I’ve been keeping track of our finances in my planner for at least 10 years. I keep track of our personal finances and the finances for my husband’s small business. Most businesses wouldn’t be able to do this but ours is a small business (just my husband) so it works.
To give you an overview, we have seven accounts:
- Business Account
- Personal Account
- 5 Savings Accounts
The financial portion of my planner is divided into 5 sections, including:
- Bills to Be Paid
- Work Calendars
Bills To Be Paid
I pay our bills weekly on-line. I tried paying them once a month but I hated doing it that way. I felt like I didn’t know what was going on and was constantly worrying I had forgotten something. Weekly is better for me.
My Bills To Be Paid sheet is set up on a weekly basis. The first column is the date the bills will be paid. That’s every Saturday. I only list the first 4 Saturdays so if there happens to be a 5th that month, I ignore it. That doesn’t mean I skip any bills that would be due that day – it means I pay them the week before! The second column is the date the bill is due and who it’s payable to. The third column is the amount – if it’s a business expense. The fourth column is the amount – if it’s a personal expense.
At the end of each month (or as the new bills come in), I transfer over all the bills and their due dates to the new month’s page. If I don’t know when and how much a bill will be, I put a little reminder in the margin – just in case something goes wrong and the bill doesn’t arrive. Don’t want to forget!
As bills are paid, I highlight them. That allows me to see at a glance that everything is up to date.
In the Business Account section, I have the following forms:
Credit Card Transactions – For each job, my husband has a brown 6×9 envelope with the customer’s name on it. He records his hours and sometimes amounts he pays to other contractors (usually I find out when the check clears). He puts receipts for the job in the envelope. I list all the expenses on the outside of the envelope. Once a week I update the list and reconcile it with the credit card transactions listed on-line. I do this to be sure all charges are accounted for because once in a while a receipt goes missing and doesn’t get charged to the customer. The red Q means I’ve entered the information into Quicken. The little C on the left of a few of the entries means it was a Christmas purchase and will be paid out of the personal account.
I used to copy and paste the list of transaction from the credit card website to an excel spread sheet but the credit card company changed their format and it doesn’t work anymore. So now I hand write the list and keep it in my planner. I record the date of each transaction, the store, the amount and the name of the customer.
Paint Company – This is just a list of the charges and which customer they are for. We haven’t used this account lately so the page is blank but usually there are a least a few entries.
Payables – When a job is complete and we receive payment, I record the deposit amount in the check register. I also figure how much is due to the credit card company or the paint company for materials. I record those amounts in the check register as expenses. But since I haven’t actually paid them yet, I write the same amount on the payable sheet. On the back of the payable sheet, I list the amounts included in that total – just the amounts. When the credit card bill is due, I know exactly which charges have been set aside in the Payables account. I remove the correct amount from the payables sheet and deposit it back into the check register (just on paper since I didn’t actually transfer any money). I use this system so we won’t accidentally spend the materials money.
Truck Loan – I like to keep track of interest, principal and balance.
Check Register – I use this pre-printed form from Franklin Covey to record expenses and deposits.
I balance the checkbook every week. As checks and deposits clear, I highlight them. I also record all business transactions in Quicken. After I enter a transaction in Quicken, I put a Q next to the amount in the checkbook register so I know it’s entered.
To balance the checkbook, I take the balance per bank, add outstanding deposits and deduct outstanding checks. Then I add the register balance and the payables totals. Both numbers should hopefully match.
In the Personal Account, I have the following forms:
Payables – Sometimes I use a credit card for purchases – usually because I get a special discount by using the card. So instead of waiting until the bill is due to come up with the money, I set aside the money the day I charge it. Using the same principal as the payables page for the business, I deduct the amount from the checkbook balance and move it to the Payables Sheet which includes several accounts I sometimes use.
Check Register – I balance the checkbook weekly. I highlight items as they clear. I don’t enter personal information into Quicken – only business transactions. I balance the same way as for the business account.
We have five savings accounts, as follows:
Miscellaneous – Our bank has a program called “Keep the Change”. They round up our debit card purchases and put the difference in this account. I use this account for birthdays and Christmas.
Tax Savings – Since we’re self-employed, we have to withhold our own taxes. Years ago I left them in the checking account until they were sent in but I quickly learned that was dangerous. Now, each week when I pay our salary, I move the taxes to the Tax Savings Account.
Emergency Fund – This is the account we use for emergencies, like car repairs, medical, etc.
Remodeling Account – We’ve been remodeling our house since we purchased it (it was a dump!) and this is where we save money for various projects.
Business Surplus – When we have a really good month, instead of spending the extra, we put it in this account for when we have a bad month.
Every day, I write down at the top of my planner page where David worked that day and any other important details about his day. I also record if he used his work truck for personal use and how many miles. I also record if I used my car for business use and how many miles.
Each week when I’m paying the bills, I update the work calendar. I’ve considered not using the calendar or skipping the information on my daily page, but they both have a place and I think it’s better to have both. I can put more detail on the daily page while the calendar is a summary that allows us to see at a glance how long a job lasted, when it started or ended, etc. I also record mileage when the truck is used for personal or my car is used for business.
So that’s it. It’s a lot of information for one post so if you have questions or if something didn’t make sense, please let me know.
If you’re interested in downloading any of the forms, the FC compact versions are available below. If you want to adjust for Personal size (3-3/4 x 6-3/4), change the left and right margins from 1.25 to 1.5. And if you want to see the check register form, click here.