10 Amazing Bullet Journal Budgeting Spreads (That Actually Work)

If you’re using a BuJo then you have to use one of these bullet journal budget forms to manage your money

Author: Kari Lorz, Certified Financial Education Instructor

Author: Kari Lorz – Certified Financial Education Instructor

I have always had a firm belief that there are many different ways to budget. There is no one “right way,” as big-shot gurus would lead you to believe.

There are lots of ways, and you just need to find the “right way” for you. And that may take a while.

Today, I want to share one of the hottest trends in budgeting (yes, even budgeting can be cool and have trends). It’s bullet journal budgeting spreads.

We’re going to walk you through the best layouts!

bullet journal budget

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What is a bullet journal budget?

A bullet journal budget spread is just a layout in your BuJo that you use to forecast your income and plan your spending & expenses for a specific time period. Monthly is traditional, but you can do weekly too.

This finance spread is just like any other written budget, but it’s formatted exactly how you want it (as you are the one creating it). It can be super detailed or have lots of flowers on it or motivational quotes – whatever you like, you can put it in your journal!

10 Bullet journal budget spreads

1. Visuals help with budgeting

I love this one as she has a graph that shows what percent of her money goes to what budget category. Visuals are a great way to wrap your brain around big topics! I also like her planned and actual columns, such a good way to keep yourself accountable.

2. Simple is easy!

I like this budget spread as it’s nice and simple. It has a good amount of space to track your spending. Because let’s be honest, most of us want to spend less on the day-to-day stuff so we can splurge on what matters most to us! Which is an excellent topic for the reflections sections here (another winner!).

3. A great bullet journal budget option!

I am so proud of this budgeter, whoever she may be! It’s so simple yet covers all the bases. I would just change the layout, so her sinking funds (aka savings) are at the top of her list. Her fixed and variable expenses are laid out (which you could tailor to “must spend” and “want to spend” categories. But honestly, this is great!

4. Best BuJo budget for low expenses

This is a good one if you keep your spending and expenses minimal. Everything is on one nice & neat page. Remember, just because we’re talking about money, it doesn’t mean that it has to be complicated. Sometimes simple is best.

5. Best bullet journal budget spread for keeping financial goals upfront

Here’s an example of someone who’s keeping their financial goals upfront and center. Having goals is great, but most people write them down and never look at them again. here, with this format, you are looking at your big goals all the time, which will help keep your spending in line.

6. Best for spotting habits

If you want to look at spending habits (and potentially change them), this weekly budget planner & tracker is a great budget spread! The top portion is more of a regular budget, while the bottom half is a spending log. You log each day of the week what you spend and why. Then you can review them at the end of the week and analyze your spending.

7. Best all-around bullet journal budget spread for visual learners

This is a great budget spread if you like visuals. With the format, as you spend during the month, you color in your expense section. This way, you can see how much of your food budget you have spent.

8. Best for the budget by paycheck method

This is a great example of a layout perfect for using the budget by paycheck method. Everything is laid very visually with the calendar, so you can make sure all your bills are spread out evenly between your paycheck periods.

9. Best bullet journal budget layout for those crafty people

This example is for all you overachieving crafty people out there. She’s turned her budget into a circle graph, and the sections flip-up (see 2nd pic) to show dollar amounts. Now I don’t know that this shows any great extra info BUT, if this gets you jazzed up about your finances, then cool!

10. Best BuJo budget form for getting an overall look at your money

This one is a little different as it gives a snapshot of each month’s budget, which can be helpful to spot trends. So this would be a great layout in addition to your monthly budget.

Bonus – Christmas BuJo budget

You can create a budget for anything! Vacation, wedding, and Christmas! Here’s a great example of some spending goals and expenses that they want to track! Hint: start saving for Christmas early (just put $10 a week aside in a sinking fund), and then you won’t have to stress so much about the money.

Why should I use a bullet journal budget spread instead of a printed out budget?

I am all for the printable budget planners; they are my all-time favorite. But, if using your bullet journal appeals to you more, then, by all means, use that! I want you to use whatever format you can get excited about. And for many, that’s their BuJo.

BuJo’s make things fun; they let you use both sides of your brain, as it’s creative and holds lots of data points and organization. It’s your own “how to be me and live my life” living journal. People are fanatical about their layouts and spreads, color schemes, design elements, and if that lights your fire, then awesome!

