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Want to spice up your budget planning in a meaningful way? Check out these 9 budget planner ideas, and create a budget you love planning!
If you’re like me, you might struggle to stick to a budget each month, and overspending becomes an inevitable part of each pay period.
Taking control of your finances can be overwhelming and tricky, but with a few simple changes, you can stop busting your budget. You can control your money, instead of your money controlling you.
This post is all about nine must-try budget planner ideas to help you stay focused and make budgeting fun for ultimate success.
1. Meal Plan
A meal plan might seem like a strange thing to include in your budget planner, but food is a large part of most people’s spending. Including it in your budget just makes sense.
Meal planning has several positive effects in regard to your budget.
- Saving money at the grocery store- you will know exactly what ingredients you need for each meal.
- Avoiding eating out- by having a plan, you are less likely to overspend your budget by going to a restaurant or grabbing fast food.
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2. Due Dates
Due dates are crucial to your success with budgeting. By listing your due dates in your budget planner, you can be sure that you never miss a payment.
I recommend writing your due dates on a calendar along with the amount that you estimate that is due. This not only makes sure you pay everything on time, it also gives you an overall view of when your bills are due and how to best plan ahead for the month.
3. Special Events
Of all of the budget planner ideas, writing down special events is the one that I am guilty of forgetting the most. However, this category can prove to be the biggest budget buster if forgotten.
Be sure to start your month by writing down all special events that are happening during that pay period. These special events could include family birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, and other important events.
Being able to budget for these occasions at the beginning of the month will keep you from overspending at the time of the event.
Be sure to include extras in your budget. If your special event requires a gift, don’t forget to budget in wrapping paper or greeting card. If you’re mailing your gift, don’t forget to budget for shipping.
4. Daily Events
Much like special events, you also want to write down your daily events. These smaller events, like children’s concerts or games can require tickets or donations to attend.
These events can also include haircuts, doctor’s appointments, and routine maintenance appointments. Because these events don’t happen every month, can be easy to forget. Be sure to write them in your budget planner, so you won’t forget to allocate an appropriate amount for those activities.
One other thing to consider around these daily events is how you will manage to eat around them. If the timing of these activities would keep you from being able to eat at home, you will want to make sure to budget for your food that day.
5. Bucket List
One of my favorite budget planner ideas for making budgeting fun, is to include something from my bucket list as often as possible. You may not be able to accomplish a bucket list item every month or even most months; however, you should include one or two every year, if possible.
Bucket list items do not have to be big events, such as visiting a foreign country or climbing Mount Everest. Sometimes bucket list items could be to try food from a different country or taking a day off of work to do something fun with your spouse.
Sometimes budgeting can become restricting, but there is no need for that. You can budget in your bucket list goals.
You’ll want to list the thing you’re wanting to do and determine how much it will cost. Figure out how much you can save each month to accomplish that goal.
Having daily, weekly, monthly and yearly goals is very important. These goals should be specific and measurable. As you work on your budget planner, be sure to keep your goals in mind and include any expenses that might be associated with your goal.
There are a lot of recommendations based on research that your goals should follow the SMART rules. This means they should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time based.
Read more about goal setting in this article for ultimate success with your budget planning.
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One of the best budget planner ideas is to use colors to your advantage. There are many ways to use colors in your planner to help with organization.
Some ways that you can add color to your budget planner include using different colored pens, highlighters, and stickers.
I like to use all three of these items to add color and differentiation to my budget planner. Some ways you can use them is to put all bills in one color and all events in a different color. You can use a third color for to do’s.
There is an unlimited way to use colors in your planner. Check out some budget planner ideas that others are trying.
Including quotes in your budget planner can help you stay on track when monthly budgeting becomes repetitive. Quotes can be both motivational and inspirational.
There are two types of quotes that people find to be the most inspiring:
- Quotes from leaders
- Bible verses
Bible Verse Motivational Quote Sticker
Stickers can not only add color and interest to your budget planner, but it can also cut down on your time. There are two types of planner stickers that can be helpful with your budget planner ideas: functional and decorative.
Functional stickers are usually tabs or stickers with words that remind you when to pay a bill. Their job is not to necessarily make your budget planner pretty, but they can make budget tracking easier. Many people like to use these stickers to make it more obvious when bills or special events are happening.
Decorative stickers are made just to make your budget planner look pretty. They can double as a functional sticker, but usually don’t serve any true purpose other than to be decorative.
I like to use a combination of decorative and functional stickers in my budget planner.
Grab some decorative or functional stickers today, and make your budget planning more exciting!
This post was all about the nine budget planner ideas you should try right away for making budgeting fun.
If you have any budget planner ideas that you’ve implemented in your monthly budgets, I’d love for you to share them in a comment below.