Wednesday, September 2, 2009
When Kristen over at We Are That Family said the theme for this week's Works for Me Wednesday was going to be organizing, I just laughed. I'm not an organized person. I like organization. I even like organizing. It's just not the priority it should be.
So I thought. And then I thought. And thought some more. Finally I figured out that if one part of my life is organized, it's the financial part. 'Cause it has to be.
A few things that help me keep it organized:
1. We use Dave Ramsey's envelope system for our regular spending. This helps us not spend too much by using credit cards. I almost always end up spending more using them. We always pay off the card at the end of the month, but it's a mental thing. It feels like you're using real money when you spend cash, because you are.
2. We have a budget and we have a spreadsheet to track our spending. And although this summer we haven't been using it like we should, last spring it was great, and it will be great this fall! You can find some great tools at these sites:
Christian Personal Finance
3. We use ING savings accounts for the big stuff. There are a few expenses we have only once a year, like our life insurance, home insurance and taxes, and other things we might need a larger sum for, like medical bills or car repairs. We also keep our emergency fund there. Although we have lots of different categories, we only have three separate accounts. I set up a spreadsheet to keep track of the categories. For instance, we might have one lump sum in ING, but on my spreadsheet it's divided up into categories like house, medical, car, etc. That way we're earning more interest on the larger amount, but I know how much comes in and out of each category. That way, when that large bill comes we're not caught off guard. We've been preparing for it.
4. Keep records. I may not always do the best job on this, but all the papers are around here somewhere. My husband has come up with a binder system for our bills and large purchases. Here's a great list at Bankrate.com that will give you some guidlines of how long to keep records.
Now off to work on the organization of everything else in the house. . .