Our 6 Budgeting Must Haves & Why

Last week we talked about our journey and just how much the Dave Ramsey steps have changed our life and marriage! If you didn’t catch that blog, you can read it HERE! You probably saw that I am a budgeting queen. Seriously I get so excited for pay day for the fact that I get to budget. I love it so much that friends have asked me to budget for them. I'm definitely the Dave Ramsey nerd. And I just embrace it at this point. Haha! With being a budgeting queen/nerd/freak, I have certain things that I have to have to help me budget and keep us organized!

1. Google Calendar
I have a calendar only for budgeting that I put our paydays and bills in. This helps me know what bills to budget for and the due dates as well as their amounts. And when each bill is due, I will go in and edit the title to PAID with the specific bill and amount.

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2. My budgeting notebook
I have a notebook that I use specifically for budgeting. Keeping it in the same notebook helps me see where the budgets vary and are similar. A lot of people prefer the EveryDollarApp, but we prefer to write it out. We are just pen and paper people!

3. Sticky notes & paperclips
I find it helpful to place sticky notes on the front of my notebook or binder with reminders and I also use them in my binder and folder! I will paper clip the money together, then place the sticky note with our goal in the bottom right corner on it and then write down every time we put money into that specific savings. (see visual below in pictures attached)

4. Color progress chart
Every time we have a larger amount we need to save, we make a chart that we can color in to show our progress! (I will go more into depth on another blog!)

5. The Binder
We noticed we had reoccurring things come up - doc appointments, medicine, dog food, (cheap) date nights, etc. so we got a binder, put currency protectors in it and made our small sinking funds. That way in between our pay periods when these things came up, it didn't throw us off. Each category has a set amount that we keep in it. When we take $10 from the that specific folder in between pay periods, the next period when we budget, we make sure to but that $10 back in there. This doesn't mean we spend X amount on each category every month or pay period, some of the categories, like clothes, we have never used!! It is simply just there for if something regarding those things come up. We do our best to look into the period and see if we will need anything like that so we can budget for it, but sometimes things come up and this helps us keep on track.

Don’t mind its water damage, haha!! And we keep a folder in the back of our binder for our important receipts!

Don’t mind its water damage, haha!! And we keep a folder in the back of our binder for our important receipts!

Here's a list of the categories we have: date night, doc appointments, medicine, animals, hair cuts, travis' clothes, brooke clothes, birthdays, home improvements, car maintenance/repairs, Christmas fund ($X each month).

If we take out of one of those envelopes, we put a sticky note on it "need $15" so that when I am budgeting and am flipping through doing "inventory" of it, that sticks out and I see it and don't have to count each one or try to remember what we used.

We keep our current color sheet in the front of our binder so we see it often!

We keep our current color sheet in the front of our binder so we see it often!

We also put X amount next to some of these labels! (I didn’t for this photo, for safety reasons). Categories like Tithe and Grocery are added per pay check. We add 10% of tithe in the folder, then grab it on Sundays when we go to church and for grocery we budget $X every time we get paid and we grab it when we go grocery shopping.

We also put X amount next to some of these labels! (I didn’t for this photo, for safety reasons). Categories like Tithe and Grocery are added per pay check. We add 10% of tithe in the folder, then grab it on Sundays when we go to church and for grocery we budget $X every time we get paid and we grab it when we go grocery shopping.

6. Our Accordion Folder
We use this specifically for saving. Right now we only have our baby fund and our upcoming Carolina trip in the spring. Yes, we have a bank account that this goes into once we reach a certain amount in cash (every few hundred), but we like to see the progress physically by holding the cash and physically putting it into its folder vs. digitally seeing in an account.

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The difference between the binder and accordion folder?! Why not just combine the two?! To simplify, the binder is for ongoing things and the accordion is for specific savings!!

Seeing it in cash is not for everyone, so please keep in mind that our way is may or may not be the right way for you, you will have to find your groove!

This may seem complex, but wait for next week’s to see it all comes together with HOW we budget!! Trav and I hope this helps you on your budgeting journey! Next week we will be sharing all about HOW we budget! Let us know if there are any topics or questions you have!!

Our Journey with Dave Ramsey