Best Budget Planners (That Will Change Your Life)

Best Budget Planner to Help You Get Financially Organized

Keeping your family finances organized can be an overwhelming task – especially if you don’t have the right tools at your disposal.

One of the most important elements in staying organized while budgeting is a budget planner.


Not all budget planners are created equal.

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The best budget planner for your family will have everything you need to stay organized on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.

How do you find the best budget planner for your family?

There are a few factors to consider when picking the right planner for you. From ease of access to length of planning, think about the parts of financial planning that are important to you.

The most important thing to remember when picking a personal budget planner is that each aspect of your family’s financial plan should be covered in your planner.

With this list of best budget planners, you’re sure to find the perfect planner for your family.

best paper budget planner


What is a Budget Planner?

Before we start getting into some of the best budget planners out there, you may be wondering, what is a budget planner?

If you’re new to budgeting and financial planning, that’s a valid question!

A budget planner is a tool that you use to keep track of all your family’s finances in one handy place. Basically, a budget planner helps you track every dollar that comes in and goes out of your household in an organized manner.

At the most basic level, you can use your budget planner to track your monthly expenses, income, debt payments, savings accumulations, and monthly budget.

More advanced planners can help you keep track of specific financial elements, like credit card debt, financial goals, plans for debt reduction, or medical expenses.

Why should you use a Budget Planner?

No matter what you decide to track with your budget planner, it can help you see a clear and organized picture of your family’s finances.

You can get a big view of your finances by taking a look at your monthly budget.

Then, you can drill down each aspect of your family’s financial situation by outlining different areas of your budget, like expenses, income, and debt.

What are the types of budget planners?

There are many different ways to organize your budget.

A budget planner is typically a physical book.

The book contains a ready-to-use budget in a neat, beautiful, light package.

All you have to do is open the book and start filling in the information. As it’s a physical book, it provides a nice visual reminder to budget, which is ideal for beginners.

With a paper budget planner, you can get creative and use thin coloring pens that are ideal for planners (don’t bleed through the page).

Alternatively, you can use an erasable pen just in case you make a mistake or just use wite-out.

All that said…

With a budget planner, there are challenges:

  • As a premade book, there’s no option to customize the pages i.e. change what information you want to fill out.
  • You won’t have detailed charts or graphs available. Simple charts might be included, but it takes much longer to fill these out than if you’re using digital budgeting systems.

If these challenges are important to you, here are 2 budgeting solutions with its pros and cons so you can assess its fit:

1. Budget Printables

Budget printables are digital PDF files you print out yourself.

Pros: With budget printables, you can customize your budget in the way that best works for you.

You can use just the pages that you want to and print them as many times as you want. Like with budget books, once you print these out, they can provide a great reminder to budget regularly.

Cons: There’s an added printing cost (although usually printables are cheaper than books).

There’s also the cost of the binder or tab pages if that’s how you’re planning on organizing the pages. With the binder, it’s probably heavier and bulkier than most budget books.

With this solution, you also still don’t address the issue of charts and graphs.

If both customization and analytical charts are important to you, you should consider…

2) Budget spreadsheets

Budget spreadsheets are digital Excel or Google Sheet files. You access and work on the file on the digital platform. There’s often no printing involved.

Pros: Unlike with paper, you can easily edit information on a spreadsheet budget.

If you have preset analytics built in, once you enter in your month’s numbers, your summaries, trends and graphs will auto-populate.

Budget spreadsheets are ideal for people who want to spend less time budgeting and appreciate analytics.

I’m a spreadsheet person. I like how it involves less manual work than a paper product.

This is my Excel budget spreadsheet. It has monthly and annual income, expense and savings summaries, trackers and charts. It has 3 different calculators to track your early retirement progress!

I’m happy to share it as I spent a ridiculously exorbitant amount of time putting this together. This is the final version after many many versions.

While I would love to be able to give this spreadsheet away for free to readers, it costs money to have an online store and maintain this website. If you’re interested in purchasing this spreadsheet, you can click here to get a 15% off coupon. I appreciate your support.

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Cons: As a digital product, it might not be as easily accessible as a paper product.

Although, if you put it on your phone or tablet, it might feel as similarly accessible.

As you can see, there are many budgeting systems are available.

