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14 September 2010

Filofaxing Your Finances

While reading the excellent Reader Under The Spotlight series, I have noticed that several people use their Filofaxes to manage their finances (like Judith and Michele).  This is a topic I blogged about in a very wordy post last year, but since then my financial situation has changed drastically and I'm currently searching for inspiration on ways to wrangle my finances.

I love Yvotchka's photos of her Amazona slimline which she used as her Financial Filofax (and has since absorbed those pages into her new Malden).  But even the photos are tantalizingly vague!

For those of you who use your Filofax for financial organization, can you please give us some details on how you do it?  Do you track daily expenditures?  (If so, on your diary pages or elsewhere?)  Do you have a designated section for financial tracking?  How do you use it?

Any specifics you are comfortable with sharing would be greatly appreciated!

15 comments:

  1. I track the usual amounts going out regularly on the financial pages, then extra amounts like a debit card payment or cash withdrawals on diary pages so I've an idea of my account balance-these days almost everyone needs to know where every penny goes!

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  2. Hi Laurie
    Check out the Files section, I've just added a file I already had 13 Column Sheet. You can use it to track either 31 days with different items in the columns, or 31 items across 12 months with a total column and one for descriptions.

    I think the form is possibly an FC page, I spotted the design in the Advance Day Planner Users Guide book I have and reviewed here in July last year.

    It's in A4 format on 4 pages.. the usual booklet print will give you 4 A5 pages on one sheet of A4 paper.


    Steve

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  3. Hi Laurie. Daily calendar only has what we spend on meals not home cooked. One piece of notepaper a month - both sides: Side 1: Total Cash In:.. Expenses List: Rent, School Fees, Cable TV, Phone, Car, Groceries, Meals (grand total of daily calendar, Medical, Donations, Misc, Clothing/Haircuts, each credit card. Then there is a separate list which I total at end of month and put on the Expense List: Car, Donations, Medical, Misc, Haircut/Clothing, Groceries.... Gives you a great idea how to budget if you give yourself a ballpark average. At end of month, I add up all the columns, and do a Total Income - Total Exp.... Mind you this is one reason I've been keeping a filo for so long!! ;-)

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  4. I use several of the Filofax forms to keep track of finances.

    I keep track of my checking accounts with the regular finace form, I really like it instead of the check register that is included with each box of checks. It keeps it all in one place and when archived at years end, they are easy to access for tax purposes. Before I had check registers strung from hell to breakfast, and there was always one that couldn't be found.

    I use the credit card form when on trips. I use 4 different cards, and abbreviate each one so I know how much I have spent, and what the damages will be when I get home and the bills start coming in.

    The best form which hasn't been available for a number of years was the "Motor Running Record". It was #937, and I have used it for all my vehicles, on one since the mid 80's. That vehicle now has well over 300,000 miles on it and I have a record of every cent spent on it since new. I wish they would bring this form back as it has been extremely rewarding to watch as the old girl just keeps going.

    I need to use the personal expense form, I will try to start that for the new year.

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  5. Crofter: that vehicle form sounds great, is there a picture of it somewhere? Perhaps someone can make a template based on it.

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  6. I have a home made budget form that I made to track my weekly expenses. I will post a 'blank' version on flickr today. I track my incomes on the top left then total them. On the right are my fixed bills. (I pay a little towards them each week and I often don't recieve any bills in the mail.) I them subtract my fixed bills from my income. This money is then what is left for petrol, groceries and anything else that crops up during the week. At the bottom of the page is room to record expenses but I am not yet in the habit of doing that. :-)

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  7. As well as the normal in/out expenditure information I also have four special pages on which I record gas, electric and petrol mileage readings (2 cars).
    Each month I check my gas and electric meters and use the energy companies pricing information to calculate the monthly spend. As UK energy bills are issued quarterly I always know in advance what my costs are likely to be. Whenever my wife or I fill up we record the mileage, petrol cost and litre price. These figures can be used to calculate mileage or journey costs for different cars. A calculator insert helps if you want to do this away from your desk. Past records are useful to see how petrol, gas and electric prices have changed and how your use and costs vary throughout the year.This is all done on a relatively simple matrix layout. You can do the calculations in a spreadsheet if you wish, but keep the record sheets and archive in your filofax.

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  8. I have a personal size Filofax dedicated to my budget planning. I have the following tabs:
    Supermarket,
    Car (gas, insurance, repair),
    Pets (vet, meds, food, supplies), Drugstore/Pharmacy,
    Office supplies/Stationary,
    Home (Decorations, furniture),
    Kids (school fees, presents, clubs)
    Clothing (clothes and shoes for all family members),
    Outings/Presents (all extra costs for days out, eating/drinking out, cinema, presents for other people)

    I do not have a tab for mortgage, gas, water, electricity. Those are all fixed costs that I don't have control over (unless we sold our house or something similar drastic). All the other costs are controllable.
    I also don't record my incomes, cos that's also more or less the same each month. I just wanna know where the money goes to!

    I record all my spendings as they occur in my always present Mini Filofax (which is also my wallet). I have a special tab with note pages exclusively for this purpose. Once a week (sometimes more often) I transfer the costs in my Personal budget planner which always stays at home. At the end of the month I add up all the costs.
    I have to say it's really insightful. For example: I KNOW that it's cheaper to leave the car at home as much as possible and take the bike. But now I actually SEE the difference in the monthly figures. I was pleasantly surprised by the spendings on grocery, which were less than I assumed.

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  9. Wow everybody, thanks for these details! And Steve, thanks for the 13 Column Sheet, that is an excellent form.

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  10. Laurie, you stole my idea for my next FFAF! I was going to talk about money. LOL! That's OK...I've come up with a different idea.

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  11. Oops! Sorry Nan! Great minds think alike I guess.

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  12. Wow, all very detailed financial planning. All I do is norte any spending (in a different colour) on my diary pages together with a note of how it was paid, i.e. cash, credit card, paypal etc

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  13. I have a regular checking account page plus a page for my savings and a separate page for credit card purchases (all on standard financial pages... and I have a running total on my credit card page to make sure that I can pay it off in full every month... do this to rake in the airmiles!!!). I also have a page for work expenses and cross them off when they are deposited into my bank account. This systems seems to work well for me....

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  14. @crofter
    I know it's a bit late perhaps, only recently found this blog, but still:

    If the "Motor Running Record" is anything like what I think it is, it still exists, in Swedish, from Filofax Sweden
    http://www.filofax.se/store/paperessentialsdetails.asp?productId=1076

    If not, mind hooking me up with a picture of it, and I can recreate it for you.

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  15. Or take a look at the form I put in the Files area this morning, not quite the same design but similar.

    Steve

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