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How to keep the books straight

Bookkeeping is the most basic of forms is nothing more than a recording of all financial transactions which are made by a business – in this case by live-in carers who reside at a client’s house.

Most live-in carers will have a certain amount of money at their disposal to pay for shopping and maybe taking a client out for coffee and lunch.

While this should be a simple affair, having different carers every few weeks means that more than one person deals with financial recordings, often leaving things in confusion.

 How to keep the books in order

The first thing to do is to have a book set aside for financial transactions alone. This should be separate from the daily record book you keep for your client. 

It is not a notebook to make shopping lists or other reminders in. This book should be kept solely for showing and keeping track of who spends what and where.

Any schoolbook type will suffice here, so long as it has lines to write on.

Use both pages, the left page being for income and the right page for expenses. You can label them if you so wish.

Make sure you have a column on the right of each page which is where you will be writing the amount. 

The left page

The left-hand page is only to be used for income. This includes:

  • Money that is in the household purse when you arrive
  • Any money which family have given you to top up the housekeeping

The right-page

The right-hand page is only used for expenses. This includes:

  • Everything that you spend anywhere – shopping, taxis, chemist, coffee, etc.

Make sure that you have enough space to note the date, the place, and the amount you have spent.

At the end of your placement

Add up the amount on the left page, and then add up the amount on the right page.

The difference in the amount – and hopefully you still have more in the income side (left page) should match the physical amount you hold in the household purse.

The amount of left-over money is then entered onto the next set of two pages for the incoming carer. This shows her the exact amount that she has in the purse.

You should always keep all the receipts from anything you buy to back up your entries. 

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