Being broke sucks. For years, I have kept track of expenses and bills old school style; with a general ledger book and pencil. Recently, a friend suggested a try a template she uses. It is a generalized template with fill in the blanks. The monthly expenses are broken into categories, each category totals itself and shows a reflection in the form of percentage, in relation to our total monthly bills vs. income. Items are grouped together in the traditional way of fixed expenses, like mortgage and car payments; insurance expenses, like car insurance and life insurance; variable monthly bills, like credit card payments.

I am not used to it yet. So far, I have only spent about three hours total trying to learn this new way of tracking expenses. I am looking for a way to track expenses better, have a more realistic grasp on our debt/income ratio-which is demoralizing-and try to increase our savings. How can we work so hard to be this broke? We ran into a few unexpected financial snags during the last three weeks. The result being that all the money I had saved up to purchase a washer & dryer is now gone and I have to start over. These trips to the laundromat are killing me and the expense just keeps adding up. Tomorrow will be another trip to the laundromat.

Since we have moved, I have also lost some income. I sell Avon. Most of my clients were in person and now that I am 40 minutes away from them, they are no longer interested. So it is time to drum up new clients in my new area and see what happens. Hoping for the best 🙂

Coupons are helping, when I can remember to use them. The primary grocery store we shop at does not take them. It is a discount grocery store, so they do not carry name brand products. Our monthly bill for gas in our cars has definitely gone up, but we expected that when we moved here. Trying to keep control of finances is a chore everyone has to face some day. With enough time, I hope this new template helps out. Perhaps I can see something I have been missing and learn from it.

There are a few summer programs the girls want to join, so I really need to pinch pennies in order to make this happen. Swim lessons will be good for them. Neither of my older two can swim and D- is scared to put her head under the water. A- loves to be in the water, but she just cannot swim. She freaks out easily if she goes past her waist. I have reached the point where a swim instructor will be needed in order to help them through this. When in doubt, take classes hosted by someone with more experience and more ideas.

I have no grand ideas about being rich or becoming a millionaire. I just want the monthly bills paid without stress or doubt. And enough money in savings to cover any emergencies that may arise. Wish me luck that this new template helps out!