Living sustainably is enough of a chore without trying to figure out the bookkeeping side of it all! And I wanted to make that easier for you. Over the last year, I have been dreaming and thinking about the best way to organize and track all of our homestead-related expenses, income, projects, and garden info. So, drumroll please…. I present the Urban Homestead Management Binder! Seriously peeps, this is the shiz when it comes to taking care of the bookkeeping side of your homesteading adventures. And, I’m giving it to you for free, cause I want you all to focus on the fun stuff: growing food, simplifying your life and cultivating more happiness! Just drop your name and email address in the boxes at the bottom of this post and I will send a copy your way!!
Here’s What’s Included:
- Monthly Progress Report: It’s easy to get caught up in all the work that needs to be done and forget about the work we have done already! This page is a place to track your progress and celebrate the little victories!
- Monthly Project List: Each new season and new month brings with it a to-do list. Use these pages to write down monthly to-do items so nothing is forgotten.
- Annual Financial Overview: This is the place to tally up your financials at the end of the year and see how you did! There is a line for each expense and income total from the categories listed in the sections below.
Expense Tracking Pages:
Starting and sustaining a homestead will definitely incur expenses, whether you have 25 acres or .25 acres! The expense section of the Urban Homestead Management Binder includes a monthly expense tracking page for each of the categories below. Each page provides space to record purchase date, item details and cost.
Expense categories include:
– Animals & Feed
– Repair and Maintenance
– Business Inputs
– Miscellaneous Supplies
Income Tracking Pages:
Chances are, you will eventually start earning an income from your homestead, whether it’s selling honey to a neighbor or selling produce at a farmer’s market. The income section of the Urban Homestead Management Binder will be your best friend when it comes to tracking sales. I have included a monthly income tracking page for each of the categories below.
Income categories include:
– Garden & Produce
– Handmade Items
– Customer Contact List: The customer contact list allows you to record important customer contact information, including name, address, email address, phone number, products purchased, and more!
The Urban Homestead Management Binder wouldn’t be complete without a section to track all of your garden plans, progress and success! The Garden section of the Urban Homestead Management Binder includes:
- Garden Blueprints: This is a space you can use to plan out your garden areas and record what you have planted in each spot. I always end up printing several of these pages and use one for each garden bed.
- Planting Tracker: This is the ultimate tracker for each of your plants or crops! Record the crop/plant name, date planted, production date, and any care and production notes. It’s so nice to have all that info in one place so that you can refer back to it year after year!
- Food Preservation Log: This is one of my favorites! It provides a place to record all the hard work you did during harvest! Record your food preservation amounts, dates, and methods.
How to Use the Urban Homestead Management Binder:
How you use the Urban Homestead Management Binder is entirely up to you! I designed it to provide as much flexibility as possible, because no two homesteads are operated the same way. And while it is geared towards urban and small acreage homesteads, you can definitely adapt it to fit larger scale homesteads as well. It’s all about finding the method that works best for you!
Here are some tips to get you started:
- Print Only What You Want/Need: You may not need all of the pages, so don’t feel obligated to print them all. You can print pages as you go, or print everything you will need for the year.
- Combine Pages to Save Trees: I’m sure there’s a little tree hugger in us all, so don’t feel like you have to print a new expense or income page for each month if you don’t need it. I usually combine multiple months onto one page and just tally each month as I go.
- Create a Binder: I usually print out at least one of each of the pages to begin with (I add more as needed), hole punch them, and place them in a 3-ring binder. Next year, I would really like to print an entire year’s worth of pages and take them to a copy & print shop to have them bound so that I have a nice, professionally bound book to use throughout the year.
- Add Extras: The sky is the limit! Add sticky tabs to separate the different sections, include envelopes and page protectors to hold receipts, add daily planner pages, keep sticky notes handy by sticking a stack of them inside the binder cover, etc. The important thing is to make your binder work for you!
I really am excited to be sharing this with you guys! I put a lot of hours into designing it so that it would be functional for a wide range of people and homesteading styles, from the beginner growing their first garden to the experienced self-sustained homesteader. I hope that it adds value to your life and makes managing your homestead a little bit easier! Oh, and did I mention that it’s free?!
If you haven’t gotten your copy of the Urban Homestead Management Binder yet, just click on the button below to get access to the binder along with all our other free printables!
Have you tried our Urban Homestead Management Binder? What cool tips and tricks have made the binder work even better for you? We would love to have you share and inspire us by leaving a comment below!