Monday, February 3, 2014

Finance Binder Set Up > An Inside Look

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a great Superbowl weekend and had fun watching the Seahawks kill the Broncos in Sundays game. I was rooting for the Seahawks so I am glad they won. Two former Utah State University players are on their team so I naturally had to cheer them on, since I attended USU for 2.5 years.  Glad it ended well.
Zack also came home from his work trip on Friday. He has been in Canada all month long (seriously he left Jan 4th!) and I was very happy to have him home in my arms Friday night. We spent that day relaxing at home, enjoying some one on one time with our giant bean bag (more on that later) and watching Netflix. It was a very good weekend for me.
On Saturday Zack had to go get his car registration all taken care of, so while he did that I put together our very first Finance Binder.
We have been struggling with organizing our finances and I haven't been able to find a system that would work for us. At the start of this month I synced up our iPhone calendars and I put our bills in the monthly calendar, that way we both know when a bill is due. We also had two separate accounts, one for me and one for Zack. This wasn't working as well as we had hoped. It was getting confusing as to what account was paying for what bill. We both work so we have two separate incomes that pay separate bills. It was making our finances a huge disaster and it was not working at all.
On Saturday we went to our bank and opened up a joint account, I know its going to make a huge difference. That way both of our direct deposit from work can go to the joint account and we can transfer personal money over to our already existing accounts. It will be so much easier.
Because of all this, I also set up our finance binder so that we can keep track of all the account information we need.
I went to Target and picked up most of my supplies for the binder there.

I am loving Target's new line of recycle friendly binders and this gold/orange dot binder fits my needs perfectly. The color at first wasn't my favorite but it has since grown on me. The book plate label holder comes from staples, in the Martha Stewart line and I typed up the finances label on my computer in an orange font to match the binder. So cute. 

Inside the first pocket you find all the essentials one could need with a finance binder. A calculator, stamps, checkbooks, and pens. 

After the first tab you find the Holladay family monthly budget sheet that I made up using excel on my computer. 

Every month Zack and I will sit down and go over our budget. Most of these items (like rent) is a fixed budget which makes it easier, I have three pages of the monthly budget and categories for transportation, debts, Union fees, entertainment, education, and personal. This will help me keep track of all of our finances in the long run. 

Next you find our finance checklist. This is a running checklist that we use every month for our fixed expenses. We can write the amount next to the box and then check it off when its paid. It will help me see and visualize how everything may be different from month to month. This is especially applicable for our utility bills that change with the season. 

Next is our checking account register. I have a bad habit of not looking at my account every day. Now I scheduled in time in my planner to look at my finances every night. I keep receipts for the day in the orange pocket and then I can balance out my account. I can put an X in the comments section when it cleared to make sure that everything is being paid when it is supposed to. 

Next is our account information printable. This lets me have all of our account numbers and the website for each account on one sheet. Its really handy, instead of having to use our social security numbers to look up the account we can just turn to this page have it all on hand. 

Our passwords to all of our accounts are kept in this little notebook I found at staples. When Zack is out traveling he doesn't always have cell service or internet so I have to pay the bills, one time I went to pay the bills and couldn't get into an account because I didn't have all the password information. We keep this notebook in the binder only when we are home, when we are out of town we lock it up safely along with the entire binder. That way our information stays safe, yet its all in one place. This is really a nice system and I am starting on it today. 
I am excited to get our finances back on track because we have really been lacking in that area. 
Well I hope you all have a great Monday. 
Stay tuned for Wednesday where I am going to do an Erin Condren Planner review. I am so excited about this and to show you how I use it to keep track of my entire life. 

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