A major responsibility of being an adult is to be able to allocate funds to the needs and wants of our home, our families, and our personal lives. There are several ways to keep track of expenses such as spreadsheets.
However, if you are someone who requires getting out a pen and paper and having a physical budgeting plan that you can pursue then investing in a budget binder is just for you.
What Is a Budget Binder?
Think of a budget binder as a planner for your money. It is essentially a collection of necessary expenses that you have within a month that then accordingly allows you to set aside respective amounts of cash for each expenditure.
So the binder could include anything from your utility bills and grocery lists to miscellaneous spending and even extra cash that you would like to allocate for date night and other fun activities.
How Should a Binder Be Categorized?
The great thing about creating a budget binder is that you can categorize and customize it specifically to your needs. It can be divided into daily, weekly, or even monthly sections. You can note down bills or add in physical copies.
It is also a great way to organize your expenses and keep track of each alongside a budget calendar. The binder is also a great place to keep your receipts for any future needs and have all your documents organized in one space.
Additionally, you can look into purchasing budget binders with envelopes which are great at storing all forms of documentation. The envelopes could also be used as cash envelopes, which are slots to physically keep aside cash as per your budget needs.
Making a Budget Binder?
Wondering how to make a budget binder? Well, there isn’t a single route when it comes to making a budget binder. If you do not have the time to spend creating one, you can always get a binder from any local stationery store. You may find branded ones such as the Disney budget binder, which is cute and filled with quirky Disney-themed elements.
However, if you are more interested in customization, you can make the binder as fancy or as simple as you would like.
You can opt for transparent binders that come with round clips and clear covers. This is a great tool to make sure all your papers are secure. If you would like to get super creative, you could even buy individual binder clips and create the hardcovers yourself.
Budgeting can sometimes seem boring with the need for calculating or organizing but that shouldn’t stop you from making your cash budgeting binder fun and exciting. A great and easy way to do this is with colored pens and markers.
Having designated colors for titles or specific categories will not only make you happy to go through the whole budgeting process but may also make it easier for you to understand. This is because the color coordination can help you remember what is being fit into what category.
Paper Clips and Dividers
Having a few paper clips on hand is great if you need to attach additional bills or receipts to your money binder. You can also add different colored dividers to differentiate between specific days or weeks within the budget binder.
Again, you could purchase a budget binder with envelopes from a store if you’re short on time. But if you’re making a binder, envelopes and plastic sleeves are a great addition. These allow you to store papers and keep aside cash without having the problem of them slipping out.
Whiteouts and Hole Punch
We are always liable to a few typos here and there, so keeping a whiteout brush on hand is a good idea. These convenient tools can hide mistakes and leave a clean finish.
A hole punch is an essential tool if you decide to create your binder from scratch. These create the perfect hole and are an efficient tool to keep all your documents properly organized.
Other budget binder ideas include looking up printable budget sheets that you would just need to print and fill in. These are convenient and many can be downloaded free from the internet.
What Can a Budgeting Binder Be Used For?
There are a few essential ways a binder can help you keep organized.
Setting and Tracking Goals
Writing down goals is a great first step to ensuring that they eventually materialize. By keeping a written record of the various goals you intend on achieving, you are more likely to make sure that you allocate your budget accordingly.
Goals that you set for yourself can be both long-term and short-term goals. These can include anything from long-term goals such as saving money for a new car or a dream vacation, to shorter goals such as saving money for a mini shopping spree or a fun night out.
There can be different ways to track your goals. You can make it simple or even fun by creating fun drawings to color in every time you are a bit closer to reaching your goal.
If you are someone who works multiple jobs to get by, then the budget binder can help you keep track of all the money that is coming in and simultaneously going out. So for example, if your biggest income goes towards rent, your binder will help you track that. You could then allot the additional cash coming in towards other important expenses.
If you have managed to save some extra money for the month, you can then add that to any money-saving goals you have kept for yourself.
Paying Off Debt
Going through life as an adult, it is quite common for many of us to incur debts. Now, this may come in different forms, be it a credit card bill, student loans, or pending medical bills.
Whatever the case, debt should not be something that overwhelms you. If you keep to a specific system of tracking, you will be able to manage to pay them off efficiently.
A budget binder is a great way to keep track of the rate at which you are reducing your debt payments. You can have a designated section for it. The binder can also help you find ways to reduce daily costs to then assign that additional cash towards debt payments.
One of the most important uses of a budget binder with envelopes is to be able to keep track of all daily, weekly, or monthly expenses.
Sometimes when we go about spending on things we think are important without having them physically written down, we tend to lose track of how important each expense is. By having each expense written down, we get an idea of whether we are underspending or overspending the cash that is coming in.
Eventually, tracking expenses also helps us take a look at our quality of life and what we give importance to. This in turn could help us see if we should cut on certain things that may be unhealthy or unnecessary for us.
Having a systematic and organized way of arranging your budget is a great way to get your life on track. Just a few hours of organizing your budget and expenses can save you a lifetime of trouble and possibly even some money.