If you’re a beginner budgeter who just wants to get started budgeting (and if you particularly like the paper and pencil/pen system), a premade paper budget planner is best.

You don’t need a customizable planner because you might not know what you want to customize.

Too much information might be overwhelming and prevent you from starting. Digital systems are too out of sight, out of mind.

A physical reminder is the best way for beginners to start and continue budgeting and most importantly, build the budgeting habit.

Below is all the information you need to know about paper budget planner books…

How to Pick the Best Budget Planner

Whether you need a budget planner to track all aspects of your family’s finances or you just want a handy way to do basic financial planning each month, a budget planner can help.

Not all budget planners are created equally. And not every budget planner is right for every family.

That means you have to look at your finances and current planning system to figure out what kind of budget planner works best for you.

Just because different planners offer different budgeting tools doesn’t mean that the best budget planner for each family won’t have a few common characteristics.

When looking for a good budget planner, make sure your planner has these essential elements:

1) Income tracker

To keep an accurate budget from month to month, you need to know exactly how much money you have coming in.

That means your budget planner should have a spot to keep track of your income.

Sometimes, that means simply having an entry spot for income at the top of the monthly budget.

Or your planner could have a section dedicated to tracking your income changes from month to month.

2) Expense tracker

The next most essential element to any budget planner is a place to track your family’s expenses.

Since your income and expenses should balance each other out, keeping track of the amount of money you spend each month is essential to creating a balanced budget.

One tip for the expense tracker:

You want to ensure you aren’t missing any expenses including the irregular expenses that happen throughout the year.

Here’s a FREE printable with an ultimate list of budget categories and subcategories so you won’t miss any budget planner expense payments.

Get it by entering your information below!

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3) Savings tracker

Keeping an ample amount of savings is a big part of having a strong financial outlook.

Savings can help cushion your family from an unexpected expense or a loss in income.

That means you need an organized and reliable way to keep track of your family’s savings.

Make sure your budget planner has an area to track savings so you always know how much cushion your family has in their budget.

4) Debt tracker

Tracking your debt is another essential element of financial planning. So, you should be actively tracking your debt and debt reduction efforts in your budget.

A useful budget planner should always have a way for you to keep track of your debt.

In addition to making sure you’re not adding to your family’s debt, tracking debt in your financial planner can help you easily see the progress you’ve made toward decreasing your family’s debt from month to month.

5) Budget tracker

You’ll also need a place to keep track of your monthly budget.

In this section of your budget planner, you can keep track of your income and expenses in one place, allowing you to easily reconcile your budget at the end of each month.

While this list isn’t all-inclusive it does provide you with a basic list of essential elements that should be included in your budget planner.

When deciding which planner is best for your family, make sure the planner you choose has at least these five elements.

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Best Budget Planners

Now that you know what characteristics to look for in a good budget planner, it’s time to start picking the best planner for your family!

These budget planners are some of my favorite options when it comes to organizing my family’s finances.

1. Clever Fox Budget Planner

Stay on track with your family’s finances with the help of the Clever Fox Budget Planner.

This handy planner will help you keep track of your budget, debt, bills due, expenses, and income all in one place.

In addition to tracking your family’s finances, this budget planner also allows you to set monthly financial goals to help you stay on track from month to month.

The budget planner is constructed of high-quality leather, so it’s sure to last the entire year.

In addition to the book, the planner also features an accordion pocket to hold your bills and receipts, as well as lots of stickers to help make budgeting a little more fun.

That means you can keep all aspects of your family’s financial planning stored inside your planner, allowing you to stay organized from month to month.

When you receive this budgeting planner, you won’t be stuck wondering where to start.

With the quick-start guide, you can easily see how to use each page of the planner.

The filled-in example pages will give you guidance on how to fill out your own budget planner throughout the year.

Key budget planner features:

  • Compact size: 5.8” x 8.3”
  • Thick premium paper: 120gsm pearl white paper
  • Lots of budget stickers
  • 1 bookmark
  • Elastic closure band
  • Sturdy pen loop
  • Undated format so you can start at any time of year
  • Pages to write down financial goals and strategies to achieve those goals
  • Debt tracking pages
  • Planning pages dedicated to Christmas budgeting
  • Annual summary pages to track goal progress throughout the year
  • User manual
  • Guarantee – If you’re not happy with the purchase, you can get your money back

Add on:

If you like the cash envelope system, you can also get the Clever Fox cash envelopes.

