Are you looking for all the best budget planners?
Perhaps you are the kind of person whose heart starts palpitating with fear and anxiety at the mention of the word budget? Or maybe you like staying on top if your finances so you know exactly where your money is going, so you can save more?
Well, then you definitely need to go through this list of the best budget planners to sort out your finances and get your budget on track!
You are most certainly not alone in shying away from tracking your expenses and taking a long hard look at the numbers. Admittedly, it is not the most pleasant thing to do. It can get tedious and it may even stress you out.
That being said, once you go through that short period of discomfort to plan out your budget, your life is guaranteed to get more pleasant in the long run.
If you do love setting out your budget every month and enjoy the feeling of being empowered and in control of your finances, then you will find that these budget planners are the perfect tool for getting financially organized.
So, if you are ready to get your finances on track, let’s take a look at some of the best budget planners.
At glance, they are:
- Clever Fox Budget Planner Pro
- 12-Month Budget Planner by Denise Albright
- Erin Condren Designer Budget Book
- Limitless Mindset Budget Planner
- Mead Expense Tracker
- Your Balanced Budget
- Modern Printable Shop Digital Finance Planner
- Pineberry Planner Printable Financial Planner
- Mama Caseys Customs LLC Budget Binder
- IBYN Budget Planner
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10 Best Budget Planners
Whether you are a pen-and-paper person or someone who prefers to organize your life digitally, you are bound to find something that works for you.
Read on as we explore some of the best planners for budgeting and tracking your finances!
The Clever Fox Budget Planner is probably the best budget planner on Amazon.
It comes in many attractive colors (which is always a great plus!) but it isn’t just about looks either.
It is a comprehensive financial organizer that comes with cash envelopes, an expense tracker, and undated pages so that you can start at any time.
This budget planner has an overall premium feel with thick pages and a durable cover.
|This planner is undated. You can start at any time you decide to get your finances together||Not everyone may be a fan of the small size|
|Vegan leather cover||Small print|
|Perfect size (less than A4) to carry around||May not always lay completely flat which may make it difficult to write your entries|
|Comes with a quick start guide|
If you are looking for a bright and cheery budget planner then this 12-Month Budget Planner is a great option for you.
While it is a 12-month planner, it is not dated so you can customize your budget.
There are also several useful trackers that allow you to keep an eye on your debt, savings, expenses, bills, and income.
|This planner is undated. You can start at any time you decide to get your finances together||Print may be too large/ there may be too much wasted space|
|Multiple budget building sections and tracking systems||Not everyone may be a fan of the cartoonish colors and layouts|
|Binder-type notebook, making it easy to turn the pages and write your entries||You have to manually fill in the dates and months in the calendar|
|Comes with bonus organizational tools||No daily expense tracker|
This beautiful budget planning book may be the best budget planner for beginners.
Its small size makes it easy to put in your bag and carry around to make sure that you are always on top of your spending habits and that you are sticking to your budget!
It also comes with built-in pockets that you can easily store your receipts in.
|The petite size makes for easy mobility||May be difficult to write in because of its small size|
|Multiple budgeting spreads, checklists, and trackers||Predetermined categories and labels may not be suitable for everyone|
|106 designer stickers to allow you to customize your budgeting experience||Limited blank spaces so it may be difficult to customize|
|Each page is thick the planner has an overall durable feel||Does not lay flat|
If you are more of a practical, straightforward, and fuss-free individual, then the Limitless Mindset Budget Planner is for you.
The blank calendar allows you to customize your dates and the color-coded months make it easier for you to find what you are looking for.
This budget planner also comes with 3 cash envelopes, 2 sets of stickers, and a custom pen.
|Good size for carrying around and writing||Limited space for tracking debt balance|
|Spiral-bound for easy turning of pages||The cover may get stuck sometimes when trying to close the planner|
|Attractive stickers for organization and planning|
|Comes with an elastic pen loop so that you always have a pen with you for convenient entries|
|Elastic closure ensures nothing falls out of your budget planner|
The Mead Expense Tracker is a great option if you are looking for budgeting planners.
It comes in a simple yet functional design with worksheets that are designed to help you to monitor your cash flow every month.
There are also 12 different pockets where you can store your bills, receipts, and other loose paper items.
This is a proper binder and so it is a bit large when compared to other budget planners.
|Solid and durable||Rather large and so is not portable|
|Plenty of bank spaces for easy entries||Lacks templates and detailed guidance on budgeting|
|Secure poly rings to secure sheets||Possible for pages to be torn from the poly rings|
|Comes with elastic enclosures to ensure that loose sheets don’t fall out|
|12 envelopes for organized storage of receipts, invoices, etc.|
Regardless of where you are in your budgeting journey, this is probably the best financial planner organizer and the most comprehensive budget planner available online.
This budget planner is designed based on easy-to-follow principles of successful budgeting and personal finances.
It is also customizable where you can add your own categories for your expenses and see where your money is going at every point of the month.
|User-friendly and easily customizable||Relatively large and so may not be portable|
|Chart-based so it is easy to quickly get a big picture of your finances|
|Landscape layout allows for easy writing|
|Spiral bound with durable wire|
|Plenty of prompts and guidance on how to manage your finances|
If you prefer to do your budget on your mobile device, then this is one of the best options available online.
When you download this digital finance planner, you get instant access to it.
Among other things, this comprehensive digital budget planner is designed for you to track your:
- Bill payments
- Overall progress
More importantly, the creator of the budget planner is always contactable for any support that may be required when using this digital budget planner.
|Easy to download and use||May only work well on a tablet or iPad as a large screen may be required for an optimized view of the planner|
|Simple and organized design|
|Comes with 2 versions of planners – a blank one that you can customize and one that is already filled up with common budgeting categories|
|All tabs are hyperlinked for easy navigation|
This is one of the more unique printable financial planners that are available online.
