I hope to share some ideas today on how to make budgeting fun, so you’ll actually do it! These are two words you don’t often see paired together so let’s dive in to the process.
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First, a little background and why I don’t use a spreadsheet.
There is nothing like a major financial milestone to make you take a serious look at your finances. This summer, we learned our daughter would be transferring to complete her degree eight months earlier than originally planned. That kind of change has a serious impact on the cash flow.
I have an accounting and finance background, so I could use spreadsheets and apps better than many people for budgeting, but using them so much means I find that boring! Formulas, pivot tables, tabs, and cells were not the kinds of tools that make budgeting fun.
This led me to YouTube for inspiration. I found ideas for using a product I already loved, Erin Condren’s Deluxe Monthly Planner and gave our budgeting process a reboot to incorporate some fun.
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This search led me to Caitlin’s shop on Etsy and today I want to share my thoughts on the November Budget Kit she offers.
I ordered the Budget Kit November Autumn Flowers and the Bills and Paydays Add On item. You can also get add-ons for Sinking Funds or a Spending Tracker. I wanted to keep the cost close to what it may cost to use a monthly app like Every Dollar, so I didn’t order everything.
What I love about these Budgeting kits.
- Stickers can be repositioned but don’t pull off unintentionally
- Rich, beautiful colors
- Variety of colors in the accent stickers
- Mix of functional and decorative stickers
- Coordinate perfectly with the monthly colors of Erin Condren designs
- Flexible design means you can customize your columns, rows and layout
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The following images show the layout I chose, and the final result.
I took my time over the course of an evening to think about what was important to us for tracking. I also considered how I could best use the sticker set while keeping white space on the pages.
Key areas I’m tracking this month.
- Income totals
- Several irregular expenses like property tax
- Restaurant purchases
You can use a legal pad, notebook, planner, phone app, or computer spreadsheet to budget – the key is actually doing it!