How to Keep Track of Individual Bills + Free Printable

Filed Under: Family Budget

 

 

How to Track Individual Bills

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a place to keep track of each individual bill you own? This Individual Bill Worksheet is perfect for this. It allows you to see when the you paid the bill, the amount you paid, and what your balance is. This is great for keeping track of your bills without having to keep track of each actual bill in your home.

Individual Bill

Since we went from not having many bills to have a TON of bills, I was looking for a way to simplify things. We are currently using these bill worksheets as a way to make sure our bills are getting paid and as a way to keep track of things. Paying down debt is not easy at all. However, I’d like to make it easy because no one has time for nonsense.

I’d like to share this printable with you. You can actually download it by following this link… Individual_Bill_Worksheet.

Be sure to check out the other family budget printables!

You can also get more tips on a perfect family budget here!

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Saving Grocery Money By Cooking From Scratch

Filed Under: Coupons, Deals, and Freebies, Frugal Living, How To Save

Cooking From Scratch and how it saves you money.jpg

If you are new to this series you may want to start at the beginning HERE 

Cooking from scratch has always been something I have loved to do. I never realized the benefits it has to my family or to my pocketbook until I was married for a few years. 

We spent way too much money on processed stuff that was doing nothing for us.  When I decided to start cooking regularly, I was able to dramatically shrink our bill.

It is strange because I think one of the most common misconceptions is that cooking from scratch costs a lot of money.  For most people the opposite happens.  When they begin to cook from scratch you actually spend less.

One of the biggest reasons this happens is because cooking from scratch keeps your pantry simple. – When you cook from scratch you tend to use the same basic ingredients. This means you buy less items to stockpile in your pantry.

  1. You use the same recipes often but do variations of them – I find when I cook from scratch I have base recipes of things that I then can add things to. When we make muffins we have a few items that make the base muffin mix and add the fruits or other items to make them different.
  2. The basic items cost less – Buying base items in bulk cost less then being food pre-prepared, so it saves you money.

There are many other benefits to your family as well.  Cooking this way has less additives and preservatives.  This means your family is getting more of the bulk and goodness of the vegetables and fruits.  It helps your family to maintain a healthy weight and to have a healthy lifestyle for life.

If you are looking for some great recipes to help you start to cook from scratch for your family, check out my Frugal Recipes!

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How to Track Monthly Bills+Free Printable

Filed Under: Family Budget

Revised

 

My husband and I are not new to having to pay bills, especially since he’s been through law school and now we’re living with debt. Since he’s done with law school, it’s important we take the time to know what bills are due and when. Paying a bill late is not an option, so that’s one reason I created this bills worksheet! Here’s a little more on this worksheet and how it can help your budget.

Bills are probably one of the most stressful parts of living the adult life. It’s hard because you need to make sure you have enough money every month to meet the demands of having bills. It’s best if you can sit down and write down what each bill is, amount owed, when it’s due, and so on. Having all of this information in one place is ideal because then you can make sure every bill is delivered on time.

What if you have a large bill you’re paying on? Well, unless you’re relying on the company to send you a bill every month, you might forget exactly what you paid. Putting this information all down in one spot is one way you can reach financial freedom.

monthly bill tracker photo

I’ve created this monthly bill tracker to hopefully make your bill paying life a little easier. With life and kids in the picture, it can be hard to remember to pay something like a bill. With this monthly bill tracker, you’ll be good to go in the bill department. It includes

  • Bill
  • Amount Owed
  • Date Paid
  • Actual Amount Paid
  • Balance

I’d suggest putting this in a binder to start with. Put it in a place you can go back to every month to check. And don’t forget that one of the main parts of this whole “bill” paying this is to remain consistent.

You can actually view the printable and download it  with this link. Monthly_Bill_Tracker.

Please let me know what you think and if you used this printable (and if it helped you)!

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Using Local Markets To Save Money On Grocery Shopping

Filed Under: Budgeting and Money Matters, Frugal Living, How To Save, Ways To Save

 Save money on grocery

If you are new to this series you may want to start at the beginning HERE.

When we were first married I was a one store shopper.  Like most people in the US we went to the closest place to our house and never cared to research prices or other stores that may save us money.  We had a Save Mart close to us and we went and shopped there religiously.

That all changed when I started to be aware of money and where it was going.  We were spending over $600 a month on our family of 4.  So I began to branch out when I started couponing.  I started to go to other stores and found some great deals and much better quality of produce and meats at lower prices.

Then one day a friend of mine rocked my world.  She told me about a market in down town Fresno that was open year round and sold fresh produce for mostly $.50 a pound!  I  was shocked! I had no idea this place existed. Heck, I didn’t even know they could sell produce for that cheap and make money!

I headed down town and was overwhelmed with the choices.  It took me about 30 minutes just to decide what to get.  I was so excited I came home and called everyone I know. I told them that they had to go check this out.  It was amazing to go and leave with a weeks worth of produce for about $10!!!

The produce was great!  It was a market run by local members of the community, they took cash only and were very helpful.  The fact that the market was year round was a HUGE plus because I was able to get the in season items.  During the winter I honestly had no idea what to do with 1/2 the things, but I was able to consistently get all the produce we needed for about $10 a week!!!

Not all farmers markets are the same

Not all markets are the same however.  We went to the weekly farmers market that is close to our home and the prices were higher then the sale prices at the stores.  This market is more about the feel of the market rather then the produce itself.

We have another one in the area that has prices similar to the store but it only runs a few months out of the year.  It is important to know how your farmers market runs when you are planning on using it regularly.

It is also important to know other things as when like your price points.  This can determine if a market is worth your time and your money to go to.  Be sure you also know if you want organic or non-organic produce as the markets will vary on that as well.

Finding a local farmers market

So how do you find your local market?  First off you want to search the internet.  This is a great way to find the high traffic places and to get your feet wet with local markets.

The second thing you want to do is ask everyone you know if they know of a market.  That market I talked about is not advertised anywhere, so if my friend hadn’t told me I would have never known.

Lastly, you need to be prepared.  Take only the cash you want to spend, have your own bags, and if the price isn’t right be prepared to walk away with nothing.  Finding a market you like is a learning process, sometimes you have to go through 3-4 to get the one you want and need, so don’t be afraid to try out different options!

Do you have any tips for finding or shopping at a local market?

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Saving Money On Food By Shopping Through Co-ops

Filed Under: Budgeting and Money Matters, Frugal Living, How To Save, Ways To Save

Saving Money On Food By Shopping Through Co-ops

If you are new to this series you may want to start at the beginning HERE.  

A Food Co-op is a way to save money on food while still shopping for it locally. It is food distribution outlet that acts like a cooperative. That means the decisions about the production and distribution of its food is chosen by its members.  So In a co-op you get to say what type of food you get if it is organic or non-organic, how it is grown and where it is grown.  

Food Co-ops are  are wonderful for those who aren’t afraid to try to cook new things.  They are also wonderful if you want the freshest produce for the cheapest price.  For those who are not so comfortable with those things, they are a bit harder to use unless you are able to get past that.

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