COULD I PLEASE HAVE MY RECEIPT?
You may think the task of asking for a receipt every time you shop will break you but it gets easier with practice. Tracking receipts has been one of the most successful ways we’ve been able to track our spending habits.
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 and how it will affect your monthly budget and end results.
Documenting everything you spend is crucial to succeed when budgeting not only for peace of mind but to hold yourself accountable for your financial actions.
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.
At this point now you have to figure out why you are short $5.00. I always make sure I ask for a receipt even at Tim Horton’s and I’m not one bit embarrassed about it.
My money, my life.
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 which I keep in my office. Unloading all of our receipts on the kitchen table is the first step and either myself or Mrs. CBB will put them away in the folder.
At the end of the month before I finalize the budget both of us check our wallets just to make sure we did not missing tracking receipts for that month.
Excel Budget Spreadsheet
Then what do we do with all the receipts in the file…
Typically at the end of the week on a Sunday after our grocery shopping trip we enter the receipts into the Daily Expenses portion of the budget spreadsheet.
The budget worksheet has been formulated so it does all the work for you although we do offer 2 different versions of our excel budget spreadsheet.
The Monthly Excel Budget 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 ask yourself, “How much have we spent on groceries this month?” you can easily see how much and what you have left to spend in your grocery budget.
Using an excel budget spreadsheet for tracking receipts is comparable to having your money in Jars but with the ability to see the instant amount left in the jar without having to count.
Related: Budgeting using the jar system
If I can teach my parents how to do this you can too!
Paper and Pen- Tracking Receipts Documentation
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 as it’s a simplified budgeting process. I’ve also designed a simple budget that you can print and put into a budget binder where you can pencil in the information you need.
- 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 download ours for free.
If you prefer to budget using the paper and pen method you now have three important steps in the process you can work on.
Budgeting is part of a lifestyle just as enjoying a healthy diet that keeps you energized and full of life. Once in a while you may fall off track but that’s perfectly normal. The name of the budgeting game is to stay positive and get back on the track as soon as possible.
When you give up on your financial future 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
Download our FREE excel budget and lots of other Free Financial Resources.
If neither of these can occur expect to have debt and pay it off as fast as possible.
Step 4 in designing our Budget is Note Taking and it’s importance.
Happy Budgeting Everyone!
Photos Courtesy of: 123RF