Orchard Girls

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Spring Clean Your Finances

Happy Thursday! Today I'm going to discuss the one thing that we all love to hate and hate to love. Money. Maybe it's just me, but I highly doubt it. It's the time of the year when we try to get our act together, after we've filed our taxes. What will we do with the refund? How will we pay back on our taxes?! How can we make sure this next year goes smoothly? How can we start saving? When will we ever pay off these credit cards?!
I know that we are in this mode right now. Actually, my husband and I are sitting down tonight to go over finances. We like to periodically do so, to make sure we're on the same page, and to make some short/long term goals in terms of saving or paying things off. It's really important to do this if one person is in charge of paying bills or watching the accounts. In our case, it's me. Hubby brings in the money, and I try my best to heedfully manage it. I work too, but not enough to count on any steady income, or to pay for much more than groceries/gas for the month.

Something that makes my life SO much easier is having our finances organized into spreadsheets. I've talked about this before in my post Create a Finance Binder + Free Spreadsheets. When we sit down to go over things, I'm able to pull these spreadsheets up. Also, Adam can open them and see what's going on at any given time. I update the spreadsheets several times a month, and do one big transition at the beginning of each year. Though, I have a binder with this information in it, I do not update it as frequently as I do the digital spreadsheets. For anyone looking to get organized, check out that post for some ideas.
Kayla has also done a really popular post on making a Monthly Bills Organization Station. Which is also a great resource for getting started. Be sure to check out the free printable she offers and the set-up she created.
Something else that will really help get a handle on things is to budget for certain categories. One place where we spend a lot of money is groceries. A few years ago, we created a monthly budget for our food based on our average spending. Well, our average spending minus some. I did this by tracking our groceries, and menu planning. I don't do this as much anymore, but plan to start up again in the very near future. I've written a post titled How to Start Menu Planning. I need to take my own advice and get back on that train!
So, there are some ideas to help you spring clean your finances. I know that I need to make sure that I'm staying on track, especially with the baby on the way. If anyone has any good budgeting tips or posts on babies/kids, please post them below in the comments! I'm pretty sure I'm going to need some help :)

I hope you are having a wonderful Thursday! One more day until the weekend, woowoo!

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