Recently I became aware of our need to track upcoming expenses in a more organized way. In the past couple of years we have ventured into the world of kid’s extra-curricular activities, and boy is it expensive. It used to be that we just had to budget for our monthly bills, which pretty much stayed the same in terms of dates and amounts. Now, we have a never ending cycle of sports seasons and class sessions with all different dates and amounts due. It’s enough to make a person’s head spin sometimes.
I am the one who typically receives all of the information and has to relay it to my husband. With a third baby in tow now, and two kids in lots of different programs and activities, I have been losing it a little. Earlier this summer I mentioned to him that we need to sit down and talk about all of the expenses we had coming up in August. Fast forward to July, we finally sat down to talk about it and he was a little eh, surprised. I had listed out loud to him all of the different things and amounts, but we hadn’t actually sat down to talk about due dates and totals. It was then I realized, we need a better system to keep track of upcoming expenses that we can both update and refer to on a regular basis.
In those post I’ll explain our system and share a free template to keep track of your upcoming expenses with your spouse.
How We Keep Track of Upcoming Expenses
To track upcoming expenses in a way I could easily share with Chris, I created a Google Sheet for us to share. This way, we can both make notes and see updates “live”. I use a similar system to track our student loan debt balance and keep Chris updated. Each month, I update the balances when I pay our student loan payments. Then I send an email to Chris with the link, or he can refer to it any time he wants to know the balance because he already has the link.
Related: Free Excel Budget Template
For our upcoming expenses, I created a new sheet that includes all of the details about each expense. This sheet can include anything from sports, school, birthday parties you know of in advance, trips, oil changes, car registration. You pretty much want to note any additional expense outside of your normal monthly bills and expenses.
Google Sheets are great because you can share them with one or more people and allow them editing permissions. This way, Chris and I can both add expenses that we are aware of, and make notes for the other person if needed. We can also both access it any time, from anywhere we have internet access.
I included in the file what the expense is (Gymnastics for example), the due date, the amount due, notes, and a column to note when and how it was paid. It may make sense for you to just delete rows as you pay each expense. However, I have been using the strike-through feature and leaving paid expenses on the sheet. I think this will become a handy reference for me while doing our annual taxes.
Of course, it’s not enough to just keep track of expenses on this sheet.
If you just have the sheet and you never talk about it with your spouse, someone is still going to end up surprised about an expense.
It’s important to use the sheet as a tool to keep track, but the key is communication. First, record all of your upcoming expenses on the Google sheet for as far out as you can think. Then set up a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly meeting with your spouse to review it.
Free Template to Keep Track of Upcoming Expenses
When you open the document, you’ll see directions for use at the top. You’ll need to make your own copy to edit. Then I suggest bookmarking that page for easy future access. If you do happen to lose the link to your file, you can login to your Google account and go to Google Sheets. There you can see a list of all sheets you own or have access to view or edit.
If you prefer to work with the file in Excel instead of Google Sheets, follow the steps below:
- Go to File.
- Hover over Download As.
- Click Microsoft Excel.
- A file will download to your computer that you can open and edit as your own.
Having one place to keep track of upcoming expenses has helped me become a better communicator with my husband in this area. It gives us a system to follow and one place to refer to. It also helps us plan ahead to be prepared for additional expenses farther in advance.
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Hi, I’m Jessica! I am wife to Chris, and mom to Kaiper, Alana and Koa. I am a freelance website & blog developer and aspiring author. I share about everything from parenting, how to make money from home, tutorials for my fellow bloggers, work-at-home mom life and being a homeschool family. Learn more about me here.