Budget planner | A Bowl Full of Lemons

Budget planner…

Keeping track of bills, paychecks, money, and budgeting is a JOB!  To make life easier for me, I created a “Budget Planner” that I use to take care of the finances in our home.  I purchased this planner at Filofax. Its the Aston (Personal Size) in Mushroom color.  I find it much easier to have access to our finances at all times. I keep it in my purse.

 

 

The planner can also be used as a wallet.  I have another wallet that I am using, but I placed my cards & money in here to show you how it functions.  I do keep my checkbook in here.

 

 

I use the month on 2 pages to write in my bill due dates. When I get a bill in the mail, I immediately write it in this bill section.   I check them off when I pay them. I always use my banking online bill pay to pay our bills.   I usually pay bills twice per month.  I highlight the paydays in yellow.

 

 

I use the “personal finances” sheets as my checkbook register.

 

 

I write all of our paydays in the “personal full year horizontal organizer”.  We get paid the same days every month, so this was easy to do. As we get paid, I write in the amount. This way, we can keep track of our net income throughout the year.

 

 

 

I keep tax receipts in the zipper pocket on the right side of the planner.  I write the amount in the designated category (in the planner) and file the receipts when I get a chance.

 

 

My categories are:

Checkbook

Paydays

Budget

Blog Income

Tax Receipts

Bills Due

 

 

 

Other things you can place in your budget planner: Cash envelopes & account numbers & contact numbers.

 

HAPPY BUDGETING

 

*I am not a Filofax affiliate nor do I make any money by sharing their products. I am simply a consumer who loves their stuff!

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Comments

  1. Toni- thank you for sharing. It’s daunting how much work I have ahead of me. There is NO organized method to our money madness (can’t even use the word budget b/c there is none). I’m going to have to re-read this post several times!

    • Keep at it! There was no system and everything was a mess when my husband was in charge of our finances. Now I have everything under control and we have a savings account!!!

    • Rachel.. Like you I had to make a major shift in my non budget money management-less approach about a year ago. The book and system used in “Americas Cheapest Family’Gets You Right on Your Money,” was a life saver. It would work very well with the “Lemon” approach/filofax explained above. I am not an affiliate of this book in anyway .. just found it super helpful. Hope that helps.

    • Wendy Jeckell says:

      Rachel – Check out Dave Ramsay’s website and methods – he is a Christian guy and has good principles to follow whether you are a Christian or not. There is also a lady named Gail vaz Oxlade that is really good. I have kind of combined both methods and I have come up with some thing that works for my family. It is so important to have a plan – Mary Kay Ash said “IF you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” I believe that is true :) Best wishes!!

      • I LOVE Gail vazOxlade!!!

      • Josi Silverman says:

        Wendy…I’m a big fan of Dave Ramsey, Gail Vaz-Oxlade and Suzy Orman! I’ve also, read Mary Kay Ash’s book about her business and life. Love it! I’m really into budgeting and discipline learning since I’m a free spirit :)

    • I love your financial/budget planner…..I keep mine in my regular planner and I use a think pink notebook. I might just have to create me one just like yours too!

  2. Rachel,
    You should really check out Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover book. It is very helpful. :)

  3. Do you use this in conjunction with an online program or app? We’re currently trying to organize our budget and I’m torn between going with an organizer, app (Mint) or some combination of both. I’d love to hear your advice!

    • Josi Silverman says:

      Hey Claire…I’ve been using Mint for over 3 years now and so far so good. Its free and they have improved the site a lot since I’ve started using it. It works for me because I’m on the go all the time and everything is on my smartphone and tablet (and computer at home). No time for writing on paper! Check out Mint to see if you like it :)

  4. Debi Powell says:

    Let me get this out of the way before I ask my question, because I’m a little preoccupied with it…. I LOVE YOUR NEW BAG! :) Its just scrumptious.. and I love the light LV pattern… just fabulous, and great size too!
    Ok, now on to business: I have a question or really I’m just curious why you still write checks? I have a check book, but I do electronic billing for my VISA/ Am Ex/ Insurance/ Cable/ Cell phones/etc. I only write 3 checks a month because of the convenience of electronic banking. I was just wondering why do all the work that comes with writing checks every month?
    Comments: I’m so in love with your blog…. I’m so on a “get organized for 2013 roll”!! Thanks!

  5. Do you also use the folio as a date book or is this strictly for finances?

  6. Love it! I will have to check out those planners. I found these totally awesome desk pads and thought of you. I just ordered a few for my office. http://www.emilyley.com/collections/desk-pads

    Check it out! Erin

  7. I just did a post on how I organize my family’s budget! I do ours mostly on an Excel Spreadsheet and I love seeing how other family’s organize their own budget, thanks for sharing!

