Week 1 - Creating Your Personal Finance Binder



Here’s week 1 of 12 Weeks to Fiscal Fitness. This week I detail how to create your personal finance binder. You can listen to the podcast below and read the article I previously wrote entitled How to create a financial binder.

There are a couple of audio glitches in the podcast so don’t be alarmed or think it’s your mp3 player. It turns out I need to disable my screen saver while I’m recording. Also, I compressed this podcast more than last week to keep the file size down. Please let me know if there are any compatibility issues playing the podcast.

I’ll be providing some additional resources for newsletter subscribers later in the week including:

  • List of accounts form
  • List of Bills form
  • Decision form
  • Savings goals forms
  • Net worth spreadsheet and screencast - UPDATE: I may delay this to a later week because it may take too much time with the other assignments.

Here’s a link to the Annual Credit Report site where you can get your free yearly reports.

Man I look like a smurf in the video below. I’ll have to work on my lighting.

Your assignments this week are as follows:

  • Create your personal financial binder. Don’t worry about filling out all the information in the binder. Instead, just make sure you’ve created the binder and fill in as much information as you can.
  • Start using cash exclusively in three budget categories: one that each spouse chooses and in the grocery budget category.
  • Try to automate as many of your bills as possible. See if you can get on an even-payment program for your utility bills (specifically gas and electric).

As always, leave your comments, experiences, and questions in the comments below. Let me know how the assignments are going. Are they too hard and confusing? Are they too easy? Do they help?

HERE’S THE PODCAST:
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Posted in 12 Weeks to Fiscal Fitness |

6 Comments to “Week 1 - Creating Your Personal Finance Binder”

  1. Week 2 – How To Create Your First Net Worth Statement | Getting Finances Done Says:

    [...] by Sam This week will be a simple one.  Last week you had a big assignment to create your personal financial binder and this week we’ll be adding the Net Worth Statement to the [...]

  2. ben Says:

    i am about to start your program as a single guy. i know you write about couple finances but i want to try it and see if i can make it work for a single guy. ive never had any financial work done so im eager to learn. ive finally become financially stable and would like to be responsible. thanks for your information.

  3. Sam Says:

    Ben, welcome aboard. This program will totally work if you’re single. I always forget to mention that. You can just tune out when I talk about couple stuff. I’m glad you’re giving it a try.

  4. Jodi Says:

    On the list of debts should we put in the minimum payment each month or the amount we actually pay? Will there be a separate sheet later for tracking some sort of debt snowball? Sorry if I’m jumping ahead. Just getting excited about putting my stuff together!

  5. Sam Says:

    Jodi, good question. since the actual amount you pay may vary a lot from month to month, you probably can’t list a single number. Instead I would list your minimum payment. If you want you could add a slash and put in your average actual payment as well. Mostly this information is for reference purposes so you can see all your financial information at a glance. It’s not meant to be a debt snowball (although I will certainly be addressing that later) but will certainly be referred to in creating your get-out-of-debt plan.

  6. Sahamamama Says:

    We are working to establish a budget, pay our bills, and have a feasible plan with our finances. It is so hard to make ends meet from month to month. Putting it all down on paper is overwhelming, but we think that in the end it will help us. It just looks so bleak to SEE, in black and white, that there isn’t enough and there is nowhere to “cut.” We literally do wonder how to keep our children fed.

    Thanks for all the work you put into setting up these sessions. Everyone we know could benefit from what you teach, and we will be passing on the word!

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