04 October 2011

31 Days :: day 4- Spending Tracker & budgets

Day 4:: Spending Tracker
{aka. How To Create A Budget Plan}

So I don't actually budget... well not yet at least- we're working on it. Two months ago I started tracking our spending based on categories that we most frequently use {listed below}. Now our tracking system is super simple- each month it starts out as a blank spreadsheet posted on our fridge with the month scribbled at the top, and we write in the receipt amounts as we spend the money! I also cross-reference with our online statements for any online spending "receipts."

We've already noticed some trends in areas where we need to cut back- for instance, we noticed in August that we eat out a lot. So last month we cut back and we're continuing that trend, or we order smaller portions when we eat out {since half of the time when we get "doggie bags," we end up forgetting about them and throwing out the extra food anyways!}. I'll continue to gather info for a few more months and then create our family budget!

Our categories are as follows...
  • Groceries
  • Household
  • Auto
  • Clothing
  • Medical
  • Media {books, DVDs, movie theatre, etc}
  • Eating Out
  • Gifts {this includes tithing}
  • Bills {insurance, loans, etc}
  • Misc.

So here's our simple spending tracker! Please feel free to drop me a line if you'd like me to create a tracker for you with your own categories- but again, it's really nothing more than a fancy spreadsheet ;) This post is almost more of a "How to Create a Budget Plan" than really a "list" post... but that's why I entitled my series "Lists and the Like"... this would fall into the latter category! Enjoy :)


RHome410 said...

Very cool idea for your 31 days! I was too overwhelmed to think of a 31-day topic, especially since I heard about it 3 days in. Your lists are great.

RHome410 said...

I mentioned and linked this one in my blog post today (Monday Oct 24).