  8. Suzanne Dias says:

    Toni, do you use an electronic planner as well along with your budget binder or do you use only Folifax?

  9. I keep my finances in my Franklin Covey Compact. I find I do better having it with me, too. I love the way you used the horizontal monthly (or whatever you call it) for your bills. I like that better than a traditional calendar.

  10. Thanks for sharing. I organizing our finances will be one of my next projects.

  11. Thanks so much for sharing! My hubby and I are working on finding a routine that works for us and your ideas are excellent!

  12. JR Rosales says:

    I only keep track of our paydays and bills due! lol We currently work in the Middle East where there are no taxes so one less thing to keep track of ;)

  13. Thanks so much for this post! This will help me be more organized with my monthly budgeting and planning. I just ordered one of these! Got one for 60% off too :)

  14. Thank you! I feel inspired! Just what I was looking for!

  15. I was wondering. Where in the filofax do you put your checkbook? And also, do any of the other brands of inserts fit in the filofax, such as Franklin Covey or Dayrunner?

    • DayRunner and DayTimer inserts fit perfectly into Personal-sized Filofax organisers. FranklinCovey’s Compact inserts are half an inch wider than the other brands, so will stick out.

  16. What type of pens are you using in your budget binder? I like the variety of colors.

  17. Great post! I recently put together a finance Filofax as well. And I can’t resist commenting on your bag. Neverfull, right? Gorgeous! It photographs really well.

  18. Toni-

    I am a freak about budgeting and planning/organizing… I really would like to find a budget planner and appointment scheduler all in one… I’m a therapist by day, professor at night, and mommy and wife 24/7… I really do well with spiral bound planners but cannot find something to meet my high expectations and needs!! Any idea on where to find what I am looking for? Or better yet, to develop my own?

    Love your page!

  19. Toni:

    Thank you for the info on how you have this filofax set up! Love it! And it gave me some great ideas as I have a Personal Finsbury that is not being used.

    Thank you!
    Lisa

  20. This is an awesome set-up for organizing finances! Definitely helpful for getting started!

  21. so u keep a aston beside your a5? one for bills and the other for daily planning?

  22. This is a great post! Thanks so much for sharing…

  23. Very nice! Lots of great ideas as usual which I will certainly refer to often. As a side note I have the exact same planner in the same color. I just received it 2 weeks ago and it has quickly become one of my favorites. (I am one of those crazies with a Filofax obsession and own several…which doesn’t help my budgeting efforts!). I originally wanted it in the plum color and was not too taken with a Mushroom color but once I received it I thought how elegant it is. Thanks for sharing your budget planner!

  24. Great post. It came at a perfect time for me. I just ordered the Malden Personal Filofax to use somewhat as the same purpose. Can you tell me how you do your budget section? Do you just use plain paper and write it out or do you use something else to guide you? Thanks for any info. Love your blog!!

  25. Another wonderful post! This is wonderful!

  26. Christine Gossard says:

    Toni,
    I love the idea of having planners. I had a Mom on the Go Organizeher when I had my baby and I never felt so confident! But now I am on to trying to keep the house and budget organized. I love your organizers, and they seem to be perfect for what I need. But I can’t afford them. I looked on the filofax website, and I laughed so hard at the price I almost cried. Well, I did cry, because I can’t afford it! Do you have any cheaper recommendations? And I am talking like $20. Thanks for all of your insight, you have no idea how much you have helped me!

    • Try Target! I got mine there an I love it! I’ve also gotten ones I love at office supply stores… Happy hunting :-)

    • I found my new one on ebay….it is a discontinued color and it was half the price.

  27. I have a question about some of your sections…the tax receipts section-can you clarify? Do you mean receipts that are expenses/tax deductions? Also, in your budget section-do you just keep it list style, or do you use a certain paper or organization? Just trying to not re-invent the wheel with organization. Thanks!

  28. My Filofax arrived today! I got a beautiful plum color!

    Can you tell me pretty quickly what to order from Filofax to “supplement” the existing things that come with it? (I want to make it our financial go-to organizer) I’m new to Filofax and don’t want to mis-order.

  29. I have a question along the same lines as Allison. I noticed that you have a “Budget” section in all of your various planners. Are you using them all for the household budget or are they budgets for particular functions? If you use them all for the household budget, how do you keep track of them? Updating all of them seems to defeat the purpose.
    Thanks in advance!!!

