How to Organize Your Financial Life With a Budget Binder

A budget binder is shown.

Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

You’ve got receipts bursting out of your wallet. You’ve scribbled down financial goals on a

random sheet on paper you can no longer find. You’ve forgotten the limit you gave yourself for grocery shopping this month.

If any of that sounds familiar, your financial life could probably use a little organization.

A budget binder can help you corral all the important documents regarding your spending, debt, savings and more. It’s the old-fashioned, pen-and-paper way to stay on track of your money.

What Exactly Is a Budget Binder?

A budget binder is precisely what it sounds like. It’s a binder where you store your budget and other relevant financial information, like your loan payoff strategy or your sinking funds tracker.

Having all the goods in one place means you don’t have to scramble to find, say, a record of last month’s spending to make adjustments to next month’s budget.

You can customize your budget binder to include whatever money management tools you’d like. Some suggestions are:

  1. Monthly budget

    Estimate spending limits and total up how much you actually spend.

  2. Monthly or weekly calendar

    Keep track of bill due dates and planned expenses, like the copay for your upcoming doctor’s appointment.

  3. Income tracker

    Record when (and how much) you get paid, including money earned from side gigs.

  4. Expense tracker

    Log each time money leaves your wallet or bank account.

  5. Debt tracker

    Lay out who you owe, how much you owe, your next minimum payment amount and due date. You may want to include how long it’ll take to pay off your debt and your repayment strategy.

  6. Savings tracker

    Take note of the money you’ve set aside for future expenses and goals, whether that’s short-term (like holiday…

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