Money matters doesn’t it – as far as I’m concerned it most certainly does – some months there doesn’t seem to be enough to go round – Gas and Electric went up earlier this year, health insurance is rising again next month and so many items in the supermarket are going up – these are what are affecting us at the moment.  Stocking up on non perishables is mandatory in our house, I’ve nearly always shopped with a list but recently have even taken to using a calculator as well – just to keep an eye on the total of the ticket!

The other week I mentioned in passing we were starting to plan our winter trip and that meant I have been thinking about the M word and the B word.  Those two words  ‘Money and Budgets’ – are bandied around a lot on the Internet and can be the bane of our lives if we aren’t able to manage them properly.
For me, I find it helps if I keep a record of purchases and payments – anyone remember my exercise book from a few years ago?  The idea is still going strong with a new one each year:)

We all have different methods of keeping check on where the cash is and what we spend it on; mine is no more special that anyone else’s and I certainly don’t always keep to the budget we have decided on at the beginning of each year.  Quite by chance I recently re-found a download for a budget spreadsheet that I had used a while ago – refound as in I ‘accidently’ deleted it and it took me ages to find it again on the web.  On a Mothers and Baby site of all places lol

Have a look at it here – http://sites.google.com/site/budget-tracking/.  Downloading this spreadsheet is easy, its in two parts, one for your budgeted amounts and another for actual monthly expenditure over the year.  It doesn’t provide you with more money nor will it stop you spending money that you ‘don’t have’ but if you record what you do spend (and there are lots of categories for that to happen) it will show you visually where you are overspending; to me its a help because I need to know we are able to survive (and also save a bit) on what we do receive 🙂

What tricks do you have for keeping an eye on your finances?  Is there enough to go round or have you had to cut back again?