The Homeschool Budget

Do you have a homeschool budget?

Do you know what’s going out and what’s coming in?

Yeah.

Me neither.

And between all the Back-to-school supplies, Used-Curriculum sales and crazed Online ordering,
I am at a loss for what I actually spent on our Homeschool this year.

So in an effort to regain my sanity,
and in classic, “I should have done this FIRST” mode,
I have created a simple (and pretty) homeschool budget tracker.

Homeschool Budget Tracker

Nothing fancy.

Just a few places to keep track of what I spent for the year,
to help me plan for the following years.

It may look extra simple,
but over the past few years I’ve found that simple is good.

I even gave myself some simple rules for using this budget sheet.


Dear Self:

Rule #1: Don’t write down each and every individual item. Seriously, you have other things to do. You don’t want to give yourself a case of Budget Burnout like last year.

Rule #2: Don’t even separate things by subject, or child. Just keep your receipt and write down the dollar amount. Go for a general budget idea. Trust me, I know you.

Rule #3: Be proactive, write out a best guess at what you’ll spend beforehand. Come back and see how close to target you were. Give yourself a little incentive……Extra Homeschool dollars can be spent on coffee.

Rule #4 Tell the Truth. You know the difference between homeschool NEEDS and WANTS. You’ve got ZILLIONS of half used pencils. Reuse last years notebooks. Seriously. Get real girl and remember….coffee.

Rule #5: When you’re all done, look up the price of Private Education and pat yourself on the back. Job well done Momma!

What about you?
What Budget methods work for you?

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Comments

  1. says

    Haha! I loved the notes to self. :) Except I think extra homeschool dollars should be spent on chocolate! ;)

    Great idea….I need to do this. I have no idea how much I have spent. Good think I have been saving my receipts!

  2. says

    Oh and I have yet to find a method that works consistently because it has one weak link…ME. But I hold out hope that I am changing for the better. ;) And with chocolate as my motivator…lol!

  3. Brandy says

    I actually do know what I spend on school related things. My husband and I use the Accounts 2 app on our phones and categorize every receipt we put into it. You can even split transactions on that thing. So, if I spend $140 at the grocery store and $40 of it was school related, I can split it into two categories. Any money we spend on school (field trips, curr., supplies, classes, etc.) gets categorized as school. And the very best thing about this app is that it is basically a digital check register so no more paper/pencil. Plus, my phone syncs with my husband’s. If he buys gas and enters it, it shows up on mine. LOVE IT! It graphs everything, too, so we can see if we are staying on budget in every category we have a budget for. Speaking of budgets, I do not have a homeschool budget but I don’t go crazy buying stuff. I learned when I was a classroom teacher, that just because something looks good doesn’t mean I will use it.

  4. sue says

    Hi Valerie,
    I love your site! Thanks for sharing your ideas with us. I think I know what my budget is at the mo’ , because I haven’t spent anything yet. I might buy some history readers and some apologia science, but anything else will have to wait , until around November. Theres so much I would like to buy, but at the mo’ it just has to wait. I will be using the ‘allinonehomeschool’ site this year. Its free and I think its been put together really well. Thanks again Valerie for being so kind and sharing with us……………Sue

  5. says

    Thanks for sharing. I don’t feel as bad knowing I’m not the only one not tracking well. I just started an excel spreadsheet last month to start tracking. Love your self notes…those are similar to the decisions I made. Now to follow the one about want and need ;)

  6. Caroline Garrison says

    Education Books & Supplies is a line item in our monthly budget. It varies from month to month depending on income. And often falls “below the line” as a non-necessity, so I have to make due with freebies and the Dollar Store, but hey – it’s there. And when there are a few extra dollars in the budget I can usually talk my husband into putting them in the Education category (he gave me enough this month to purchase the Magic School Bus DVD set for science next year :o)

    Try YNAB (You Need A Budget) they give you a trial period and then the download is $60. I love Dave Ramsey’s online budget, but I don’t like spending the monthly membership fee, so I’ve found this to be a great alternative.

    But I LOVE your curriculum planner and will try that this year (we’re switching things up for my 9th grader and who knows what I’m doing for the younger boys).

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