Household Budgeting: Day 1 – Assemble your Binder

April 29, 2013


Welcome to A Bowl Full of Lemons “2013 Budgeting Series”.  This week I will help you get your budget planned & organized and help you create a system that will get you out of debt. We will be organizing it one step at a time. If you already have a good working budget, way to go!  At the end of the week, there will be a fabulous giveaway from Dave Ramsey, A Time For Everything, and A Bowl Full of Lemons. Thanks for joining me.
 Creating a Household Budget -  ABFOL


Day 1 – Assemble your Budget Binder

To become fully organized & successful with your budgeting, you need a place to keep everything together.  Today we are going to assemble together a “Budget Binder” for our household budget.   Then over the next 4 days, we will write in our financial information & create a budget.



  1. Binder
  2. 5 Divider Tabs
  3. 12 Month Avery Tabs
  4. Pencil Pouch or Plastic Envelope Organizer
  5. Calculator/Stamps/Envelopes/Pen
  6. Checkbook & Register
  7. ABFOL Budgeting Printables OR loose leaf paper

Budget Binder 5

Label tabs with the following categories:

  1. Accounts
  2. Income
  3. Due Dates
  4. Annual Expenses
  5. Monthly Budget

Budget Binder 8


Add the 12 Month Avery Tabs to the “Monthly Budget” section.

 Budget Binder ABFOL 3

Tomorrow we will be working on account information.  See you then!


If you want to save yourself a lot of time, you can purchase A Bowl Full of Lemons “Household Budgeting System”.
  It’s includes everything you need to create a successful budget.  This system goes hand in hand with my budgeting series.  Visit (here) & take a closer look at the system.  If you do not want to purchase, you can still follow along with the series and write out everything for your budget, on paper. It works just as well.

ABFOL Budget Binder System


Happy Budgeting!


60 comments on “Household Budgeting: Day 1 – Assemble your Binder

  1. Kim Gustin says:

    I just purchased your printables and almost all of the supplies needed for the binder. I had no idea you were going to do a series on it this week! Thank you so much for sharing this! :0

  2. Chelsea says:

    I was so excited when I checked your site just now and saw that you were starting this series! I have been trying and trying again to get a system that works, I’m hoping that this will at least get me on the right track! I have binders for EVERYTHING around here, but budgeting is not one of those things, so I need to add one to my collection! 🙂

  3. Melinda says:

    I have my (purple staples) binder and all of my printables put together and I am ready to go!

  4. Cindy says:

    So excited you are doing this series. You used to keep your budget stuff inside your planner. With this system, do you no longet keep any of this in your planner? Any idea when the editable version would be ready? I have your pages but the editable version eould be a big plus.

    • Robbie says:

      Yes, I was also wondering about that. Does this planner supersede your Filofax budget planner or is it in addition to?

  5. Jenn says:

    So excited for this week! I just ordered the Budget Binder last week, so the timing is perfect. 😉

  6. Thanks for this series!! My budget section of my “home management” binder isn’t very organized. I never even thought to use the monthly tabs! Duh!! lol

  7. Ashton says:

    I am so excited for this!!

  8. M Alexander says:

    Thank you so much for this! i’ve been trying to get a budget system started for my house. i’ve been reading through dame ramsey and following your blog! they are both great helps. 🙂 I think i’m gong to have to buy your budgeting system! Does it is include the binder, labels, and all the printables? I’m having a little trouble configuring a budget that works throughout the entire month. Things come up and then i have to rework the budget to fit it in and i’m pretty sure this almost defeats the purpose of having a budget. Do you have any advice for a spot in the budget for “unexpected expenses” that wont cause me to have to rewrite my budget and waste all that beautiful paper? Thank you so much!

    • Toni says:

      It only includes the downloadable printables. In my kit, there is a spot for variable expenses (i.e. unexpected expenses). 🙂

      • M Alexander says:

        Thank you so much toni! I dont have a Staples near me, do you know if Office Depot carries the same brands and supplies?

  9. kristi g says:

    After too many years of poor spending, I just started working on a budget. This series is perfect timing for me. Thank you so much! I am off to buy your printables!

  10. Toni W. says:

    I am so excited to be following this series. I am putting this all together for our new home.

  11. Amy says:

    Where did you get the 5 divider tabs? looks like they are able to hold paper too?

  12. Dana says:

    where did you buy the cute pink binder and what width do you recommend?

  13. Jen Jones says:

    I just got your printables and I am so excited to try this! My husband & I had been trying to each pay some of the bills, but with no system in place and no plan, things were confusing and just a mess! I am just now starting to take over all of our finances, so this is perfect timing – and I definitely need the help! Thanks so much, I can’t wait to get my binder together!

  14. Jessica says:

    Yeah! Perfect timing as I’m trying to get a handle on my spending!!!

  15. chris says:

    We do not get paid the 15th and 31st, strange I know. At least for now, we are getting paid on the 24th and the 7th. Can I still figure out this budgeting thing with these weird paydays? Also, my husband gets salary and draw against commission. Commission can be a big part of our income, however, one never knows from one month, one year to the next, what that will look like. Can we do this budgeting process with income that is irregular? I really need to get control over this.

  16. Lacey says:

    Just bought all the supplies I needed for this! Just opened a checking account too! (I know, I know…. I’m a little old…) I used strictly online savings accounts and it hasn’t been working for me. I am excited to do this!

