How To Start Bullet Journal For Budgeting

For budgeting, the best way to start a bullet journal is to create a monthly layout. This layout should include the days of the month, tracking your income, expenses and savings goals. It’s also useful to track any debts you have and list them at the top of each month; this can help you remember when payments are due. In this blog post, I will show you how to start bullet journal for budgeting and provide you with ideas to get started.





How to Start Bullet Journals for Budgeting


Gather your supplies

Start by gathering all the materials and tools needed for bullet journaling, such as notebooks, pens, and other markers.


Brainstorm ideas

Think about how you want to use a bullet journal for budgeting, this could be tracking daily expenses, creating monthly goals, or setting reminders for payments due.


Create a monthly layout

Begin with planning out each month of the year in your bullet journal; include the days of the month, important dates, and bills that need to be paid.


Set up categories and lists

This is where you can start categorizing your expenses into different sections based on what is important to you like groceries, clothing, utilities, and rent.


Track your expenses

Start recording all of the money you’re spending each month in your bullet journal, this includes items like meals, entertainment, and other miscellaneous purchases.


Monitor income

Make sure to track all sources of income in your bullet journal; this could include wages, investments, or government payments.

Set financial goals

Use your bullet journal as a way to set up both short-term and long-term goals that are realistic for you. This can include anything like saving money each month for retirement or paying off debt quicker than expected.


Review progress regularly

Check back in with yourself periodically to see how you’re doing with your budget, this can be as simple as going through the expenses and income you’ve tracked or looking at what goals have been met.


Adjust accordingly

If there are areas where you need to make adjustments, don’t be afraid to do so. This could mean cutting out certain activities that are no longer needed to help meet your goals and stick to a budget.

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Tools and Tips for Bullet Journaling for Budgeting


A Notebook

Choose either a blank or dotted notebook that fits your budgeting needs.


Pen and pencil

Use a pen or pencil that won’t smudge and is comfortable to write with; this will help you stay organized and keep everything in order.


Stickers or Decorative Tape

Decorative tape or stickers can be used to highlight important dates and remind you of upcoming bills, payments, etc.


Color Coding System

Create a color coding system for yourself so it’s easy to distinguish between different types of expenses or income sources at-a-glance.


Graph Paper/Grid Template Pages

For those who prefer visuals, graph paper or grid template pages can be used to track expenses and income over time.



A calculator can come in handy when trying to figure out how much you’re saving money or spending each month, as well as other calculations.



Use a spreadsheet program like Excel or Google Sheets to create a financial bullet journal and keep track of personal finances if you prefer a digital organization. Doing so may give you a better overall view of your finances that is easier to read and make changes to quickly.


Budgeting Bullet Journal Ideas

1. Start a 30-day budget challenge where you track your expenses daily for the whole month.

2. Set and track financial goals each month, such as saving a certain amount of money or paying off debt quicker than expected.


3. Create monthly budget spreads that include income, expenses, and savings goals.

4. Track all sources of income for the month, including wages, investments, and government payments.


5. Categorize your monthly expenses into different sections like groceries, clothing, utilities, and rent.

6. Track any debts you have (such as student loans or credit cards) to help remember when payments are due.


7. Create a bullet journal expense tracker so it’s easy to distinguish between different types of expenses or income sources at-a-glance.

8. Use graph paper or grid template pages to track expenses and income over time.


9. Make a bill tracker about bills that need to be paid each month and set reminders for when they’re due.

10. Record meals, entertainment, and other miscellaneous purchases throughout the month.

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11. Create a budget tracker to keep track of your net worth or total savings.

12. Estimate your spending habits that month and then compare it to what you spend at the end of each month to see how accurate your estimations were.


13. Track investments, such as stocks, and make notes about their performance.

14. Make a list of items to shop for, or ones you’ve been wanting, each month so you can be more mindful about your spending habits and prioritize what is important.


15. Create bullet journal budget spreads for special occasions like birthdays or holidays to help with planning for gift-giving or travel expenses.

16. Set up a spend-money limit for each month so you can stay within your budget and track how close you get to the limit by the end of the month.


17. Brainstorm different cost-saving strategies that you can apply in everyday life, such as cooking meals from scratch or taking public transportation instead of Uber/Lyft.

18. Draw or print out a map of your dream vacation spot and track how much you’ve saved towards it each month.


19. Create a page for personal goals that are not necessarily related to budgeting, such as reading more books or learning a new skill.

20. Create a savings tracker and track the amount of money going into a savings account each month and celebrate milestones (such as when you reach your goal or exceed it).


How to Organize Your Budgeting Bullet Journals


Start by creating a monthly budgeting template

This should include the days of the month, tracking income, expenses and savings goals.


Categorize your expenses into sections

Separate your spending into different categories such as groceries, clothing, utilities, and rent.


Color code your categories for easy reference

Use a specific color for each type of expense or goal to make it easier to track progress at-a-glance.


Set up habit trackers if needed

This can help keep you accountable for regular activities such as exercise or meal planning that are important to reaching financial goals.


Schedule reminders for yourself when bills are due/payments need to be made

Set up an alert system that notifies you when upcoming payments are due so you don’t forget.

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Use visual aids like graphs and charts

These can help make budgeting easier to understand and more visually appealing; tracking expenses over time with a graph or pie chart helps see where your money is going.


Review progress regularly

Take the time to review your budgeting goals every month or quarter, making sure to adjust as needed based on changes in income or lifestyle habits.


Tips for Making Your Bullet Journal for Budgeting a Success


Make it personal

Customize the layout and design of your bullet journal budget to make it unique; this helps you stay motivated and engaged when budgeting.


Use visuals

Utilizing visual aids like graphs, tables, or pie charts can be a helpful way to track progress more easily and quickly identify areas where adjustments need to be made.


Take your time

Don’t rush through setting up your bullet journal; make sure everything is organized effectively so that you can keep better track of expenses and income sources over time.


Update as needed

Be flexible with updating information such as spending habits, goals, or other important details; if something changes, make sure to update your bullet journal accordingly.


Don’t get overwhelmed

Budgeting can be a daunting task; if things start to feel too overwhelming, take a break and come back to it when you’re feeling more relaxed and ready to tackle the task.

This will help keep you focused and motivated on the overall goal of budgeting successfully.


Bottom line

Budgeting can be a challenging task, but creating a bullet journal for budgeting is an effective way to stay organized and on top of your financial goals.

Using bullet journal supplies like visual aids and setting reminders helps ensure that all important details are tracked and accounted for efficiently.

With a bit of practice, you’ll soon find yourself staying on track with your budget and reaching your financial goals in no time.



  • Ben

    I'm Ben, a data engineer who adores journaling. My passion for recording life experiences inspired me to develop Otto's Journal, an online diary app. Join me as I blend data and storytelling in the ever-changing tech world, making journaling more accessible and exciting.

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