How To Make a Budget Binder: Best Tips To Get You Started

Making a budget is one of the best ways to get your finances in order. Not only does it help you keep track of your spending, but it can also help you set financial objectives and save money. However, creating and following a budget can be difficult if you don't have the right tools. That's where a budget binder comes in.

A budget binder is a great way to stay organized and motivated while working on your finances. It can help you track your spending, set goals, and make sure you are sticking to your budget. Plus, it's a great way to keep all of your financial information in one place.

What Is a Budget Binder, and Why Should You Make One?

A budget binder is a tool that can help you supervise your finances and will help you become more mindful of your spending. Having a system where all your money goals are visible in one place allows your intentions to be diligent at all times. This way, you can see everything simultaneously and make tweaks as necessary. Think of it as a day planner but for your money.

The great thing about a budget binder is that it helps you stay on track with your spending. When you can see where your money is going, it's easier to curb spending in unessential areas. If you are looking for a way to control your money better, a budget planner is a great place to start. Seeing how much progress you are making each month will help keep you motivated to stick to your savings plan.

Uses for Your Budget Binder

A budget binder can be a great way to handle your funds, especially if you try to save up for a specific goal. In addition to helping you track your spending, a budget planner can also help you set your objectives and stay motivated while you work towards them.

Tracking Your Paycheck

Tracking your paycheck will make it easier to create a budget that fits your needs. You follow your weekly, biweekly, and monthly income in your budget binder. Tracking your paycheck will make it easier to manage money better.

Budgeting for Your Expenses

Another important use for your budget binder is creating a budget for your expenses. Doing the actual budget will help you ensure you are not spending more than you can afford.

This section serves as a snapshot to see where you can do better.  If your expenses exceed your income, you can visibly see this and make adjustments as necessary. Include a section for your monthly payments and bills in your budget binder.

Setting Financial Goals

A budget binder can also be an excellent tool for setting financial goals. If you’re trying to save up for a specific purpose, such as a down payment on a house or a new car, a budget binder can help you stay on track.

Be sure to include a section for your financial plans, especially if you want help saving money. You’ll want to set goals that are realistic and achievable. Once you have those set, you’ll want to track your progress. Goal coloring sheets are a fun way to see how you’re doing.

Debt Payoff

Paying off piling up debt can seem impossible, but it is achievable with the right plan. No matter what your situation may be like – whether you have credit card debt, student loans, medical bills, or auto loans, there will always need to be some priority list that determines which debts get paid off first based on their importance.

Deciding to pay off debt is a significant first step, but it can be challenging to know where to start. Many different debt payoff methods are available, and it can be tough to decide which one is right for you.

Eliminating your debt is a highly satisfying experience. Seeing progress can be a great motivator to keep going. Seeing progress can be a great way to stay motivated and track your debt payoff objectives. Consider creating a debt payoff tracker if you're looking for extra motivation.

Staying Organized

Knowing that everything is in one place and can be accessed easily will reduce stress and keep your finances in order. Having your finances organized will also help you stay on top of your spending and make sure you are not overspending.

Gone are the days when a bill gets forgotten because you didn't know it came in the mail or you miss placed it. Having all vital paperwork together means you never have a late payment fee again.

Planning Your Financial Future

Having a place to take notes of what your financial future might look like may help you achieve the goals you set out to conquer.  This section is an excellent place to track your investments and retirement. Placing your Social Security statements, 401K statements, and any annuities or investments here will make it easy to reference this material when you need it.

How To Create a Budget Binder

You can easily create a budget binder on the cheap. It doesn't have to cost a fortune. You can find supplies at the Dollar Tree, Walmart, or even around your home in the kid's leftover school supplies.

Here's what you need:

Binder

The three-ring binder with a transparent cover is what you need to get the job done. You can personalize it by putting in an insert or making your own. I would suggest a durable two-inch binder.  Mine has been through some abuse.

Divider Pages

Divider pages with tabs work best. This way, you can section off the parts of your binder for easy access and quick finds.

Printables

There are so many budget printables that would make the perfect budget binder. Look for something that aligns with your money theories and budget style. You can also create your own or look for free budget sheets online.

Calendar Sheets

These inserts make it easy to track when bills and expenses are due. It's even nice to plan out those savings plans every month.

Plastic Pocket Inserts

There will always be a paper that needs babysitting. Bills, notices, and announcements can be kept in these plastic pocket inserts. You can also keep stamps and envelopes for bill paying that require check writing.

Pencil Pouch

The ones that work best are the ones with the holes in them to snap into your binder. You can keep your pens, pencils, calculator, and other necessities in this pouch.

Small Calculator

A small calculator is a must. Most of our phones have them, but having a small calculator with your binder will mean you never have to go looking for one (or looking for your phone).

Zipper Envelopes

These clear zipper envelopes are a perfect solution to cash envelopes for sinking funds if you’ve decided to do cash envelope budgeting.

They’re also an excellent place to keep all receipts if you have tax information that needs to live in a safe place.

Other Useful Items:

  • Washi tape
  • white out
  • hole punch
  • stickers
  • highlighters

Tips for Using Your Budget Binder

Now that you know what a budget binder is and why you should use one, here are some tips to help you get started.

  1. Start by tracking your income and expenses will help you get an idea of where your money is going each month.
  2. Creating a budget for your expenses will help you make sure you are not overspending.
  3. Set financial goals and start working towards them to help you stay motivated while working on your finances.
  4. Keep yourself motivated. Allowing yourself small rewards for being consistent will keep you motivated to continue. Even if it just means a trip to your favorite coffee place for a grande caramel frappuccino made with almond milk.
  5. Pick a day. Working on your money management on the same day every week or month helps you control your money so bills don't get behind.

Final Thoughts on How To Make a Budget Binder

Making a budget binder is a great way to control your finances better. By tracking your income and expenses, you can make sure you are not overspending.

The benefits of having a budget binder are numerous. A budget binder will help you stay on top of your finances, set financial goals, and track your progress. Having a budget binder is a great way to stay organized and motivated while working on getting your finances in order.

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Sara Conklin is a Certified Financial Coach, wife, mama, Grammie, and founder of Frozen Pennies (https://frozenpennies.com/), a site that she started after a year-long spending freeze. She’s passionate about frugal living, budgeting, and helping others. She writes about ways to save money, get out of debt, and intentional spending. When Sara is not working on the business, you can find her reading, drinking coffee, and spending time with her family.