20 Budgeting Bullet Journal Tips & Layout Ideas

The Bullet Journal is a great planner system. You can track almost anything, and it will always give you an assessment that is as honest as you are to yourself. One of the best ways to use this system is to use it to manage your budgeting goals.

For more details on how to actually make a Bullet Journal Budget Tracker, I made a guide back in February 2020. You can find it here.

Further down are tips and actual Bullet Journal Budget Layouts that can help you achieve your goals and track your spending. I’ll start with some tips, then give you actual and practical layouts that you can use!

I’ll even add an interactive infographic at the end to help you track more things with your bullet journal.

If you’re new and you’d like a guide to making your own bullet journal, consider this guide I wrote! Find it here!

1. Identify What To Track In A Bullet Journal Budget Tracker

The term budget can be a broad thing. A lot of factors go into making a budget, and setting the parameters goes a long way when it comes to having an actually helpful tracker.

Here’s a list of what you can put into your budget tracker (Don’t be afraid to get creative and add your own!):

  • Bills
  • Debt
  • Savings
  • Budgets
  • Spending

Each of this can be broken down into more specific items, however, I’ll leave that up to you.

2. Be Self-Aware & Honest

The main goal of this practice is to be able to manage your money. If you aren’t completely honest with yourself, then this will all be for naught.

Be honest. Be self-aware. There’s no sugar coating it when it comes to managing your expenses. Of course, I know it hurts when the time comes to look at your expenses, but the main fix is not to push down that feeling of dread but use it to motivate you into actually doing something productive.

Nobody is judging you. Not your notebook. Not yourself. Just go through the process even if it’s slow. You’ll get there.

3. Set Realistic Goals

Building from being honest and self-aware, you need to set achievable goals. You can’t expect to cut your spending by half the first week in, you have to set it in a way that will build up momentum.

For example, for the first 4 weeks you can have these goals:

  • Week 1 = Save 5% of usual spending
  • Week 2 = Save 7% of usual spending
  • Week 3 = Save 9% of usual spending
  • Week 4 = Save 10% of usual spending

Those number are incremental. They add up. They might seem like a small step each week, but those small steps matter in the long path to financial freedom.

This is a marathon. In a marathon, those who sprint at the start rarely finish.

4. Find Spending Patterns

This is where the Bullet Journal really shines.

One of the main benefits of the bullet journal is that you can have a great bird’s eye view of your activities and lifestyle patterns. You can go back and review them as you’d like, alternatively, trackers already do this.

While simple, trackers allow you to check off a day when you do things right. At any point of the period of time the tracker is set, you’ll see your progress. Simple. Effective.

For you track your patterns, try to identify that days when you tend to spend more. Let’s say you spent more during Wednesdays. Going back to your daily or weekly log, you can find WHAT you do on that day that makes you spend more.

Let’s say that day is when you get together with your friends. While you may not want to stop seeing your friends, what you can do is go to more affordable places. You can probably opt for a simple cup of coffee instead of a very fancy spread. Now you can diet and save!

5. Celebrate Small Victories

After a certain period of time. It’s time for some real and honest self-assessment.

While this can be an hour of dread for some, remember, YOU SET REALISTIC GOALS. This means that you will have probably reached even if just one or two of them.

CONGRATULATIONS .. or however you spell the word.

Celebrate that success with a good glass of wine or coffee. Give yourself a moment to savor your success, then look forward. You still have some ways to go, but like you’ve proven to yourself, you can do it.

The following will be tips and layout ideas. You’ll see the things you can do with a Bullet Journal Budget Tracker and the things you can do to make the experience even more efficient and fun!

6. Break It Down To Specifics

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As you can see here, this budget tracker broke down each item. It’s a good way to really see what you are spending your money on!

7. Lay It Out Neatly

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Be sure to lay it out neatly. Keeping it simple is a great way to keep it clean. This is a great way to keep you motivated and to track things accurately.

8. A Simple System Works Miracles

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A simple system works wonders. Here’s a great budget tracker showing that.

Sometimes you don’t need all the details. Sometimes all you need is a plus and minus to keep track of things!

9. Combine It With Other Trackers

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A post shared by Christie Slanina (@everydaybulletjournal)

Combining it with other trackers let’s you remember it whenever you use those other trackers. You can’t escape it if it’s everywhere!

Since I keep comparing this to a marathon, consider combing it with an exercise tracker.

You can find 60 Exercise Tracker Ideas Here!

10. Be Patient With It

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At first, it may seem like forever. Don’t worry. You’ll get there! Once you do, be sure to celebrate it!

11. Incorporate Into Monthly/Weekly/Daily Logs

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Try incorporating your trackers to your usual logs. This makes them a priority in your mind and will help you become more self-aware everyday.

12. Get A Good Overview

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Having different periods of time available when you are tracking your budget at the present will make it so that you can track your growth.

It’s a good motivating factor and will help you assess how you will move forward.

13. Design It Anyway That Works For You

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Design your spread in a way that works for you. It doesn’t have to be minimalist if you don’t want to. It doesn’t have to be artsy if you don’t want to.

There is no right way to look. There is only the right way to get results.

14. Break Down Your Goals

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Set your goals for a short period of time, and a long period of time. This will help you gain momentum.

Also, adding specificity will let you gain more awareness in the areas that need fixing.

15. Use Charts and Graphs

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Charts and graphs aren’t for everyone, but if it works then go ahead! It makes it cleaner and it’s another way to efficiently read data.

16. Use a Wish List

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Are you saving up for something grand? Use a wish list to remind yourself of what you are saving for!

Eyes on the prize people!

17. Embrace The Season!

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A post shared by Blanca✨ (@blanca.bujo)

Don’t forget to enjoy the moments as they come! You’re saving up for something special, sure, but don’t let that ruin the present too!

Enjoy the ride, as long as you keep on track you’ll reach your goal!

18. Don’t Underestimate Separators

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What I mean by this is to keep your tracker neat by making sure everything is legible. This tracker uses separators and color guidelines to make sure it’s easy to read.

19 . Use Themes

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A post shared by Samantha (@bulletwithsam)

Check out this awesome book theme! Using a theme might make it so that you comeback to it more. It’s great for relieving the stress you might get after fixing your finances!

20. Motivate Yourself

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A post shared by Bujo with Ciel (@bujowithciel)

This is a long ride. It’s important to tell yourself that and motivate yourself! Leave inspirational or encouraging messages to help you with each step!

Remember, it’s marathon!


These tips are all for you to get better. Remember to only take what you need, and focus on your goal.

If you liked this content, make sure to share with your friends! I work really hard on my content and it’d be really awesome if you credit or link me back!

If you liked what you read, consider our recommendations for the best bullet journal supplies! Find it here.

As promised, here’s an interactive infographic! Feel free to swipe left or right!


Jm here! I run the Scribbler Planet website. If you're new to bullet journals and journaling, I think I can help you out. I've always had problems with keeping on track with what I'm doing, so when I heard bullet journaling could help I tried my hand at it. Here we are about a year later and I'm glad to say it significantly helped. Here's hoping I can help you do the same!

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