2. DebtorEdu Budget Planner

Designed by the financial experts at DebtorEdu, this helpful planner is a great choice for families who like to keep track of every aspect of their finances.

With the DebtorEdu budget planner, you can track each of your family’s expenses to the smallest detail, thanks to the included extra trackers that come with your planner.

With those helpful additions, you can easily keep track of your family’s online orders, donations, checks, bill account information, medical expenses, savings challenges, and no-spend challenges.

With this expansive budget planner, you can easily keep track of your family’s spending, set goals for the future, track your monthly budget, drill down your debt, and save money for the future.

The planner includes pages for creating a monthly budgeting plan, tracking your income and expenses every month, creating a debt repayment plan, and setting money goals for your family.

Helpful budget planner features:

  • Compact size: 6.5″ x 8.5″
  • Thick premium paper: 120gsm pearl white paper
  • 74 budget stickers
  • Scratch resistant cover
  • Metal corners
  • Undated format so you can start at any time of year
  • Planning pages with actionable steps for creating a monthly plan or paying down debt
  • Detailed debt and saving trackers
  • Achievement pages to detail financial goals met and achievements made
  • Annual overview page to track goal progress and financial outlook

3. Simplified Monthly Budget Planner

If you need an easy-to-use budget planner for your family without all the extras, you’ll love the Simplified Monthly Budget Planner.

This hard-cover budgeting book allows you to easily track your monthly income, savings, debt, and expenses.

Its small size means you can take it anywhere you go. It will easily fit inside your purse so you can tackle your budgeting while on the go.

Included with the planning book are motivational instructions to help you get started, along with two sheets of stickers to help you decorate your book as you budget.

The non-dated pages mean you can easily start your budget any time of year.

The blank pages in the notes section allow you to track financial goals and jot down money saving strategies as you work through your financial plan.

Helpful budget planner journal features:

  • Small size: 5.5″ x 8″
  • Thick premium paper
  • 97 budget stickers, 12 monthly tabs
  • Elastic closure band
  • Sturdy pen loop
  • Undated format so you can start at any time of year
  • Monthly bill tracker to outline due dates and payments made each month
  • Savings and debt trackers to stay on task
  • Month and year end review pages to help you reflect on your financial goals
  • Christmas tracker to keep track of holiday savings and expenses

4. Budget Planner and Bill Organizer Book

For an all-in-one budgeting system, the Budget Planner and Bill Organizer Book is a great choice.

In addition to the handy budget planner, this all-inclusive planning system also includes money envelopes for easy cash budgeting and extra budget tracking sheets to keep track of additional income and expenses.

With this budgeting system, you can easily keep track of all your family’s finances in one convenient place, including income, expenses, savings, bills, taxes, debt, and savings.

The financial recording system comes with a variety of planning pages, including 10 pages per month of financial planning tools.

These monthly pages allow you to track income, bills, savings, and extra expenses not included in your monthly budget.

Additionally, you can keep all your family’s bills and receipts organized with the help of pocket folders inside the planner.

The book even includes a special section dedicated entirely to holiday planning and spending.

Helpful finance planner book features:

  • Compact size: 6.5″ x 8.25″
  • 3 Cash budgeting envelopes
  • Elastic closure band
  • Undated format so you can start at any time of year
  • Blank monthly calendar pages to keep track of monthly income and expenses
  • Pockets to hold extra pages, bills and receipts for each month of the year
  • Section dedicated to holiday planning and spending

5. Go Girl Budget Planner

Keep track of your monthly finances in a stylish book with the help of the Go Girl Budget Planner.

This pretty planner is constructed of animal-friendly PU leather, which means it’s as stylish as it is functional.

The compact size ensures it will fit inside your bag, giving you the chance to budget on the go when you need to.

With the undated layout in this budget planner, you can start tracking your family’s finances at any time of the year.

The binder features inner pockets to help you keep track of bills and receipts each month. The included stickers give you a chance to decorate your planner to make keeping track of your finances a little more fun.

But the comprehensive tracking pages are what make this amazing budget planner a great choice.

