Monday, May 2, 2011

House Account Monthly - Meme - A Prudent Homemaker

Something to consider

House Account Monthly - Meme - A Prudent Homemaker: "

House Account Monthly is a meme for Prudent Homemakers.

On the 1st of each month, we will write a check-in post of our adventures in keeping detailed records of our spending. We will not be sharing any personal financial information, but simply encouraging one another and answering a few check-in questions. Next, come back to this site and link up, so we can all visit the various blogs and see how we are all doing.

A Background on House Accounts:

Keeping a ledger of household accounts was a common practice. Sarah Edwards, wife of Puritan minister Jonathan Edwards, was said to have provided historians with a detailed picture of their spending because she wrote down every single transaction.

'It was a happy circumstance that he could trust everything to the care of Mrs. Edwards with entire safety and with un-doubting confidence. She was a most judicious and faithful mistress of a family, habitually industrious, a sound economist, managing her household affair with diligence and discretion.' from Marriage to a Difficult Man- The Uncommon Union of Jonathan & Sarah Edwards by Elisabeth D. Dodds

Did you ever see the movie, Little Women starring Susan Sarandon? You will see them, at times, leaning over a household ledger account.

Edith A. Barnett, in 1894 (London) wrote a book called 'Primer of Domestic Economy.' Here is a quote from this document - 'Whether the income be small or large, certain or uncertain, the good housewife will keep an accurate account of her income and expenditure.' She also wrote this: 'Probably women as housekeepers spend the greater part of the money that is spent in the world.'

The History of Your Estate

Whether you live in a mansion, mobile home or a cozy apartment, your assets are your estate. This includes your furniture, savings, vehicle and personal belongings. Every family has their own estate. If we carefully record our household spending, we are providing a history of our estate!

The Plan

1. You must write down every single cent you spend, every single day. You can record this in a Ledger book, composition notebook, computer software program or any kind of notebook you like.Write down the date, a description and the amount.

2. Keep receipts of all your purchases. Transfer these to the ledger book at the end of the day. You also need to transfer your debit transactions and any checks you write, into the ledger book. (You can store the receipts in a large manila envelope.)

3. At the end of the month, look this over and add up your spending. See if there is any way you can make improvements for the next month.

4. Be willing to share this book with your husband.

A Lesson for Children (Optional)

I plan to have my children do this with me. I will show them how a ledger works. I will let them record my transactions and look over my receipts. This will be an amazing financial education for them.

The Check-in Questions

On the 1st of each month, come back here and copy and paste these questions to include in your blog post.

1. Did you record all your spending this month?

2. What are your goals for keeping a ledger? (Example - Get out of debt; Get a grip on spending; Teach my children sound financial skills; Be more accountable to my family for my spending, Analyze spending habits, Have a record of our estate, etc.)

3. Do you have a success story to share? (Example - reduced electric bill; paid off a debt; lowered grocery bill; saved for a vacation, etc.) We'd also love to hear your tips and ideas!

4. (Optional) How are your children doing with this? Any cute sayings from them, or progress in their financial education?

5. Any helpful resources you've found? (such as a website, link to an article, or book)

6. Were you able to put aside some savings this month?

7. Comments or Thoughts?

Please include the Meme Image in your posts. You are also welcome to place this on your blog sidebar if you'd like:

<a border="0" href="" target="_blank"><img border="0" src="" style="cursor: pointer; display: block; height: 166px; margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center; width: 154px;" /></a>

The first check-in is scheduled for June 1st. You are welcome to begin at any time.

Join up!

1. Write a blog post for your readers announcing your participation. (Don't forget to include the Meme Button in your post!) Next, leave me a comment here, letting me know you are joining. Please include a link to your blog post. We'd all love to read it!

2. Come back here on the first of each month to link up your check-in. I will have a Mr. Linky posted at the end of my own check-ins.

Here is what I plan to do - I prefer the hardbound Ledger book because I love to sit at the table or desk and carefully write out each item. I will also include my children in this and let them do many of the transactions.

Thanks so much for your participation! I can't wait to begin. When I told my husband about this, he was thrilled! When we used to own our store, I was responsible for all the bookkeeping and accounting. I used a hardbound ledger book and hand-wrote all our expenses. At the end of each month, I added up my transactions and came up with simple monthly statements and filed my monthly tax reports. My husband had full confidence and trust that I was handling our business accounts with honesty and integrity. I want him to have the same confidence in me with our household account.

Mrs. White

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