Organizing Finances: How to Save More Money This Year!

Save More Money This Year by Just a Girl and Her Blog

Pssssstttt… Right now I’m offering a FREE PDF to all of my newsletter subscribers with detailed screenshots and instructions on how to create your own adorable printables! Hurry and snag yours here! {PDF is sent within an hour of subscribing. :) }

It seems like everyone has organization on the brain these days, and I am no exception! As I mentioned in my goals for 2014, I’m hoping to improve the organizational systems in several areas of our home, and today I’m starting out with finances. {Yes, I’m coming out swinging!} I am a huge proponent of budgeting. I know that whenever hubby and I are keeping track of our expenses and sticking to a budget, we spend less and save more money. Tracking receipts and writing down everything we spend is definitely more work than spending what we want and just hoping our bank balance stays in the black, but the rewards are definitely worth it!

In the past, hubby and I have used an online budgeting program to track our expenses. We had it on our computers and our phones so we could update it easily wherever we were. It was a little glitchy at times, though, so we got frustrated with it, life got busy, and we stopped keeping track. This year I decided that I would take charge of the budgeting aspect of our finances, and since I’m an old fashioned pen and paper girl, I made a pretty binder to keep track of our budget, AND I’m sharing all of my printables with you today!

Let’s check it out:

Save More Money This Year by Just a Girl and Her Blog

It had to have a pretty cover page…duh. ;)

The first thing I wanted to have in our binder was a list of recurring expenses. This includes anything we pay on a yearly, quarterly, or monthly basis. Some examples might be:

  • Loan payments
  • Insurance payments
  • Utility bills
  • Subscription services
  • Tuition or lesson fees
  • Gym memberships
  • Regular charitable giving
  • Recurring contributions to savings

Organizing Finances by Just a Girl and Her Blog

{sample expense sheet}

I had a list of most of our recurring expenses from when we had a budget in the past, so I included those and then checked our bank statements and filled in any additional things that weren’t on my previous list. I also used my bank statements to fill in the amount of each recurring bill and the day of the month it comes out of our account. The small boxes on the right half of the page have the initials of each month at the top; when a bill is paid, I can just check the box to keep track and I know I’m good for another month.

Since I won’t be writing on this sheet every day and it needs to last all year, I printed it on card stock and slid it into a plastic sleeve at the front of my binder.

Save More Money This Year by Just a Girl and Her Blog

After the recurring expenses were taken care of, I needed a way to keep track of any purchases we make throughout the month. We break down our purchases into categories and budget a certain amount of money for each category. This can be as simple or as detailed as you want, but everything you buy during the month needs to fit into one of your categories. Some of our categories include:

  • Groceries
  • Eating out
  • Household expenses
  • Gas
  • Entertainment
  • Clothing
  • Gifts
  • Car maintenance

I created a tracking sheet (kind of like a checkbook register) and printed one out for each category. At the top I can list the category and amount of money we’ve budgeted for it. Then I use the chart to record our purchases and keep a running balance of what we’ve spent so that I always know how much we have left in our budget for the month. {If you’re new to budgeting or haven’t done it in a while, just leave the budget amount blank for the first month and simply track your expenses. This will give you a good ballpark figure for your budget amounts for month #2.}

Save More Money This Year by Just a Girl and Her Blog

Between our recurring expenses sheet and the monthly tracking sheets, I clipped a pocket for receipts, and I was done!

Save More Money This Year by Just a Girl and Her Blog

I’m hoping now that I have an organized {and pretty!} system in place, I will be able to be more diligent about tracking our finances. I know that if I stay on top of it, we’ll end up spending less and using our money more wisely.

Are you using a budget to track your expenses in 2014? Feel free to use the printables below to help!

Organizing Finances by Just a Girl and Her Blog

{Click here to download FREE budget binder cover!}

Organizing Finances by Just a Girl and Her Blog

{Click here to download FREE recurring expenses sheets!}

Organizing Finances by Just a Girl and Her Blog

{Click here to download FREE monthly expense tracking sheets!}

Want more organization inspiration? Check out what my lovely Get Your DIY On co-hostesses are organizing these days:

Organization Collage

Have you been organizing up a storm too? Come link up your best organization tips and tricks with us this Sunday, January 5th at 7 pm EST at our monthly Get Your DIY On challenge!

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Hope to see you there!

Check out other organizing tips and tricks in these posts from Just a Girl and Her Blog:

Do you have any tips for getting finances organized? Please share them in the comments!

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I link up at these fun parties!

*I am not a financial professional. I am simply sharing strategies that have worked for my family in the past to help save more money, and I hope they will be helpful for you as well! Thanks for reading!

Comments

  1. says

    Thanks so much for the downloads! I can’t wait to start using them. Every year I think I start off trying to budget, and then give up after a while, but this year I’m going to really try and stick with a budget, and this defintiely will help. Thanks again!

  2. Renee says

    Hey! Your monthly expense sheet looks extremely similar to the one I made! Good job! I love mine. :) I grabbed your printables and hope to use them in my routine!

    Thanks Abby!

