When we built a home last year, I wanted to keep track of every expense and invoice on my phone.
I had already been using Notion to keep track of some personal and work information so I knew it would be a great way to track our construction project.
Notion is an all-in-one digital workspace to keep track of your information and data. You can organize data with tables and pages. It’s useful in many different ways. Go check it out here – Notion App.
Our construction budget had almost 35 main budget line items. These were things like Inspections, Slab, Framing, and Plumbing. Each of these main budget items had multiple sub-budget line items. These were tied to individual invoices. For the Slab, the specific invoices included Form Materials, Post-Tension Cables, Concrete, Concrete Labor, and Concrete Inspection.
To keep this organized, I used symbols to identify Main Budget items vs. Sub-Budget Items. The Main Budget line item is marked with the 🔼 emoji and each sub-item is marked with the ^ symbol. I tried other symbols, but these worked best for exporting to CSV.
This database includes formula and roll-up fields to calculate total spent and variance of budget vs. actual.
It also includes a relation to a Contractor Database.
NOTE: All amounts are not real. This was the actual template I used, but not our actual budget amounts.
Budget – Original budgeted amount of Main Budget item
Actual Cost – This field is used for each sub-item actual cost of goods and services. Do not use this on the main budget item rows
Total Expense – This field is calculated from the Roll-up field “Combined Categories” using the Property “Actual Cost” with Sum as the Calculation
Variance – Budget vs. Actual cost – This helps you determine if you are staying on track budget-wise for each Main Budget Item
Combined Categories – This is a Relation to itself field. It relates back to the same Construction Budget database to help calculate your totals for each Main Budget item. In this field, you will select each sub-item related to the Main Budget item. Once you add the sub-item fields, your total will be automatically calculated in the Total Expense field and automatically fill in your Variance field.
Contractor – This is a Relation field to a Contractor Database
Date Paid – Date you paid the Contractor
Paid <checkbox> – Mark as Paid
Invoice – A Files field to attach Invoices or Receipts related to that sub-item
Check Number – The Check Number related to Paid invoice
Tags – These tags are used to group all similar categories together. This made it easy to create other Views specifically related to those Categories. For example: All Concrete Invoices can be seen in another view when filtered.
This is what each specific budget item looks like as a page:
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