A list of the best budget planners to get you on track with your finances this year. These budget planner books will help keep you organized so there is no excuse not to keep up with your budget!
Budgeting can be challenging, especially when your bank account isn’t as flush as you’d like it to be. But, taking control of your finances begins with setting a budget and sticking to it. After all, you’ll never get where you want to go if you’re not clear on your starting point.
Developing a budget system from scratch is a daunting task, but with a helpful guide to follow, you might be surprised to find how easy it is to create a budget.
That’s where budget planners come in.
These handy notebooks are designed to help you sort out your finances, set goals, and outline how you’ll meet them. They are filled with worksheets and spreads to help you track things like debt payment, savings, monthly bills, and more.
When you stay on top of your finances and understand where your money is coming from and going each month, you’ll begin to feel empowered and in control.
It’s just a matter of choosing a system that works for you.
How to choose the right budget planner
There are all kinds of budget planners on the market these days, and each is a little bit different. Below, we’ve rounded up a few fantastic options and outlined some of the pros and cons of each.
In addition to our insights, there are a few other considerations you might want to make when deciding which budget planner will work best for you.
What to consider:
- What type of savings methodology will you be using? Will the notebook accommodate it? For example, if you’re using an envelope system, it would make sense to pick a notebook with envelopes included.
- Will you be carrying your notebook with you everywhere? What size of book would fit in your bag?
- Do you want a well-defined system to follow, or do you prefer room for customization?
With these questions in mind, let’s dive into the recommendations.
The Best Budget Planners for 2021
Each of the following notebooks is an excellent option if you’re looking to track your spending and set financial goals this year.
1. Clever Fox Budget Planner
- Allows for long and short term financial goal planning
- Comes with use instructions
- Money-back guarantee
- Only one storage pocket
- Monthly budget spread has predetermined spending categories
The Clever Fox Budget Planner is a thoughtfully designed planner that will work for both budgeting newbies and those with experience. It even comes with a pamphlet outlining how to best use the planner, and Clever Fox will refund you if you are unsatisfied with your purchase.
This book features goal-setting pages to help you establish long-term financial goals and outline the strategies you’ll use to meet them. Plus, there are yearly summary pages to help you understand where your money went and whether you met your goals.
Each month contains a month at a glance page, complete with a calendar, where you can establish your monthly goals and outline your budget. The budgeting page is categorized, which some may find limiting.
There are also pages for tracking savings, debt, and daily spending, and even Christmas budgeting. Each month contains a monthly review page, encouraging you to reflect on your progress towards your goals.
The Clever Fox Budget planner is a portable A5 size with pages of 120 gsm paper, so you won’t have to worry about pens bleeding through. It contains an accordion pocket at the back for stashing bills and receipts and has an elastic pen loop.
The cover is made from a sturdy leatherette and comes in a vast range of colors, meaning you’ll have no problem finding one that fits your personality.
2. Go Girl Budget Planner
- Monthly budget spread is not categorized, allowing for full customization
- Small enough to carry comfortably
- Blank page each month for reflection and planning
- No calendar pages
The Go Girl Budget Planner is a compact budgeting notebook with a chic, feminine design.
The planner opens with pages for outlining your yearly budget goals and defining your financial strategies and tactics. Each set of monthly planning pages contains a monthly planning spread where you can outline your income, expenses, and budget. At the end of each month, there are pages to reflect on your progress.
The budget planning spread is not categorized, meaning you can customize it to meet your unique needs.
There are also pages for tracking your savings, debt, and your holiday budget. The planner ends with yearly summary pages so you can see what kind of progress you made towards your goals.
The Go Girl Budget Planner measures 5.3 inches by 7.7 inches, making it a compact notebook that will easily fit in your purse. It has a hardcover made with vegan leather and comes in 12 colors.
The book is held shut with a sturdy elastic closure, and it contains two ribbon bookmarks, an accordion pocket at the back, and a sturdy elastic pen holder. The notebook comes with a quick start guide and a sticker sheet with 91 stickers.
