How We Designed Our Budget Step 3-Tracking Receipts

Perhaps it’s been a bit of work to get this far in the budgeting process but it will be worth it. In Step 1 we learned what a budget was and what information you needed to gather before moving on to Step 2.

While Step 1 might have been a daunting task Step 2 in Designing the budget should have been a bit easier. You learned how to divide your Net earnings into a budget and spend less than you make.

In Step 3 of designing the budget you will learn the importance of documentation.  Documenting everything you spend is crucial to succeed when budgeting.

Tracking all your Receipts

Keep track of what you spend. Why you ask?

Read the following scenario;

If you spend $5.00 on coffee in cash and fail to document it that’s $5.00 you have lost a trail to in the budget. You now have to figure out why you are short $5.00. I always make sure I ask for a receipt even at Tim Horton’s.

Another loss leader in the budget is trying to hide spending from your spouse/partner ,simply “don’t do it”.

What do we do with all these Receipts?

Every time we receive a receipt at the register we are mindful of where it goes. Yes, in order that it doesn’t end up in a bag, on the floor or blowing across the parking lot put it in your wallet in a safe place. :-)

When we get home……

We take all the receipts from our wallet and insert them into our file folder. I will post more information about setting up a file folder shortly.

Then what do we do with all the receipts in the file….

Typically at the end of the week on a Sunday when we are making the “grocery game” shopping list we enter the receipts to an excel spreadsheet.

The worksheet has been formulated so it does all the work for you.

  • All you need to do enter the figures.

The Monthly Worksheet Contains;

  • Date of Purchase
  • Where you purchased the items ie: store drop down list
  • How much it cost?
  • How much in coupons you used?
  • Did you use a Gift Card to pay?
  • What did you use to pay? ie: debit, credit card (which one)
  • What items did you purchase? – simply put a snapshot of purchases made
  • You will also see how much you actually saved during the shop! :-)
  • There is an area for notes which have come in handy more than a million times for us.

This data, when saved is also saved on your Budget Sheet from Step 2 and updates as you input data to the worksheet. You can easily see how much you have spent in each of your designated categories according to the numbers you set.

If you say “how much have we spent on groceries this month” you can easily see how much and what you have left to spend. It’s like having your money in Jars but with the ability to see the instant amount left in the jar without having to count.

If I can teach my parents how to do this you can to!

Write it in a Notebook if the computer is not for you;

I was never really good at writing in books when budgeting but you might love it. If you like to write in a book you can use all our Steps documenting in a Notebook.

NOTE: ***Make sure you check and double-check your numbers since you will be manually using a calculator to do the math for you.

If you have a basic understanding of Excel you can  put a worksheet and budget together.

Or

If you prefer to budget using the paper and pen method you now have 3 important steps in the process you can work on.

Budgeting is part of a lifestyle like a healthy diet is. Once in a while you may fall off track, stay positive and get back on the track. When you give up is when you fall into the debt trap. This is why people sink further and further into ruins. This is why relationships fail, don’t let this happen to you.

You have to make sure you either;

  • Have an emergency fund for unexpected expenses
  • Save for what you need and pay CASH
If neither of these can occur expect to have debt and pay it off as fast as possible. 

Keep an eye out by visiting my blog as I will have our Budget Worksheet FREE to my subscribers shortly.

Step 4 in designing our Budget is Note Keeping and it’s importance.  Stick around to read more…….

Happy Saving Everyone!


Photos Courtesy of:Copyright (c) <a href=’http://www.123rf.com’>123RF Stock Photos</a>

Mr. CBB
I’m from the UK and now a recent permanent resident in Canada. I bought my first house at the age of 21 after University then my second at the age of 24. I’ve always been fascinated with personal finance, savings, learning to make money and watch it grow while combating debts along the way. Canadian Budget Binder is a place where I get to share my experiences with personal finance and learn about yours along the way. I hope you stick around and check me out on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest where I am active on all social media sites. Cheers, Mr.CBB
Mr. CBB
Mr. CBB

Comments

  1. Great Tips, Mr.CBB
    One of the things I need to remind myself is to track EVERYTHING, it is all the “small purchases” like Timmies coffee, or something at the dollar store that I often forget to put in my expences.
    I learned and was reminded by this to get receipts at the coffee shop.

    Thanks

    • You know Kim, that was where we went WOW, look at how much it’s costing us for coffee all year, or this and that. It all adds up and once you start tracking it, then it becomes a lifestyle PLUS you want to see those numbers every month, it’s contagious but a smart way to go! IMO

  2. Joanna Cheevers says:

    Yes it is very important to get a receipt. It is amazing the number of places that I go to that don’t automatically give one. Just have to get into the habit of asking for one, otherwise it is very easy to forget. In the odd case where there are no receipts, like at a parking meter or money sent to school for trips and hot lunches, I enter it into a memo on my Ipod, that way I don’t forget. Thanks Mr. CBB for the great information.

    • We are so used to asking for receipts and if we don’t get one we write it down somewhere right away so we don’t forget and as soon as we get home we make note of it. This is where the organization is very important it’s our future after all. Cheers

  3. So much great budgeting advice! I am going to start tracking our spending daily. I suspect a lot of money is trickling away on coffees and other unnecessary items.

  4. got a super meormy, no one can remember all of their purchases. That’s why we have budgets to help us track where our money is or where it’s going so we don’t spend more

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