House Account Monthly is for Prudent Homemakers.
On the 1st of each month, I will write a check-in post of our adventures in keeping detailed records of our spending. I will not be sharing any personal financial information, but simply answering a few check-in questions.
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
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
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.
To Help give you ideas about handling your money, here is a list of posts:
- Thrift - Home Economy - Index of Featured Articles
- A Description and Picture of my personal ledger account- The History of Our Financial Lives
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.
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.
How about you? Are you interested in taking on this fun challenge?
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