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In my previous post 7 Debt-Free Resolutions for 2016 I talked about finding a way to visually track our debt-payment process. This is so so important to me because seeing a visual representation of my progress, and knowing I’ll have a few rewards along the way helps me stay motivated! I finally decided on a system for this, and created a FREE printable to share. It can be used to track saving or debt-payment goals, and the Mason jar is a fun alternative to the “thermometer” goal tracking sheets currently available on the world wide web. Hopefully it will help you on your debt-free journey as much as it helps me!

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To fill it out, write your BIG goal on the top line, then divide it into 9 smaller goals and write those goals on the lines beneath; you can even plan a few rewards along the way to keep yourself motivated. Fill in your Mason jar as you go to track your progress! A link to print your own is at the bottom of this post!

 

 

Financial Goal Tracker

Click HERE to print your own!

March 13, 2016 1 comment
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James and I have set a BIG financial goal for 2016 to pay off $40,000 of our home loan debt. We are setting such a big goal because we are eager to start a family, but want the security of being debt-free and able to live comfortably off one income. Making this goal a reality will require dedication and creativity! As we re-evaluate our budget for the new year, here are 7 Debt-Free “Resolutions” for 2016 we will use to help us acheive our financial goals!

7 debt free resolutions

1. We will live below our means.

My husband and I both work full time jobs and earn average incomes, but we have chosen to live on less than half of what we make. My smaller income will be dedicated to covering our living expenses, and we will budget accordingly. We won’t “depend” on his income, and will use it only for building our savings and paying off debt.

2. We will save money on essentials.

To make living off one income more comfortable, we will coupon for our household essentials, buy all our groceries at Aldi and reduce our monthly bills. Doing this will allow us to put some of MY income towards paying off debt as well! I’ll have more posts about how we do this coming soon!

3. We will cut unnecessary spending.

We will scrutinize our spending and separate our “wants” from our “needs”. To quote Dave Ramsey “You can’t get out of debt while keeping the same lifestyle that got your there. Cut out everything except the basics.”

4. We will use a financial planner.

You can find a free printable for the one we use by clicking here. We will use it to track our bills, budget our spending, and keep ourselves accountable to our goals for each month.

5. We will give every dollar a job.

Dave Ramsey wisely said “You’ve got to tell your money what to do or it will leave.” This concept is as basic as having a plan for exactly where every dollar of your paycheck will go, but for some reason it is so SO hard for me to do.  This is something that we will learn this year so we can take full control of our finances and set ourselves up for financial success!

6. We will put all extra income towards our debt.

This includes bonuses, tax returns, overtime pay, and income from the blog or other side jobs. I also have the option to take a payout instead of going on two weeks of paid vacation so we will be dedicating that to our home loan debt as well.

7. We will find a way to visually track our progress.

It’s just so much easier to stay motivated when you can actually SEE your progress, and have a few rewards planned for yourself along the way. We haven’t settled on just how we will do this yet, but when we do I’ll make sure we let you know! ;D

Do you have any tips that have helped you save money and achieve your financial goals? If so we would love to hear them! Just leave a comment below to share!

 

 

January 11, 2016 3 comments
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Today I’ll be sharing a peak at how I create my monthly budget, as well as a FREE download of my 2016 Financial Planner printable! I’m sure I can’t be the only one who’s made a late payment simply because I forgot a bill was due. I always used to get so frustrated with myself, especially if late fee’s were involved. It was like throwing my money away!! I started using this system last year and haven’t missed a payment since! It’s simple to use, takes just a few minutes a month, and reduces my stress level, so it’s a win-win-win! Links for the download are at the bottom of this post!

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My financial planner consists of just these three pages. I keep them in a binder with my calendar, notebook and meal planner (printable coming soon!)

The Oklahomemaker Bill Payment Tracker

This page is my Bill Payment Tracker. If you only use one of the printables I’m sharing with you today, make it this one! It’s a life saver. I start by listing my bills in the column on the left, I like to start with those due at the beginning of the month and work my way down to the bills due at the end of the month. For bills that stay the same I enter the amount, but if it’s one that changes monthly (electric, water, credit cards etc.) I just write “Varies”. Next enter when the bill is due, and then put a check mark by it when it’s been paid! Easy peasy.

The Oklahomemaker Paycheck Budgeting

Since James and I are both on a bi-weekly pay schedules, we plan our spending around two paychecks each month (we live on my income and are using his to pay down our loan). Some months have three paychecks and when those come around we either pay extra towards our house, or save them. To fill this one out you’ll use your Bill Payment Tracker to figure out which bills are due during each pay period and plan accordingly. I set a budget each month for grocery, transportation, giving, and extra expenses and I spread these out over the two paychecks as well. Then add up all your bills and budgeted expenses and subtract that number from  your income. That number should be what you have available to put into savings, pay off loans, etc. Having this in writing always motivates me to stay on budget so I can have the “reward” of extra money at the end of the month.

The Oklahomemaker Password Log

 

The last page isn’t necessarily for financial planning, but it does make paying bills a lot easier! We pay the majority of our bills online so we keep a log with all the web addresses, and account info we need. I write down a hint instead of our actual password, just to be safe. 😉

Well there you have it! I hope these spreadsheets are as helpful to you as they’ve been to me! Links and printing instructions are below:

Bill Payment Tracker PDF Print 1

Paycheck Budgeting PDF Print 12

Password Log PDF Print 1

January 7, 2016 1 comment
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