  3. says

    I’m getting so many great organizational tips this morning! And you money saving binder is so cute and practical. Pinning to remember! Thanks.

  4. Yvonne says

    It is always surprising when you track your expenses. Good for you. I started with something smaller – the linen closet. When organizing for thenNew year, I have to do the one step at the time method or I get overwhelmed.

  5. says

    Thank you for this awesome printable. I found it on pinterest and it is exactly what my husband and i needed to track our spending. Thank you!!!

  6. says

    Thanks so much. With all my current medical expenses we will definitely be more disciplined to be more budget minded. And these forms are just what I needed. Thanks Abs!

  7. says

    This is great – thanks so much for the tips. We have been tackling this as well for about a year now through online systems, but I think you are right – pen and paper is more reliable, and for some reason, the money seems more “real” when you write it down. I appreciate it!
    I linked to a post where we shared a new organizing method we are using to attack the toys in our house (that is first up…clean up, clear out, sell and donate!)
    Dana recently posted…Toy Organization – PuzzlesMy Profile

    • says

      I agree– there is something about good old pen and paper that makes it feel more real! Love your method for clearing out toys– I need to get on that myself! Have a wonderful week!

      ~Abby =)

  8. Jerica says

    I just found this today & fell in love! I’ve been looking for nice budgeting printables all morning & this was the first one I found that had a nice simple design to it. Thank you so much!

  9. Christina B says

    Love the expense sheets. I’ve been wanting to move to something like this. Quick question: when you’re at Walmart or Target and buying stuff from different categories do pay separately or all together and figure the math at home? This has been the reason I’ve never gone to the expense sheets. Any thoughts you can throw my way I’ll be grateful.

    • says

      Thanks, Christina! I pay for everything together and then separate it out at home. Sometimes if I’m in a hurry, I just round it out to the closest dollar when I split it up. A few cents really won’t throw my budget off! Thanks so much for stopping by! Hope you’re having a wonderful week!

      ~Abby =)

  10. shannon says

    hi! I just subscribed to your email newsletter but haven’t received an email with the link to the PDF to print the budget binder. can you send that to me or is there somewhere else on the website where I can download it?

  11. Hannah says

    Abby,

    This is so helpful! I’m about to graduate from college, and I didn’t know where to start as far as planning and organizing my expenses and personal documents. These printables & the printables from your home binder page are so incredibly helpful.

    So thrilled to have found your site. Thank you!
    -Hannah

    • says

      Thank you so much, Hannah! Your sweet comment totally made my day! Congrats on your upcoming graduation– so exciting! Hope you had a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

    • says

      Hi, Rosalyn! The links to the binder pages are at the bottom of this post; you don’t have to subscribe to get them! When you subscribe to my newsletter list, you’ll get a PDF that teaches you how to make your own organizing printables. If you don’t see it within an hour of subscribing, check your spam folder. Sometimes they make their way there, unfortunately. If you still don’t see the PDF, let me know, and I’ll email you a copy. Thanks so much for visiting my blog!

      ~Abby =)

  12. Raeanne says

    Love, love, love your budget binder! Thank you so much for sharing. It has saved me so much time and is exactly what I was looking for. Plus it’s adorable. Thanks again!

  13. heather says

    Love this organized way of keeping track! I also prefer pen and paper, I find I am more likely to keep looking at it that way, however I have recently started to scan all of my recipts for big purchases as well as keep the origonal when I noted the recipt started to wear over time.

    • says

      Thanks so much, Heather! Yes, I am totally a pen and paper girl! My hubby, on the other hand, is obsessed with being paperless, so he does a ton of the scanning that you mentioned. I guess opposites attract, right?! ;) Hope you have a wonderful week!

      ~Abby =)

  14. says

    Instead of using a binder, I use envelopes to write down my expenses and contain receipts. However, in the future I might have to start using a binder. That’s a great idea! I’m a decently new college graduate (’13) who has been out on her own for about 9 months now. My first month on my own I wrote a budget and have been sticking to it ever since. I find that budgeting my money gives me piece of mind and allows me to live richer than I would if I just spent my money willy-nilly.
    Holly recently posted…Saving time.My Profile

    • says

      Congrats on sticking to your budget! So many people struggle with that, and it’s great that you’re doing it right out of college! Your future self will thank you! :) Have a wonderful weekend, Holly!

      ~Abby =)

  15. says

    Hi, just like to say that my wife Sylvia thinks these are “Awesome”, She is very methodical and keeps receipts and writes expenses etc in a little note book. Now she has your printables, things are looking for the better on keeping tabs with expenditures. Especially living in Cyprus, you have to retain receipts and watch the money flow. Thank you.

  16. Wendy says

    Just wondering, but are all your recurring bills the same amount every month? Mine aren’t, so I’m trying to figure out how you would keep track of that. I would have to change the amount every month. Can you help me??
    Love this idea, though!

    • says

      Hi, Wendy! Some of our bills (like utilities) vary from month to month, so on my budget sheet, I have listed a higher end average of what we expect them to be. Then I’ll often note the actual amount in the little box for each month. I hope this helps!

      ~Abby =)

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