Track Your Overtime Hours Or Potentially Risk Losing Money!

Tracking your overtime hours is probably the last thing you want to do at the end of a long day at work but let me tell you it’s worth it. I’m one of those blokes who used to rely on the computer system to get it right, but not any more.  When you’ve worked countless hours dragging your butt out of work and right into the shower to relax is paramount to writing down your work hours. That’s what I used to do but not any more.  I try not to think of the amount of money I potentially lost simply but not checking my pay stubs against an overtime tracking system.

Some people I know would track their work hours on a piece of paper and put it in their wallet. I though why are you even bothering to do that. They were the smart one’s not me.  Mrs. CBB started asking for my pay stubs each week as she typically would find them tossed in a drawer. (the man drawer… we all have them)

You would think I’m well-organized and believe me I am, just not with pay stubs. *that’s changed*  I admit I was tired of listening to her chatting off my ear about leaving them around. Well then she started reading them and asked me if I was tracking my overtime. I didn’t know what to say as I thought, man oh man she’s going to dig into me for this one.   I’m not perfect and we all should admit our faults but also improve on them.

It wasn’t until we actually sat down during our weekly budget session and noticed that 3 hours was missing from my pay from training that I had done. I have done a lot of travelling and  training as it’s an ongoing process in my career and it seems like 3 hours of it was almost done for free.  Thank goodness we caught the error but it really jolted us into high gear when it came to our finances. We work so hard to save yet something so simple was being overlooked. We rely so much on technology today that we believe that errors are not imminent, but they are, even by humans.

Mrs.CBB told me a time when she was younger working at a coffee shop and she picked up her weekly pay and thought she struck gold. Visions of shopping at the mall, new clothes, CD’s ,make-up whirled around in her head. That didn’t last long ,for one she would never blow money like that and it wasn’t her money to spend. Opening her pay to see she net over $3000.00 for a 2 week period made her happy if not euphoric in a way. She says it was almost a wake up call for her. She really wanted to net more money and knew that to feel that excitement again she would have to work very hard in school. Amazing how someone can think outside the box sometimes even if it involves feelings.

Who knew pouring coffee and dipping donuts was such a lucrative career?  What happened? Instead of paying her $6.40 an hour she was paid $64.00 an hour plus all the overtime she worked in that period.  Was it a computer glitch or human error, we will never know? We always say how important it is to check your receipts before you leave the grocery shop and this is just the same.

Yes, she immediately gave the money back and told her boss right away about the error and then all her shopoholic visions disappeared. I’m sure eventually they would have figured it out, but what if they didn’t? This leads to another issue if you are a business owner.

What Quality Control procedures do you have in place for your company?

  • Are your pay roll systems being monitored or checked for accuracy?
  • How is this process standardized to make sure the company is not losing money?
  • What database software tracking systems do you have in place- vacation tracking systems, hour tracking systems.
  • Who should be checking for these errors and how can we ensure they are checked?
  • What if it was happening to more than one employee?
  • What can we do to improve?

Making sure quality control standardized procedures are in place are paramount for any business in my opinion.This brings me back to the 5s  organization of my environment and why it is crucial. I’ve learned the hard way and continue to learn from others and from my mistakes. You should try to visit these procedures often to see if they are working. Time is money yes, but losing money is a waste of time.

So to make sure we as a couple are tracking not only our overtime but regular hours we designed a simple free downloadable overtime tracking sheet . You can also use this as a web-based time sheet to track your hours. We know we all want to just get out the door after a long day and spend the least amount of time possible at work after work. So, what we do is post this overtime tracking sheet on our refrigerator and when we get home we fill it in. It’s easier when we see the sheet as the good old ‘out of sight, out of mind’ might get in the way for us. When we get our pay we check the hours paid to us against what we have on our overtime tracking sheet.

The tracking sheet has been great and I caught 1 hour missing from one of my pay checks not because of computer error but because I failed to report it at work but reported it on my overtime tracking sheet. See, errors do happen, whether it’s computer or human we all need to track our regular and overtime hours so we aren’t losing money we worked hard for.

How do you track your hours at work? Have you ever found any errors?

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How We Designed Our Budget Step 4-Notetaking

Hi there Folks~ Mr.CBB here…

If we’ve learned anything about budgets over the past year it’s that you need to learn how they work before you carry out one.  I admit we jumped in feet first and have learned along the way. This tactic hasn’t been so bad but it can get frustrating, especially if budgeting is a new world for you.  Learning first then proceeding step by step is what we should have done.

What we’ve learned over the past couple months is that there were ways to simplify our budget. We found errors in our budget and now realize that we need to have a completely separate Emergency Savings account. You will see all the changes when I post our February 2012 Budget Update.

The one thing that has helped us to make these changes is that we kept such detailed notes. This is why I am taking you to this topic in Step 4 Notetaking.

Notetaking is an essential part of budgeting. Why you ask? Let’s take a look together here:


When you were in high school and the teacher taught you a subject did you take notes? Probably, right?


  • So you could take the notes  home and study them to answer questions on a test and to educate yourself for further development.

Then why do you take notes when you budget?

  • Simply because you can’t rely on just your memory when doing your budget!  It’s also to educate and for further developing  knowledge of your finances. You will and I repeat, you will forget!
If it’s been a long while since you were in school you can read Ten Steps to Good Note Taking. They even touch on abbreviations which will help shorten your notes in your budget spreadsheet.

Notetaking with-in your budget is exactly the same as taking notes in class.  So if you found that easy this will be a breeze for you. The end mark reflects either a plus or minus in your budget.  Essentially a fail or pass. A fail only means you need to make improvements. Trust me when I say no one ever has a perfect month. That’s why emergency savings are imperative.

Notetaking with-in your budget is important for 3 reasons:

Reason 1

You can make reference to certain receipts- When you input data into your spreadsheet and make notes you can easily pull the receipt if/when needed.

An example would be;

  • February 19,2012- Wal-mart Spent $42.00 Used $4.00 coupons Paid $38.00
  • Notes: Bought vegetables, dog food,DVD-Twilight. Pd with Cash, Credit Card ( which one and who’s), Date of  receipt- You now can easily reference what you purchased or at least have an idea.
  •  We typically would put in high ticket items one’s that we could return. That way if you need to return it, open your spreadsheet and find what month of receipts you need to pull out.

Con- If you fail to track this data you might have to go looking for a receipt which you have packed away in a file folder and have no idea what month to look in. This will waste unnecessary time.

Reason 2

To track extra income or important dates that may have occurred throughout the month- When you sit down to do your month end budget you won’t need to think back x amount of days to what may have happened. Entering important notes such as -sold item on kijiji made x amount of dollars you have that information readily available to you.

Con- If you decide not to keep up to date with important notes you run the risk of your budget not balancing or being incorrect. If you want your budget to truthfully show your finances you must be dedicated to this task.

Reason 3

Simply to educate yourself on your spending habits and where and what you are spending it on.

Recap: In this step we learned-

When designing our budget we felt it was imperative to have a note section to document any key notes for easy reference. This task has saved us lots of time and headache. Budgeting helps to control our expenses to help us become financially debt free.

Next Step: How to keep all your bills organized? This is important because if you aren’t organized it may lead to frustration and failure when budgeting. Keep an eye out for this up and coming post! If your desk looks like this it will be a MUST read for you!

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Photo Courtesy of: Copyright (c) <a href=’’>123RF Stock Photos</a>

Copyright (c) <a href=’’>123RF Stock Photos</a>