Thursday, May 23, 2013

Household Budget / Management Binder with FREE PRINTABLES

My family recently went through a major life change.  It was one of those changes that you really never see coming until it is literally knocking on your door.  For the past couple of years, my husband and I discussed how nice it would be if I could resign from teaching and stay home.  However, we built our family on a two income budget and we just never had the guts to cut that income in half.  Earlier this school year, my son was enduring some serious struggles at school.  A very long and stressful story later, we decided that we didn't have a choice.  I needed to resign and begin homeschooling.  The decision was literally a leap of faith.  We had no idea if it would work, if we would have the money for our bills, etc.  We did believe that God would provide and see our family through this very tough season. 

Seven months later, we are doing better financially then we did with two incomes (crazy, I know)  It is a true blessing from God.  We always joke that we could have taken the "plunge" so much sooner.  I have had many friends and family members ask just how did we go from two incomes to one.  I will be the first to tell you that there is nothing fancy behind this budget plan.  It is simple and to the point.  Most of it has been inspired by Dave Ramsey (here) and close friends/family who also live on one income.  

Before we could put our monthly household budget into action we had to take care of some debt.  
  • We cut the day care  bill completely.  We have three children (one in public school and two in full time daycare).  Since I was going to homeschool our oldest child the other two did not need to be in daycare - everyone stays home with me.
  • We refinanced our home for a great interest rate.
  • We were very fortunate to have an opportunity that allowed us to pay off my car.
  • We called our phone/TV/Internet company and negotiated our monthly payment.  We did the same with our electric company.
  • We pretty much cut all eating out and fast food runs.  We have slowly added those back in but it is very limited.
  • We decided to implement the "envelope system".  We pay our bills with checks or online banking.  All other expenses are paid for in cash ONLY.  If there isn't any cash for an item we don't purchase it that month.  I will admit this was a bit of an adjustment for the kids.  They didn't quite understand why we couldn't run through a drive-thru or go out for ice cream just because we had the urge.
  • We also surround ourselves with friends and family that respect and honor our budget.  What I mean is, we no longer "keep up with the Joneses".  We are happy with the blessings we have been given.  We are no longer concerned with what everyone else has.
At the beginning of each month, I go to the bank and withdraw cash for certain items.  Those items are highlighted in blue on the household budget sheet below.  Then I go home and sort the appropriate money into envelopes and label the envelopes.  Now everything is allotted and ready for the month.  I also list the purchases for each category on the outside of the envelope.  That way I know exactly where the money went.  For example, if I allot $50 for clothing then I want to know exactly how I spent that $50.  My husband and I also allot "blow money".  That is a certain amount set aside for each of us to spend as we like throughout the month.  Some months there isn't any "blow money".  That is always our last expense calculated because it is not a necessity.  I keep all envelopes, cash and the household budget sheet in a binder.  It is essential to keep everything together and organized.

Household Budget / Management Binder

labeled envelopes kept in pocket of inside cover
Sharpie, calculator, pencil kept in zipper pouch

inside cover sheet

Household Budget Sheet
*Remember, everything highlighted in blue is allotted cash for envelopes.


* I used Avery EcoFriendly White Shipping Labels (which use Avery Template 5163). * After clicking (click here to print), you will be sent to a Google Doc page.  From there select "file", then select "download".  The image will download to your computer and then you can print from there.

Binder Cover Page

Household Budget Sheet

Envelope Labels Sheet 1

Envelope Labels Sheet 2
(I included several blank labels for any extra expenses or other categories that you may need)

I keep everything organized in page protectors and in one binder.  I also keep a calculator, pencil, and Sharpie in a zipper pouch at the front of the binder.  It is also helpful to keep all home management items in the binder, as well (i.e. birthday/anniversary dates, home project ideas, chore charts, etc.).  Currently, I have all of my pack lists for our upcoming vacation located in the back of the binder.  Over the weekend, I will divide and organize our money envelopes for vacation spending.  This has made it so easy to keep track of everything.

Like I said, our budget is as simple as it gets.  However, it is my hope that someone will benefit from the ideas above and the free printables below.



  1. Great post Liz! I've enjoyed the blog. We talk about me quitting and staying home and home-schooling all the time. We have built our family and our lifestyle around the idea of "there is no way we could do without my income so let's enjoy it". We've run the numbers a million times. Even if we had stayed in our last house (that was significantly smaller/cramped) I just don't know how we could do it. We are almost done paying off our debt (paid off over $50,000 so far using Dave Ramsey's methods) and our hope is that after debt and a promotion for my husband that maybe I can work part time. We trust in God that His plan is the right one for us even if that means both of us working. God has surprised us more times than I can count so we'll see what happens!!

    Reply Delete
    1. Wow! You have accomplished so much!!!
      We use to run the numbers at least once a month and it never made sense. Even the day I resigned it didn't make sense but we felt at that moment we had no other choice. This was the biggest leap of faith we have ever taken. It is true that what God wants to give you is far better than you could ever imagine. You and your family will be in my prayers! :)
      *Thanks for taking the time to read the blog.

  2. I like what you share here. Let people get the budget easily without making household budget template from the scratch

    Reply Delete
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