  17. Becky Divine says:

    So excited to do this series. This is an area of need with us. I just noticed the Navy Federal banking items. We bank with them too. Would love to hear any suggestions you have for banking with them we’ve been with them about 7 years

  18. Nicole Dowling says:

    I just love your blog. I found Dave Ramsey due to you….and my first FPU class is May 8 and I am super stoked. I’m going to follow along with you on this journey!!! Thanks!

  19. Robbie says:

    Can’t wait for the rest of the series! Tomorrow is not only the last day of the month, but also the last day of our
    “household fiscal year” and as we have recently realized that our current system isn’t working, I’m taking the day off to wrap up all of this month and year’s loose ends and to see how we can try to handle our budget going forward.

  20. Karla Neese says:

    What interesting timing! On Friday of last week we had an incident happen that prompted me to get my patootie in gear and get the filing and budget system in place once and for all! I broke down and bought a pre-made OrganizHer budget notebook and at least started by writing down what is due in May and when. Who knew the timing would be perfect for this series! Can’t wait to follow along and get this taken care of. I feel like I’ll suceed better having a guide to lead me. Thank you!

  21. Misti O. says:

    Some things have changed with our budget, so this is perfect timing!

  22. Sheri says:

    oops, I must have done something wrong. I purchased the budget planner through PayPal, and the PayPal receipt came through. But I haven’t received a link to print the pdfs. Would you contact me through my email?

  23. Tammy says:

    So excited to get started with my budget debt free is where I want to be.

  24. Shari Ellingson says:

    I’m very excited about the budget binder organization! Thank you for the printables, Toni! Can’t wait for tomorrow!! 🙂

  25. Joan says:

    Just retired from a very successful career. Our income is dramatically reduced ( but I am very happy to be at home), so this is perfect timing ! Looking forward to learning more! Thank you !

  26. Nelly says:

    What about the budget in your Filofax? do you use both the binder nad the filofax for budgeting?

  27. Jen says:

    Do you recommend a particular label maker?

  28. Maggie says:

    I may have missed the answer. Can anyone tell me what goes in the Avery 12 month tab section? Prior month’s budget and paid bills?

    • rachel says:

      If you purchased the budget binder set, you’ll want to print off 12 copies of each ‘Monthly Budget’ sheet and put them in each of the 12 Avery tabs. This should include the ‘Envelope System’, ‘Expenses’ and ‘Expenses (variable)’ sheets.

  29. Rebecca says:

    Hi. I love your blog. You have great ideas for organizing. I purchased to budgeting sheets, but forgot to include my email address. Could you please email them to Thanks so much!

  30. Melissa says:

    Hello!!!! I am so excited to start this, I have tried so many things that have not worked for me! I will ask a silly questions though! You put checkbook & register on the checklist! Whats the register??? Again I apologize for the silly ques,

    • Toni says:

      A checkbook register is a book of what you spend, You write everything down and minus each time you spend from your remaining balance in your checking account.

  31. Bev G. says:

    I may have messed up I liked the Aqua colored budgeting sheets and thought they all where the same. But am reading the Ramsey book and wanting to budget like that but see you have an actual Pink budget sheet that goes along with Ramsey. What do I do as I wanted to follow that and I only got 6 sheets. Sorry I don’t like pink. Should looked further.

  32. Callie says:

    Hello, I just purchased your printables yesterday and I was wondering how I would receive and when I would receive them? I’m so excited to get started..

    • Toni says:

      Please send em your invoice. It is an automatic email that you get when youpay.Sometimes it will go to the spam folder.

  33. Brooke says:

    Where did you get your plastic envelope organizer?

  34. Melissa says:

    Do you sell your printables any other way than on your website? I really want to purchase this and a few other things, but I’ve had too many issues with PayPal having my accounts hacked and with no help or resolutions from them.

    • Toni says:

      To pay without using paypal… Click “checkout with paypal”… and then click on the link below that says “dont have a paypal account?”

  35. Kathy says:

    I just want to say thank you for your entire site! My husband refers to me as a Type D personality that aspires to be a Type A. He’s absolutely right! Your site has helped me focus on workable organizing solutions. They are easy to follow, at least for how our household operates. I just ordered your budgeting printables and I am very excited to start this budget. It looks simple enough for even me to be able to keep up with it. Keep this up. Your site is one of the highlights of my day!

  36. Christina says:

    Love this and hope to get it done. I am disappointed because I read your 2011 budget stuff first and bought the clean mama printables. Now I wish I would have bought yours instead 🙁 I feel like I’m a step behind but have no $$ to spend.

  37. Tina collier says:

    I am so sorry if I am repeating myself. Not sure if anything is going through. I ordered the holiday planner on the 10th and never received an email to download. Second one was sent and never received anything still. (Not in spam). Thanks and I love my other planners!!

  38. Jen says:

    Just discovered your blog & I must say I’m truly amazed @ your level of organization. What an inspiration! I am looking forward to keeping up with your blog & organizing my life @ home. Happy New Year!

  39. Jennifer says:

    Hey. I just paid for the budget binder, my payment went through but no receipt. I didnt have a new email from you all. Can you help. Thanks so much

  40. Melinda says:

    I am a single mother. It looks like this will finally help me with my poor spending and saving habits. I am on Day one ,
    assembling the binder. My goal is to save money for a house!

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