Since we recently bought our first home we are more determined than ever to get our finances on track, and today I am going to show you how I use my Erin Condren Planner to budget.
For the better part of the last decade I have followed the principles laid out in Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University and at one point had completed baby step 3. But after I got married my husband and I were both lax with staying on budget and we got ourselves back into debt. While we definitely had some unforeseen emergencies, the root of the issue was overspending and being lazy with a budget. Buying a house has given us renewed focus and we are back on the wagon!
I always say that my life is in my Erin Condren planner, and that is really fairly accurate. I track my daily to-do’s, my salon appointments, our family schedule, and even my blog in my planner. I have shared before about how I track my monthly budget in my planner, and today I am going to show you a couple of other tips that have helped our financial life tremendously.
Paying your bills on time is the most important financial move you can make aside from a written budget. Not only is it the honest thing to do (would you like to wait for your paycheck?), it establishes a positive financial record for you.
I keep track of my bills and when they are do with these simple bill pay stickers. I place them on the monthly view of my planner on the appropriate day that each bill is due, then check the box once it is paid. This has revolutionized how I keep track of bills and makes it so easy to see what is coming up at a glance.
I am still using the note page before each month to track my monthly budget. As a category/envelope is funded or a bill is paid, I check it off on this list. Since we have an irregular income, our goal is to get a month ahead on our bills to make it easier to budget. But since we aren’t quite there, this system make it much easier and clearer as I budget paycheck to paycheck. For a more detailed explanation, check out this post.
A big part of our budgeting process is tracking our debt and getting out of it as quickly as possible! I utilize the note pages in the back of my planner to track our debt snowball, as well as tracking our savings goals. It can be a little scary to see it written down on paper, but its super motivating to start filling in the boxes as you pay things off!
If you would like more information on the Dave Ramsey plan, I highly recommend reading his books The Total Money Makeover. Its a great overview of his program and explains the why behind things like no car payments or credit cards.
If you don’t already have an Erin Condren Life Planner, check out some of my other posts about what an amazing organizational tool this is! You can also use my affiliate link to get $10 off your first planner! Using my Erin Condren Planner to budget has drastically changed how organized and effective our budget is!