Every year, after the Christmas decorations are packed away, my husband and I go away for a few days to plan the new year. We spend the first day looking back at the past year's financials - income, expenses, and compare what actually happened to our past year's plan (I know, pretty exciting stuff!). But then, its off to dinner to laugh at our year of unexpected expenses, tight spots narrowly avoided and toast our health, family and each other.
The next day is the long one - we start with our goals (travel, household improvements, and major, but not necessary, purchases), we add in our known expenses (tuition, college, mortgage, etc.), then work backwards to determine how much we need to earn in order to accomplish our goals. We discuss our individual business plans and finally, lay out our budget for the coming year! Some years we follow the plan, others, like in 2008, we throw it out the second floor window and improvise.
If this type of planning is something you are giddy about (or know in your heart you need), then stay tuned, because over the next month I will be sharing with you some great tools, tips and forms to create an organized 2016.
My series will start with a Budget Planner (forms to help you determine your savings goals, household budget, logs for recording bill payment, donations and expenses, as well as a debt pay down worksheet, and a useful year-at-a-glance summary sheet).
The following week we will create a Home Maintenance Binder (included will be forms for recording your annual home maintenance activities, vendor contact information, project planner master list, as well as a record for household purchases and the ever important record for paint colors used throughout the home).
Week three will include all the forms needed to create a Menu Binder (menu plan, grocery list, pantry inventory, freezer inventory, and places to keep track of your favorite breakfast, lunch and dinner recipes).