I just want you to use your budget tracker regularly and have it move you forward with your financial goals.

Another great thing about using a bullet journal for budgeting is having all your previous month’s info right there. You can see trends more easily and course correct if need be.

What should a bullet journal budgeting layout look like?

As I mentioned, you can use any budget method you want. However, let’s run through the budgeting method and strategies that I think work best. (Yes, you can have a different opinion, I just want to give a sample of one so people can get an idea).

We’re going to do a priority-based budget that utilizes a pay yourself first model, along with a zero-based budget framework. It sounds confusing at first but let’s break it down.

Priority-based budgets are where you put your most important expenses at the top of your list and the least important at the bottom. You can easily cut the items at the bottom of the list if you are over budget – no debating or negotiating with yourself.  

pay yourself first budgeting model is when you pay into your savings accounts (those financial goals that you have) before paying any other bills. Remember, you need to take care of your big dreams!

Using a zero-based budget means that you are giving every single dollar of income a job to do. Yup, every dollar needs to be working! So you are literally spending everything. Hopefully, this means that you’re tucking an extra $11 into your savings account. But buying a latte and a scone can do wonders for your soul too!

So here’s what it looks like…

  • income
  • minus savings
  • minus must spend monthly expenses (i.e., mortgage, utilities, insurance)
  • minus debt repayments (working the debt snowball method of course)
  • minus extra spending (i.e., gym, dining out, fun money, hobbies, etc.)
  • = $0

Ideally, this would all fit on one page or a one-page spread. You need to see the whole monthly budget all in one shot.

Now that you know the basics of a bullet journal budget, let’s look at some fun examples, as there might be some customizations that really inspire you!

We’re just talking about the monthly budget form here. There are lots of other supporting financial spreads you can use to support this page. Layouts like savings trackers, debt repayment plans, expense trackers, financial goal spreads, etc.

What bullet journal supplies do I need?

You don’t actually need a lot of items, but some things do make it more fun, creative and beautiful. So you absolutely need…

  • Dotted journal
  • Pen
  • Ruler

That’s it!

Once you are using your bullet journal and you like it then it might be time to invest in some supplies…

  • Planner stickers
  • Washi tape
  • Nice colored pens
  • Stencils
Dotted Journal Kit – Notebook, Stencils, Stickers, & Pens
  • Bullet Dotted Journal Set with the most bonus : Feela notebook set with 1 teal Bullet Dotted Journal Notebook, 15 colors Fineliner pens,5 Pieces of Reusable Stencils,6 Sticker Sheets,6 Washi Tape set,1 Black Pen.Unbelievable Abundant and Intimate!

At the end of the day

As you can see, there are many ways to style your bullet journal budget layout, and if you noticed, the captions often read that they were trying a new format or style. This is great; keep tweaking until you find the perfect fit. And that is what’s ideal about using a bullet journal for budgeting. You can make it anything you want!

free budgeting templates

Which bullet journal budget layout are you going to use?

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  1. Wow, I had no idea you could use bullet journals for budgets like this. Thank you for your clear explanations and for providing all of these example budgets!!!

  2. nice article, managing money is important and this journal is providing the feature to manage per week also….. Great!

    1. I also like the fact that you can custom it to weekly spending. It makes it so much easier to stay on top of your finances when tracking is done weekly (vs monthly).

  3. Keeping track of expenses and budgeting is so important. Since I have freelanced in the past I have learned its good to keep all finances.

  4. I have not used BuJo or a journal budget planner. True confessions: I don’t have a printed out budget, either. I do have budget categories in my head…thanks for the inspiration to get more organized with my budget!

    1. If that method works for you then great! But if it doesn’t you should give a couple of budgeting methods a try, you might find something that works amazingly well and really helps (and it could be a lot easier than you imagined!)

  5. These are great ideas for a bullet journal! I love the idea of bullet journaling, but sometimes sit down at the page and get stuck deciding what to do and how to do it. Thanks for the inspiration for next month’s spread on budgeting!

    1. I totally get it, sometimes when the possibilities are endless it becomes too overwhelming. I hope these budget spreads have narrowed down your options to make it easier to decide!

  6. I like to journal in all round style, set goal for saving, note all your spending of month. Also, keep record of your incoming money from different sources

    1. Yes! The versatility of the BuJO makes it perfect for any kind of journaling – creative or practical! The hard part is trying to limit down what I want to track/journal as I want to do it all!