Having troubling keeping up with everything in your financial life? A budget binder can help. Here's how to make one! 

Have you tried this approach to budgeting? I would love to hear more about your budget binders. 

Ashlee is a Community Ambassador for The Penny Hoarder. Trading the mountains of the PNW for the beaches of FL, she enjoys exploring new places, cold brew and spending time with her family.

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That is very similar to The Budget Mom's Budget by Paycheck Method/Workbook. Great ideas, and it has been working for me and a friend who has been doing it with me. The binder is good to personalize it- I use the pictures that track savings for specific expenses, but they are not part of the workbook. 
The binder is great- you can start right away and its a small investment to make it work for you. 

Our budget book is a life saver. The great side benefit is it keeps communication open between my husband and I. We always know what we have in each category and can make decisions accordingly. If we don't have it, we don't spend it. Once we decide on what to put into each category, the budget is the "bad cop" and keeps us in line.  

I love that you use the budget as the "bad cop" for accountability @Olivia. Such a great idea to prevent finger pointing when things aren't going well in a certain category. 

My family currently just uses an excel spreadsheet, but I may have to incorporate pictures like you do @KellyFromKeene and start a binder. Having something you can flip through/hold in your hands with great visuals makes budgeting sound more fun!

After reading some of The Budget Mom's posts, I was looking into making something like this for my home. I was so happy to see this article from The Penny Hoarder shortly after, it was uncanny! I like to combine this idea with bullet journaling a little, making my own mash-up version. I love it.

This is really helpful information. Budgets have been the hardest thing for me to keep when it comes to financial fitness.

2020 is going to be the year my wife and I change that!

My wife and I have been good about tracking all our expenses on paper but having a budget binder that tracks multiple different aspects of your finances in an organized manner will be really helpful for us!

I like this Budget Binder idea and it's similar to what I've used in the past (not a book, but spiral college notebooks) and would have continued to use ...if I hadn't gotten used to and spoiled with Mint and my Excel spreadsheet. The outcome/effect is the same, but now I don't have to worry about amassing more paper to the heaps I already have. My brother uses a Budget Binder similar to this. I think I'll send him the link and see if he wants to try this one out. Thanks for posting this info again.

I used this method from 1978 to 1998, when I got my first PC and Excel. I watched my Parents and Grandparents use the Budget Binder for both their home and business budgets. I still have them and think back on the amounts. My Grandparents mortgage was $16/month and they worried all through the Great Depression.  My Parents mortgage was $121/month and their Parents thought they were crazy in 1959 to go into debt for a $7000 home! I look back at my budgets and saw I only earned $525/month in the US Air Force. I taught my children how to budget money from age 2 years. Every Friday night (payday) we had a family meeting. I’d order a cheap pizza and while waiting, I would open the bills, my 7 year old would read how much it was for, I’d write the check and my 2 year old would put the bill, check into the envelope, stick a stamp on it and close the envelope. Then we divided the chores, talked over things, and what ever was left over, we decided together what we would do with the money. When the pizza arrived, family meeting was adjourned.  My children are now 39 and 32, and still sit down and do their budgets. I taught them lots of things as a parent, but teaching them budget and money skills was very important. My unique hobby is helping anyone who asks, I will help them set up a basic budget. I don’t charge anything, but once they see it on paper, they know it can be done. If it balances on paper, it will balance in real life. It’s just mind over checkbook or debit card. 

The first few months of living on a budget or spending plan is difficult. Because you see money in the accounts and you see something you’d like to buy. But remember, the money left in the accounts IS money already spent (earmarked) for a bill that will arrive in the future. If you can stick to the budget for the first few months, I PROMISE financial life will get so much easier! When the bills are all paid, you will sleep sounder and you won’t fret over an upcoming event. Birthdays and Holidays are ALWAYS in the same month, so months prior, you can prepare how much you want to spend on those annual expenses. Other not-so-often amounts are car tags, taxes, oil changes, etc. But since you have an idea of how much they will be, you can set aside a bit each month so when that bill comes due, you won’t panic. The money will be there.  I hope this helps. I cannot imagine not having a budget and I actually look forward to paying my bills. I’m retired now and only get paid once a month. So I sit down the night of payday and pay ALL the bills, savings, tithe at once. Keep at it. You may go off budget now and then, don’t beat yourself up, life happens. Just make a point to get back on track with your budget and lookout for things that pop up. Those pop ups are what your emergency money is for, not donuts and coffee. 

Hello Jobelle! Thanks for your notes. We never made much, so it's taken a while. We found the first couple years of budget keeping to be a bit hairy as we tried to figure out how to handle unplanned expenses. Like the car dying, or having a preemie with medical issues. Since then, setting up an emergency fund really helped. It's taken years of incrementally paying these unexpected expenses off and careful spending to finally have one. We plan for what we can, (the next car), and finally have back up for things we can't anticipate. 

Olivia, I hope your baby is growing up and thriving! My granddaughter was born with complications and ten days in NICU made a bill close to $800,000!  Thankfully, all members of our family chipped in and paid that bill in full. It’s only because we are budget nerds for generations that allowed us to pay that bill.  I’m glad your family has an emergency fund in place for those times when “Murphy” moves into the spare bedroom.  I hope you and I can spread the benefits of having a budget in place.  Because people think a budget negatively, too restrictive, too much work, but once you get one that works, life seems so much easier! YEAH BUDGETS!!! lol  

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