Happy New Year! I’m a little late on this post. Things got a little hectic the past couple days. I wanted to review 2017 and how we did financially, plus give a little look at how I’m using my 2018 Erin Condren Deluxe Monthly planner. I have January primed and ready so you can see more than just blank pages! Onto 2017.
2017 was a busy year for us financially. We had struggled financially the previous two years, so it was full of big changes for us. Things didn’t kick up until February when my husband was accepted for a job, but it was such a relief for us given everything we had gone through. In March he started work, and we got right to work on paying things off, starting with the smallest debts, of course. In April we paid off our Kay’s balance. In May we started prepping for our cross-country move. My husband left at the end of May, and I stayed behind with the kids to oversee the packing and such. Then we headed out and drove from Washington State to Maryland. We listed our house for sale a couple days later.
In July, we went under contract to sell our home and everything from the work order (fixed one burner on the stove) to the appraisal went just fine. Then in August, the sale closed and we used our proceeds to pay down debt, pay off my husband’s car, and shoved some in savings. Then in September, we paid off another line of credit. Lastly, we signed a contract to start building a home in December. Hopefully the home will be finished in around July to August. It has been, to say the least, a crazy year.
Here we are in 2018, and here is the “sinking funds” area I was talking about. Our water bill is quarterly, so I set aside money each month to pay it when it’s due. I also will be setting aside funds for Christmas, a certain amount each month. When November rolls around, I’ll have all the funds needed for cards and gifts. Plus, I may use a month or two for shopping during the year so I have gifts way before Christmas is even close. Takes off some pressure off, because I procrastinate.
I am using this area the same way I used last year’s. I’ll record any financial events each month and at the year, I will review everything we did!
Here’s the sinking funds page for every month. This month I’m setting aside 30 for the water bill and 20 for Christmas. As you can see, you have a section for the category, a “start” section where you keep track of the balance you have for those things. You have the + for how much you’re adding, a – for how much you’ll take out, and your end balance for that month.
In the monthly view, I use stickers to keep track of all the auto-deductions and expenses, as well as income. It gives me a visual look at due dates and when to expect things to be taken out. When they’ve been paid, I just put in a little check mark. Obviously, there are still a lot of debts we are paying on, and a lot that needs to be done before getting into our new home in the summer. So we have to buckle down.
Here is the cash envelopes page. I take out cash for groceries and things like fun money. It is budgeted for every week. It’s a great way to hold yourself to a limit when shopping. It is easy to overspend when you have this handy little debit card to swipe.
This is the “monthly overview” page. This where I tally up everything. How much came from auto-deductions, how much we paid for expenses, the cash envelopes, sinking funds, and spending. This gives you a hard look at how you did financially. You will be able to see your problem areas, which you can then work on.
In the notes section, I have a page dedicated for each debt we have. This is just an example of one of them. I have a starting balance for the year, then I note the minimum payment, and any extra we pay on it. Then the balance at the end of the month.
This is just an example of the things you can do financially, not only with an Erin Condren planner, but any planner. But the Deluxe Monthly is my go to for finances and budgeting. If you are interested in having one yourself, and saving $10 dollars on it, just follow the steps below!
- Head here and sign up for an account!
- Check your email for the coupon code (it expires after 30 days!)
- Place your order, and make sure you are logged in when ordering and use that coupon!
I hope you had a great New Year, and I also hope that your 2018 is a fantastic one!