Once you download it upon purchase, you can print as many copies as you like. It is definitely a value-for-money product.
Interestingly, aside from the traditional budget planner contents and trackers, it also has multiple challenges to set your financial goals and manage your spending.
|Easy to download and print||May be overwhelming and time consuming to use with the multiple categories and challenges|
|Multiple trackers||Can only be downloaded to a desktop|
|Multiple challenges to encourage you to stick to your financial goals|
|Value for money as you can buy once and print it as many times as you like|
|Comes in multiple sizes depending on your preference|
If you are looking for the best budgeting notebook with aesthetically pleasing colors, then this is the budget planner for you!
This budget planner is also probably the most customizable one that is available online.
You can pick your color, the number of pages, the colors, and font for the words on the cash envelopes. You can also personalize it with your monogram and initials, which are also customizable!
|Highly customizable||May be pricey depending on the customizable options that are chosen|
|Multiple cash envelopes||Customized printed labels on the cash envelopes may peel off|
|Personalization with monogram and initials available|
This is another great no-frills budget planner to keep your finances organized.
It will last you for 12 months and will allow you to keep track of your weekly expenses, debt, and financial goals.
This truly is perfect for your daily budgeting needs.
|Spiral-bound so pages are easy to turn and lie flat||Line spaces appear to be narrow and so may be difficult to make detailed entries|
|Easy to carry around or put in your bag|
|Undated so it is easy to customize|
What Is A Budget Planner?
A budget planner is essentially an all-in-one notebook that is specially designed for you to plan your expenses, payments, investments, savings, and everything you need to meet your budgeting goals.
Some budget planners are more detailed than others but the general idea of a budget planner is just that – to help you to plan your money regularly.
Using a budget planner is not confined to restricting the amount that you can spend each month. Rather, it is a tool that you can use to help you to prioritize your money and tell it where exactly to go.
Benefits Of Using A Budget Planner
You’re probably wondering why you can’t just do your budget on a piece of paper?
Well, there truly is nothing wrong with that. However, using a budget planner comes with some substantial benefits.
Organize Your Finances
Pieces of paper tend to get misplaced and planning your budget in this manner may not give you the focus that you require to get a true bird’s-eye view of your finances.
One Place For Everything
A proper budget planner will ensure that all your information is in one place. Some of the best budget planners have specially designed pockets and envelopes to store all your receipts so you never lose track of where your money has gone.
A well-designed budget planner will also indicate to you items that you may not have thought of such as investment or emergency fund goal tracker.
What Makes A Budget Planner The Best Budget Planner?
While there are plenty of budget planners (both in the form of bound books and printable sheets) that are available online, some of the best budget planners will have the following features:
- A category for income/projected income
- Accurate expenses categories
- Blank spaces to customize expenses categories
- Savings goal categories
- Sinking fund planner
- Enough pages to last you at least a year
- Easy to carry around and make notes in
- A tracking system to track your savings and investment goals
The best budget planners also recognise that budgeting can be tough from a psychological perspective.
As such, they may have the following features to encourage good money habits and to keep you coming back to your budget planner to make it a sustainable practice:
- Fun stickers for your trackers
- Motivational quotes to encourage savings and investments
- Savings tips
- Challenges such as a 30-day savings challenge or a 30-day challenge to build your holiday fund
While these things may seem trivial, it is important not to underestimate the power of positive budgeting!
Of course, this list is not exhaustive and at the end of the day, you have to get a budget planner that works for you and one that is going to keep you on track.
As such, the most important feature of whichever budget planner you choose is that it works for you and keeps you consistent with your finances. That will be your personalized best planner for budgeting.
Where Can I Find A Free Budget Planner?
If you feel that you aren’t ready to commit to purchasing a budget planner and you want to try your hand at budgeting first, then there are plenty of free budget planners that are available online.
Some of them include:
- NerdWallet Free Budget Planner Worksheet
- Money Under 30 Free Monthly Budget Spreadsheet
- Quicken Budget Calculator
You can also get my free budget tracker here. This will help you reduce your credit card debt and plan out how to get out of debt quickly.
How Do You Do A Monthly Budget Planner
Even if you have gotten your hands on the best budget planner in the world, you will still need to be aware of how to do an effective monthly budget.
It is easy to be overwhelmed, but fret not!
Here is a quick step-by-step guide about the things you should consider and look into when drawing up your monthly budget planner.
Step 1: Identify your total monthly take-home pay i.e. your total income
Step 2: List out all your monthly expenses. It helps to have all your bills with you when you do this so you know exactly what your monthly expenses are.
Step 3: Categorize fixed expenses and variable expenses
Step 4: Set aside a certain amount for savings and/or investments and put them in right away.
A great rule of thumb for starting on your monthly budget planner is the 50-30-20 rule. This can be broken down as follows:
- 50% for needs and essential expenses
- 30% for wants
- 20% for savings and debt repayment
If you still aren’t sure whether you should dive into the world of budgeting, you can start by looking at the advantages and disadvantages of budgeting.
Once you get the hang of it, you can then delve into detailed categories such as sinking fund categories to help you to create a better budget that you can stick to.
Just imagine being absolutely-debt free. Now, that’s liberating indeed!
If you are new to budgeting, all this information may be pretty overwhelming.
That being said, once you get your hands on any one of these best budget planners, you are bound to feel empowered with the sense of control that you have over your finances.
It is difficult to start and you may not want to face the numbers. But numbers don’t lie. So bite the bullet and get budgeting today. You won’t regret it!