I'm getting ready for the Big 2012 Challenge, and at this very moment, I'm perfectly comfortable with the approach.
I've been planning for a few months and this past month has really pushed me to start the reduced spending a little sooner (of course, the generous bonuses sort of took the edge off and helped me with a few troubling bills) ...
One of the things that I am so hoping that I can stay FOCUSED on is the use of two binders I set up. BOTH binders came from the office, free and were going to be thrown away (gasp) by my boss. I quickly claimed ownership before he could do the toss!
One is strictly for tax purposes, tracking income and expenses. 100%. I anticipate that I will have 3 or 4 1099's at the end of the 2012 so I want to be sure I can get my tax writeoffs where I can. Rather than dreading the month of April (2013), I'm hoping this will help me be way ahead of the game and ready by mid February. The binder is divided into twelve sections, one for each month. There is a cover page for income and a two additional pages for expenses. This should really help me out, I think. I plan on each month having a total for income and total of business expenses.
The other binder is for all income and all expenses. It will also track of the balances of credit cards, month to month (and hopefully I will see them hit ZERO much sooner than if I didn't track them).
Again, it's separated into twelve sections, one for each month. The first page of each month is a breakdown of the budget with a column next to each allowance for the ACTUAL cost.
I will apply the snowball effect on the credit cards with hopes that I will see zero on all by the end of the year. I am dedicated $400 off the top to credit card payments. How crappy is that to have to be back in that situation?
I am also budgeting money towards the savings account each month. This will be treated like any other bill.
I added a page for comments, notes and thoughts. In other words, what was difficult to deal with, what was rewarding, what needs to be re-evaluated and so on. This binder will almost be like a journal!
If you really want to see my REAL BUDGET, then hop over here. I've not included Sonny Boy's monthly money for food as I'm really hoping that he's getting a job and can get his own food. I give him approximately $25 to $30 a week which is nothing when milk is $4 a gallon. This of course will have to be re-evaluated and worked out, I'm sure.
Are you ready for the New Year yet?
Linking up with Works For Me Wednesday and Frugal Fridays ...