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With the NBA Playoffs in full swing, we’re seeing basketball players post up in the headlines left and right. While she may not play in the NBA, I would like to tell you about one player in particular–Sheryl Swoopes. She earned over $50 million over her career but went broke due to a series of bad investments. It sounds like she could’ve used a budget binder.
What is a Budget Binder, and why should you use one?
A budget binder is a tool that helps you track all of your finances. This includes your bills, financial goals, debt, and more. It’s a helpful tool that lets you monitor your income and expenses and track your progress towards your financial goals.
There are quite a few reasons you might want to use a physical binder. Here are five that I can think of:
Skip the bugs
The old-fashioned way of tracking your money never has any bugs. Unlike certain apps that take forever to load and crash on you, a budget binder will always be ready to use.
You’re in charge of how it looks
You will have complete control over organizing your budget binder and what it contains. While some apps have a level of customizability, having your own binder is the only way to truly customize everything.
You can store it securely
Your budget binder would be tucked away safely at home for the most part. On the other hand, there’s a chance of your phone getting lost or stolen if you bring it outside.
More phone storage
While it may be convenient to track your budget via your phone, you might want to free up some storage. If you frequently use your phone for photos or games, then you might want to use a budget binder instead.
A budget binder just might work better for you
You might just like having the feeling of using a physical binder to track your finances, and that’s valid! Some people just like the old-fashioned way better, and if that applies to you, then go for it, sis!
If you think you might want to use an app, check out my article on the best budget apps!
What are the benefits of using a budget binder to track your money?
Tracking where your money goes should be second nature to you. Keeping tabs on your money, with a budget binder or otherwise, has many benefits, such as:
Monitor progress towards financial goals
Got some financial goals you plan on achieving? Tracking your progress towards reaching these goals will be easier with a budget binder. When you know how close or far you are from your goals, you’ll be able to make the necessary adjustments.
Track your debt payments
Paying back debts is a pain, but not when you have a budget binder. Actually, you can track how much money you have to pay back as well as interest rates. Additionally, keeping a log of your payments can help you track how much you’ve already paid. It also helps give a bit of extra motivation when you’re almost 100% there!
Identify bad habits
A budget binder will help you identify your bad spending habits. If you think you’re spending too much money on things like coffee, then a budget tracker can confirm it. Then it becomes a matter of actually kicking the habit.
If you want to beat those financial challenges, you should give my article a read!
The cost of living is going up and fast. As long as you keep track of every receipt, you can account for rising prices more effectively.
Make a schedule for payments
Your budget binder should also tell you when the bills are due every month. Knowing when you have to pay the bills will help you pay them on time. And paying bills on time is excellent for your credit score and enables you to avoid paying costly late fees.
What should be in my budget binder?
A budget binder is an all-in-one tool that holds all of the essential information regarding your finances. Here’s what it should have:
Your budget binder should contain your monthly spending plan. Otherwise, you may not be allocating your funds correctly. You may want to design this on your computer and print it out.
Don’t have a budget yet, or just want to make yours better? Check out my article breaking down how financial expert Dave Ramsey makes his budget.
Your financial goals will motivate you to grow your wealth and save more money. Make sure that these goals are specific, realistic, and time-bound. That way, progress towards these goals can be measured.
If you don’t keep tabs on your debts, they could spiral out of control, especially at higher interest rates. Monitoring your debts through your budget can help you create the best debt elimination strategy.
Keeping every single receipt can help you monitor your spending habits. If you see too many Starbucks receipts, I think you already know what to do, sis.
The last thing you want to do with taxes is forget about them until the IRS comes knocking at your door. Make sure you’re on top of your taxes before it gets to that point!
What do I need to make a budget binder?
The best part about a budget binder is the customizability. To make your own, you’ll first need:
You can’t make a budget binder without one of these! This is where you’ll be putting all your printables, like your budget, debts, receipts, and more.
You might want to highlight some aspects in your budget binder, such as your financial goals and debt payment schedule. Highlighters are a great way of adding a bit of color and customizing your budget binder.
Colorful pens are a great way of organizing your notes. Black and red pens are almost essential, but there are likely dozens of other color options available.
Do you want to add a bit of personality to your budget binder or make it easier to find among your other files? Consider adding some stickers to it!
Maybe you saw a motivational quote that just hits you, or maybe you heard a handy tip. Adding a few sticky notes can help you remember them!
And what better place to get tips than from an experienced financial coach? Join my financial fam, and I’ll send you some exclusive tips and insider information! Signing up is free and easy, so become a member today!