  30. First off I love you blog, I spend lots of time reading and re-reading blogs you’ve written! Also for Christine Gossard…I also checked out Filofax and almost died at some of the prices…however…check the discounted/sale items!! I found the Sketch Personal Organizer and ordered a few “extras” and spent a total of: $27.10! It was alittle more than I really wanted to spend…but I think its going to work perfect for me! I like to have access to my finances etc whenever I need them and this is the prefect on the go organizer!

  31. Thanks Toni! I just got a personal size Finsbury to do this with. Today I am setting up the budgeting part of it. We’ve been so derailed this past year with expenses coming at us from every direction that it’s gotten out of control and I NEED control over our budget! Hate that careening feeling. I think having something more portable like this will make it easier for on the go. I just need paper to do it on (tried using apps on my phone but they just don’t do it for me) and my current system involves a big notebook and folders in a hanging file bin! Not exactly something I can carry around, lol! This looks like the perfect solution. Thanks so much for sharing!!! :)

  32. Oh I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE this!!! Thank you for sharing! I would love to be in control of our money instead of it being in control of me!

  33. Hi,
    I am looking over your organizing tips and they look great, but I am pretty ADD, worse since menopause (!) and my eyes glaze over at all of your categories and systems, and I close the page! Is there a very simple system you know of for those of us who are easily distracted?? Help! Please!
    Namcy

  34. Ok, I will do it. Unfortunately, I lost my Filofax. :( Don’t want to spend more on another one.
    Nancy

  35. Wow this is awesome! I try to budget and plan ahead, but usually it’s in a spiral or on my computer. I love this cuz I can put it in my purse and keep receipts in it instead of stuffing them in my wallet or purse. I’m definitely going to have to try this out! Thank you!

    Also, I’ve been following you on pinterest and facebook. I just started blogging and would love if you could follow and share my site, and give any feedback. Thank you! http://lucy423.wordpress.com/

  36. C.A. Wright says:

    Thanks for sharing the idea of using a Personal Planner for Budgeting and keeping track of one’s finances. I just ordered the Aston Personal Organizer. I am OH so new to Pinterest and am learning so much about organizing.

  37. I do love your blog, BUT it seems extremely hypocritical to post about Dave Ramsey and Suze Orman and then post about how you love your over $100 budget binder that you put in you Louis Vuittan bag.

    • Hi Kate, It is well within my budget to purchase a LV and Filofax. ;) I definitely believe you should live within your budget and we do that. Thanks for your concern.

  38. K.A. Murray says:

    I purchased the Aston personal planner but did not realize that it was pocket size. I can’t seem to find the Aston in a personal size on the Filofax website. Where did you purchase yours from? Thanks

  39. FYI, store ink pads upside down, they will stamp better. Love your page. Great info, thanks

  40. Love the idea of the budget binder/wallet/check book but so hesitant to carry all that info with me all the time — would hate to lose it all!

  41. I was just wondering if you have a hole puncher for this binder? I have a hard time finding one for my new planner and have been using a one hole punch and it doesn’t always end up right ….

    • depending on what binder you have, you may need a specific hole punch. ARC brand at Staples carries their own punch. A 7″ punch works for the smaller Martha Stewart planners. Filofax offers a punch via their website, etc.

  42. Ohhh! I recognize that adorable Aston! ;)

    I’m curious how you tie your cash envelope system into this? I am having trouble with that.

  43. What do you track your taxes stuff on?

  44. Hi Toni, I really like the set-up of this budget planner. 2 questions: do you rotate other color planners and have you made any changes to the categories? Thanks for the ideas!

  45. Hi, I was wondering if you would be able to help me set mine up…..
    What all did you need to purchase??
    I really NEED to do this with our household….
    Thanks!

  46. I love the organized idea you have, however, if you are taking this in your purse…you might want to think twice about having the credit cards, checkbook, and money all in one place. All it would take for a thief is to reach in your purse and grab that one organizer or it ALL to be gone very quickly. Guess I’m a little more alert after my sister had it happen to her. I keep the checkbook, credit cards and cash all three in different areas. So many of us have purses that don’t zip closed that all it takes is for a thief to reach in when we aren’t paying close attention.

  47. How is this system working for you ? Are you still doing it? I would LOVE to know! I am looking at getting a Filofax and budgeting is the area I need the most help in! Thank you in advance!
    Kate

    • Definitely still using it and love it. It makes keeping track of everything super easy and I’m able to see when we start drifting off track or when something isn’t working out, it’s easy to do a quick ‘at a glance’ look to see where the mishap is.