For plenty of new adults, managing their finances after graduation and upon entry into the work force is a tough challenge. From having regular allowances from parents and not having to keep a close eye on their budgets, for many young workers this post-graduation “real world” is more often than not a shock: Now, living on their own means having to start paying their own ways and monitoring so many major expense items, such as gadget installments and subscriptions, rent and utilities, and phone and internet bills—on top of daily living expenses.
Without a proper way of monitoring all these items, it is easy to lose track of where each payday’s payout goes, and before we know it, missed credit card deadlines result to additional fees and disconnection notices can stem from forgotten due dates.
We at Black Books have certainly felt this helplessness at the face of mounting financial commitments, at some point. It was tough transitioning from simply managing a small monthly food allowance to making sure that we’re spending our hard-earned salaries in the right things.
Amid this struggle to find the most effective way to track expenses and establish a working budget, the world went madly on, and mistakes were made along the way: We found ourselves enjoying the freedom of getting to spend our money however we wanted to a bit too much, devoting bulk of our salaries to food and travel without thinking about racking up credit card bills and setting money aside for savings and investments.
In the end, we realized it was time to police our spending habits, no matter how difficult. We turned to apps and installed digital budget trackers, but soon we realized that mixing small and big ticket expenses did not help us assess how to adjust our budgets.
Moreover, keeping our tracking digital also made our data easy to misplace in the clutter of things on the internet and our smartphones. The internet was rife with distractions, which made it hard for us to focus on getting our budgets done properly.
At this point, the solution is obvious: Turn to paper planners. With digital logging too distracting, it was time to list down expenses using pen and paper.
However, after going through several options, finding the perfect fit was a struggle: Some had more features than needed, while some had less than what was required. Eventually, mere tracking of expenses became a challenge in itself—the information was still cluttered, and it wasn’t clear which among the expense items were the priorities.
Eventually, we came to realize a few things about what the solution was: First, we had to become more diligent about logging our expenses. And then, in the absence of the perfect tool, we also realized we had to make it ourselves.
And so The Ledger was born. As a dedicated bills planner, it is meant to track big ticket expenses—‘non-negotiables’ such as rent, bills, and taxes.
What sets The Ledger apart from the other planners is that it is more focused. This way it helps the user oversee balances and bills—all in one place, no distractions. The user is not tracking Starbucks drinks or food purchases here; it’s dedicated to just the most important things that the user has to spend on every month.
The Ledger is divided into 2 major sections—the first pages are devoted to masterlists of key numbers and payees, which serve as a handy reference for everything money-related.
The second part is composed of monthly pages, which include a Calendar, an Agenda page, and dedicated trackers for outstanding credit card bills and bank balances. Having clearly defined portions ensured focus, with the pages arranged to make it easier to track dates and deadlines. This system also makes it easier to track how much money is needed to pay for "non-negotiables," and how much is available for allocation elsewhere.
Feel more in control about your finances. Stay confident that you know where your money is going, and that you're spending it on the right things. Follow your own money trail and use it as your personal guide in adjusting your budgets as needed.
With The Ledger, managing finances need not be terrifying or daunting.
The Ledger is a dedicated bills planner. It aims to be a single view of all big ticket recurring financial obligations.