Use a Bullet Journal to master your budget

A spiral-bound notebook with a list of budget items to create the bullet journel.

Bullet Journaling is a popular way to organize your life on paper. People with a lot of to-do lists and day planners have found that keeping a bullet journal is a great way to focus on their goals and track accomplishments.

The core of a bullet journal is to start with organization–this is not a random daily journal, but a logbook with an index that will be updated frequently as new things are added. The primary way to enter log notes is by using bullet points.

But that’s only the beginning. Journal keepers have learned how to tweak and hack their journals, adding a creative spark that makes the entire process more rewarding and effective. In a way it combines some of the art of scrapbooking with journaling.

We’ve long recommended keeping a written budget as an essential component of your personal finances. Writing goals down makes you much more likely to achieve them, and that’s why bullet journaling has become popular. The act of writing  a reminder has a stronger psychological impact than typing it into a smartphone.

You don’t need to be a creative genius to start a bullet journal. You can buy a journal with a grid or dots to help you keep your lines straight, and look to Instagram for literally hundreds of thousands of #bulletjournal ideas.

Inspiring bullet journal examples

1: ghastly_gwen’s monthly finances:    

I like how with bullet journaling I can personalize my own spreads. Yes it takes time. But it's nice to sit and listen to music or a podcast and just plan. . . . #plannergeek #budgetspread #bujo #bujoideas #bujobudget #bulletjournal #bulletjournalbudget #bulletjournalspreads

A post shared by Jenn (@ghastly_gwen) on Mar 11, 2017 at 4:20pm PST

2: by_denise’s savings tracker:    

Drawing all those boxes sure was tiring on the eyes – but at least my savings log is complete and ready to be coloured. Each block represents £100. #planner #bulletjournaling #savingstracker

A post shared by @by_denise on Jun 28, 2016 at 5:17am PDT

3: bobbis_bujo’s Spending log:    

#planwithmechallenge – Financial. This is my spending tracker. When I don't use cash I use one credit card that I pay off each month. At the end of the year we use our points towards our annual Disneyland trip. #bulletjournal #planner #planneraddict

A post shared by Bobbi (@bobbis_bujo) on Jan 13, 2016 at 12:40pm PST

4:brunasbooks’ savings tracker:    

52-week savings challenge: every week you save a certain amount, starting with 5$ and adding 5 more each week. By the end of the year you should end up with 6890$ ????#bulletjournal #bulletjournaling #bulletjournaljunkies #bulletjournalbrasil #bulletjournalfinance #bulletjournaltracker #bujo #bujolover #bujolove #bujotracker #planwithmechallenge #planwithme

A post shared by Bruna (@brunasbooks) on Jan 19, 2017 at 4:29pm PST

5. written.intentions’ budget envelopes:    

Saving up for a few things and will be doing physical envelopes rather than a savings account. It helps to visually see things this way for me to keep track of more than one savings pot! #savings #goals #bujo #bulletjournal #bujojunkies #whyibujo #bulletjournaljunkies #planneraddict #plannergirls #plannercommunity #planning #writeitdown #leuchtturm1917

A post shared by Nicole (@written.intentions) on Jan 15, 2016 at 9:46am PST

We urge everyone to take time to write down their budget and track their spending in writing. A bullet journal is a great way to do it–check out Instagram where there are nearly 600,000 posts under the hashtag #bulletjournal.

If your budget is already out of control, we can help. Call us for free, confidential credit counseling and debt advice, and check out all of the free educational resources we have here in our FIT Academy.

Article written by
Melinda Opperman
Melinda Opperman is an exceptional educator who lives and breathes the creation and implementation of innovative ways to motivate and educate community members and students about financial literacy. Melinda joined credit.org in 2003 and has over two decades of experience in the industry.

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