our “goal” is to pay off our truck.
Next is the “time frame” box. This box is where you write the time frame in which you hope to meet your goal. For example, by December 2018 we plan to have our truck paid off. I promise, seeing goals and having your timeline written down on paper is really going to motivate you to reach those goals.
Now it’s time to list your action steps. How are you going to meet your timeline? If you are trying to pay off an auto loan, like us, how much do you have to pay down every month? Can you cut back on your bills anywhere? Are bonuses coming out at work anytime soon? Tax season is right around the corner, are you going to get a tax refund this year?
Having a solid plan with your end goal in mind.. and a lot of determination is a recipe for success!
Related posts you’ll enjoy:
- The Cash Envelope System: The Beginners Guide
- The Ultimate Guide To Budgeting Your Money
- 5 Steps We Took To Save $100k In 5 Years
- How To Save Money As A Single Income Household
Who here has debt? I’m guessing we all do or you wouldn’t be here!
This debt tracker has been such a big contributor towards paying down our debt. Being able to visibly see our debt disappear has been an amazing experience. This is why I placed the debt tracker at the front of your binder. Here are some examples of debts you might have:
- Student Loans
- Vehicle Loans
- Credit Cards
- Hospital Bills
Once you have listed out all of your debt don’t forget to list out the amount owed, your monthly payments, and the date the payments are due. This is not only a great way to keep track of your monthly payments, but it also helps you keep track of their due dates.
One thing I talk about in How We Thrive As A Single Income Household is automating your payments. This has been the key to paying all of our bills on time every month as well as saving money! We love telling our money where to go. We have our money we plan to “save” automatically transferred into a separate savings account the day we get paid. This way we don’t have a chance to spend it.
This printable is a great way to keep track of your bills, especially if you don’t have your bills on auto-draft yet. I actually keep this sheet in multiple areas in my home so it’s easily accessible. We keep ours posted inside our kitchen cabinet and inside my budget binder.
We are very lucky and are at a point where we have been able to eliminate a lot of bills from our lives. That should be your goal too. Here are a few examples of bills you might have:
- Cell Phone
- Gym Membership
An easy way to figure out how much you owe each month for each specific bill is to go online to your bank account. Look back at recent months and see how much you’ve paid each month and which day your bill is due.
There are awesome benefits to keeping track of your monthly bills. If you see an unexpected rise in your cable/internet/or phone bill, call up that company. There is a good chance that you can get them to lower it.
The next thing I wanted to have in our printable budget binder was a monthly budget!
Our holy grail of savings!!
If you are new to budgeting you should check out The Ultimate Guide to Budgeting. This is a step-by-step guide that will help you keep track of your spending and make sure you stay within the budget you created for yourself!
First up on the budget sheet you’ll want to include your income for that month. Our budget and income changes monthly so its good to make a new budget every month. We budget using cash because we use the envelope system. We’ve had a lot of success with the envelope system. We wouldn’t have been able to pay off 40k in debt and save over 100,000k if it didn’t work.
Using the envelope system we break down our spending into categories. Every month we budget ourselves a certain amount of money for each category.
This makes keeping track of our budget really simple!
Here are some examples:
Once you write down all of your expenses then write the budgeted amount you hope to spend on each category. At the end of the month come back and figure out how much you actually spent on each category.
Tip: I keep all of my receipts. When I have a moment at home I write down how much I spent and where I spent it, so I know!
Once you figure out the difference between your budgeted amount and the actual amount you spent (hopefully what you spent is less than your budgeted amount) you’ll know where to improve the following month.
This has to be my favorite part of our printable budget binder and there is a good reason for that, who doesn’t like to have extra money in our savings?
With our savings we are able to reach our goals like paying off our house fast, paying off the truck, investing, and of course, traveling! Whether it’s building an emergency fund or saving for your kid’s college fund, this savings tracker is going to help.
You can use your savings tracker in two different ways.
You can either write the date in which you hope to have a certain amount of money saved or once you move a chunk of money over to your savings you can write down the date in what you did it.
We use the description column kind of like a personal note column. For example, “we received our tax refund and move X amount to savings.” Then make sure to write in the amount you moved.
I love watching our savings increase and having the feeling of financial security, it’s such a great feeling!
Lastly, we created a notes page so you’d have a spot to jot down anything extra that we missed.
Take time to reevaluate your goals every month as well as your budget. Taking time to look back month by month will give you that motivation you need to keep going and pushing forward towards your goals (because we know you have some pretty big ones).
So are you ready to receive your FREE 2018 Money Saving Budget Binder?
This blog post may contain affiliate links. Learn more.