3. Erin Condren Petite Financial Planner
- Cute design
- Lightweight, easy to carry
- Monthly budget categories are pre-filled
- Softcover, could become damaged with use
If you’re on the hunt for a compact budget planner, the Erin Condren Petite Financial Planner might be just the ticket.
This book contains a month at a glance spread for recording your monthly goals, upcoming expenses, and savings goals. You’ll also find pages where you can record your daily spending.
The monthly budget page contains pre-set expense categories, which are great if your spending applies to them but could be bothersome if it doesn’t.
This budget planner comes in a handful of different colors and patterns, and each book has a fun quote on the cover. The notebook also comes with a sticker sheet and has a pocket at the back for storing bills and receipts. These playful design elements are sure to entice you to open your planner frequently to stay on top of your finances.
4. Boxclever Press Budget Book
- Monthly calendar view
- Straight-forward layout
- Might be too plain for some
The Boxclever Press Budget Book is a lightweight budget planner designed to help you set goals and track spending.
The opening pages of the notebook contain space for goal setting and strategizing. These are followed by a monthly calendar view, making it easy to visualize when money is coming in and going out. The planner contains pages that allow you to track savings, debt, income, daily spending, and your monthly budget.
This planner also offers space to track your bills each month to ensure nothing falls through the cracks.
At 7.5 x 4.5 inches, this notebook is easy to slip into your purse when you’re out and about, so you can stay on top of your expense tracking all the time. The notebook cover is made from flexible wipe-clean plastic, making it lightweight while still preventing it from tears.
If you’re looking for a straightforward and inexpensive budget planner with a pleasing design, this notebook is a perfect option.
5. DebtorEdu Budget Planner
- Spiral binding allows it to lay flat
- Detailed worksheets to facilitate budgeting and goal setting
- Encourages money mindset work
- Could be overwhelming if you’re new to budgeting
The DebtorEdu Budget Planner is a robust tool that is sure to help you get your finances in order. From the lay-flat spiral binding to the plethora of worksheets inside, this planner means business.
Inside you’ll find space to outline your yearly goals, plan your budget, and track your spending. You can track your monthly expenses, your debt payments, your savings, and more.
But it’s not all about crunching numbers; the money journal pages will help you reflect on your goals and work on your money mindset too.
The notebook also includes space to celebrate your achievements and contains fun worksheets such as a 30-day no-spend challenge and 52-week savings challenge, that will help make saving fun, even when it feels like a struggle.
This hardcover notebook also includes a sticker sheet and a pocket at the back to stash receipts and bills.
If you’re not sure how to put this tool to use, you’re in luck. The DebtorEdu Budget Planner has an online component as well. You can watch videos on how to use the planner and access additional worksheets such as an online order tracker and a medical expenses planner, among others.
If you’re looking to overhaul your finances and develop healthy money management habits, this planner will surely help set you on the right track.
6. Denise Albright Budget Planner
- Spiral binding lays flat
- Lots of pockets to stash bills and receipts
- Design feels a bit young
The Denise Albright Budget Binder is a robust planner with a bright, playful design. It may have a juvenile aesthetic, but this product is highly functional.
The notebook begins with pages for outlining your yearly financial goals and objectives. Each monthly spread includes a calendar page, monthly goal setting, and space to track savings, income, and expenses.
In addition, you’ll find trackers for bills, debt, and savings and a handy yearly summary page where you can evaluate your overall financial standing and progress toward your goals.
The months are grouped by quarter, and each quarterly divider has a pocket for stashing receipts and bills. The planner also comes with over 360 stickers to help add visual intrigue to your spreads.
This hardcover notebook has a spiral spine allowing it to lay flat while you work with it.
If you’re looking for a well-organized budget planner with a bold aesthetic, this planner might be just the thing!
If you’re not keen on any of the above planner, take a look at one of these!
Each of these budget planners is a promising option if you’re looking to track your finances this year. Ultimately, it may take some trial and error before you land on the perfect budgeting system for you, but the most important thing is just to start.
Do you use a budget planner book to keep track of your income and expenses? What is your favorite thing about it?