Managing Household Finances // Create Your Binder {series, part one}

Already know all about the Home Finance Binder System from previous posts? This is the first in a 3-part series.

This post was updated on June 14, 2020

Once upon a time (2014 to be exact), a young, married 20-something career girl realized her money tracking methods were in disarray and she had a terrible spending problem.

She knew all about balancing a checkbook, paying off the credit card each month, and all the stuff they teach you in high school Home Ec.

But in the end, she and her husband had no control of the money in their bank account.

As a problem-solving, action-taking girl, she promptly created the Home Finance Binder System to keep them accountable.

How the Home Finance Binder System Changed Our Life

Hey there, friend. I’m Jessica.

I’m a 30-something wife & mama of two on the path towards financial independence as part of our family’s journey to simplify our entire life and ultimately, do less.

It’s been 6+ years since we started this journey with the Home Finance Binder System as our home base.

With it, my husband and I have been able to:

  • Pay off 100% of our student loans.
  • Buy a beautiful, right-sized home with a very low mortgage interest rate.
  • Pay off our first car, and intentionally finance a 2nd car at 0%, while quickly increasing our cash cushion every single month!
  • Gut & remodel our master bathroom with cash.
  • Consistently maintain a credit score of over 800 (even hitting 850 at one point – didn’t even know that was possible)!

There are quite a few layers in our home finance management process.

In this post, I’m teaching you how to Create Your Binder in Part 1 of my 3-Part Series.

My hope is that you’ll discover energy & momentum to dive right into a better home finance management system for your family today.

You can start for free on a No Spend Challenge with this starter kit.

OR, if you’re already convinced you need to take action to budget, then I invite you to invest in your financial future with immediate access to the Home Finance Binder System here.

Everything you need is in the playbook and worksheets, including everything you see in the post below (except for the binder supplies!), plus so much more!

Create Your Home Finance Binder

Gather Your Supplies

The core of the entire Home Finance Binder System is, of course, your binder!

To get started, gather supplies you already have on hand, or feel free to grab supplies from Amazon.

  • Home Finance Binder System (includes a step-by-step Playbook, all worksheets & a few fun bonuses, too)
  • 1 – 2” 3-Ring Binder
  • 1 – Set of 8 Pocket Dividers with Tabs
  • 1 – 3-Ring Pocket Folder
  • 1 – 3-Ring Zipper Pouch
  • 1 – 3-Ring Hole Punch
  • 1 – Self-Laminating Letter Size Sheet
  • Choice of pens, post-its, planner stickers, etc.
  • Access to a Color or Black/White Printer, Paper & Ink

Create Your Binder

Setting up a fresh binder is so much fun! 

There’s nothing like it and if you know, you know ;)

Label Tabs

Go ahead and start by labeling your tabs.

Here’s what I recommend:

  • Planning
  • Budget
  • Cash
  • Income
  • Savings
  • Investments
  • Loans
  • Bills

Each of these tabs coincides with the worksheets available in the Home Finance Binder System (as you’ll see below). 

In the past, I used a different structure for my tab labels, but I’ve discovered over time that this exact order works best.

Choose Design

Assuming you’re an “easy button” kinda woman, then I know you’re already about to join in on the Home Finance Binder System.

To sweeten the pot, I’ve included 3 individual designs for the worksheets as a bonus!

The design photographed is just ONE of 3 options. Before you start printing worksheets, make sure to choose your favorite.

Here are the 3 options available right now in the Home Finance Binder System:

Download & Print Worksheets

This is the LAST step before you have a fresh binder ready to customize with your own financial information.

Using each tab as a guide, follow these instructions for printing your first set of worksheets.

Ahead of All Tabs

Print the current & future Monthly Calendar pages. These pages are dated and ready to roll through December 2021. 

Fun Fact: Home Finance Binder System mamas get free annual updates each year for the life of the program (2022 released in Dec 2020, and so on).

Planning Tab

Print 1 Account Checklist set, 2 Bill Schedule pages, and 1 Monthly Budget Forecast page.

Budget Tab

Print 1 Expense Budget and 1 Notes page for each budget interval. For example, if you’re budgeting monthly, print 1 set for as long as you’d like to have on hand.

Also print 1 Historical Spend worksheet for every 6 individual categories you want to analyze. This will likely be about 1-3 pages per month, depending on your current spending habits. I recommend 6 pages up front, which should cover you for 3 months in the Phase 3 lesson.

Cash Tab

Print 3 Cash Flow Planners, 3 Expense Records, and 6 Check Register pages. Label the Check Register page numbers up front so they’re in order (“YYYY-01” to “YYYY-06”).

Income Tab

Print 1 Income Record page for each adult receiving income.

Savings Tab

Print 1 Savings Goal page for each individual savings goal you already have or want to create.

Investments Tab

Print 1 Investment Record page for each individual investment you already have or want to have.

Loans Tab

Print 1 Loan Payoff page for each individual loan outstanding.

Bills Tab

There’s nothing to print for this tab. All of your paper bills will get hole-punched and placed in this section. Easy peasy!

NEXT STEPS

What are you waiting for, mama?! Make that binder!

What you just read is a portion of Phase 1 in the Home Finance Binder System process.

You’ll discover in the Home Finance Binder System that before moving onto the bill pay process (which is Part 2 in this blog series), you’re guided through a complete declutter of all your financial paperwork. End-to-end, no stone left un-turned.

If you’re done tolerating the haphazard financial tracking and are ready to get control of your finances to the point where you actually KNOW what you’re spending, then come on in, friend, I’ve got just the thing for you!

productivity for working moms

welcome!

I'm Jessica!

I used to glorify "busy." If I wasn't busy, I wasn't doing enough. But when I became a mama, my entire outlook shifted.

 

The only way out involved a complete overhaul of my time, money & communication systems.

 

Today, I'm doing LESS and achieving more.

It's a productivity dream!

I'm still learning (and always will be!), but my purpose here is to help YOU achieve this level of space in your life too.

 

So grab your (hot) coffee & read on >>

free tools

Clear the Clutter Guide

Clear your mind and home of the clutter that contributes most to your burden without burning it all down, escaping to a hotel, or continuing along the path of overwhelm.

 

Get the Guide >>

Home Management Balance Guide

Balance your home management responsibilities in your dual-career household without the passive-aggressive arguments, half-done work, or tit-for-tat scorekeeping.

 

Get the Guide >>

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Start Camp Clarity today by entering your name & email below to join the list. I'll help you nail that journey towards margin with encouragement and actionable productivity strategies in all areas of your home and work life.

Download your free No Spend Challenge Starter Kit below and join the list so I can help you nail that journey towards margin with encouragement and actionable productivity strategies in all areas of your home and work life.