The planner includes pages for tracking your debt, expenses, and income.

You can also work through your monthly budget with ease and keep track of monthly financial goals with the help of the budget pages in the planner.

Each month ends with a monthly budget review to allow you to track your progress from month to month.

Helpful finance planner notebook features:

  • 2 compact size options: 5.3″ x 7.7″, 5.7″ x 8.5″
  • Thick premium paper: 120gsm pearl white paper
  • 91 budget stickers
  • Elastic closure band
  • Sturdy pen loop
  • Undated format so you can start at any time of year
  • Comprehensive trackers for income, debt, and expenses
  • Goal setting pages to outline four financial goals each month
  • Monthly budget review to track goal progress
  • User manual
  • Guarantee – If you’re not happy with the purchase, you can get your money back

6. Erin Condren Petite Planner

For a basic budget planner without all the extra frills, consider the Erin Condren Financial Planner.

The planner includes 12 undated months, making it simple to start planning at any time of year.

It includes basic planning pages to help you keep track of budgeting essentials, like spending and savings.

Each month of the planner includes a page for monthly budgeting, as well as an expense tracker to keep track of your monthly expenses.

You can also track your family’s bills, savings, and debt with pages dedicated to each tracking category.

Key budget book planner features:

  • Compact size: 6.75″ x 8.25″
  • Undated format so you can start at any time of year
  • Finance tracking with pages for spending, debt, savings, and income
  • Budget planning for 12 months

7. Monthly Budget Planner

With 150 pages of budgeting tools, this monthly budget planner is a great tool for keeping your family’s finances organized throughout the year.

The undated format allows you to easily start budgeting for your family this month and keep up with your financial planning for an entire year.

The planner begins by helping you outline your annual overview, then allows you to start tracking your expenses.

On the monthly level, you can track your monthly budget, create a monthly plan for your money, and track your progress toward your financial goals.

The planner also allows you to easily keep track of your savings, monthly bills, and debt repayment.

Each section features blank pages to help you keep track of monthly goals and take notes regarding your budget.

Key budget tracker book features:

  • Regular size: 8.5″ x 11″
  • 150 pages
  • Undated format so you can start at any time of year
  • Debt repayment plan worksheet helps you plan out how you’ll reduce your family’s debt
  • Savings goal tracker includes goal progress chart
  • Monthly planning pages to track budget, goal progress, and bills

8. Budgeting Envelopes Planner

If you’re a fan of the cash envelope system, this budgeting envelopes planner is a great option for your family.

The cash envelope system is when you use cash as opposed to credit cards.

The advantage of using cash is that you never go over budget because you’re paying your expenses without using borrowed money (credit cards).

This system features 12 cash budget envelopes and 12 expense budget sheets to help you keep track of your family’s cash spending each month.

You can store everything in a budget planner binder so your finances are at your fingertips.

This budgeting planner is great for anyone on a cash budget, allowing you to easily keep track of your cash expenses as they occur.

Simply place your budget sheet inside the envelope along with your cash to track your expenses as you pay.

You can easily reconcile your spending so you know exactly how much money is in each envelope without having to count.

The envelopes are constructed of laminated paper, so they’ll hold up to regular use.

The planner wallet is made of durable PVC material to help protect your envelopes from wear and tear.

All the elements of the system are water resistant and tear proof, making them a much better option than traditional paper envelopes.

Key budget planner organizer features:

  • Compact size: 7.95″ x 7.36″
  • 12 High quality envelopes make a great replacement for traditional paper envelopes used in cash budgeting system
  • A ruler
  • Budget planners make keeping track of cash spending simple
  • 24 Blank sticker labels help identify the usage designated for cash inside each envelope

Final Thoughts on Budgeting Notebooks

Every budget planner is different. Find the budget planner that best suits your needs to find the one that’s right for you.

I’d love to know in the comments which budget planner you picked.

Recap of Best Budget Planner Books

  1. Clever Fox Budget Planner
  2. DebtorEdu budget planner
  3. Simplified Monthly Budget Planner
  4. Budget Planner and Bill Organizer Book
  5. Go Girl Budget Planner
  6. Erin Condren Financial Planner
  7. Monthly budget planner
  8. Budgeting envelopes planner

Related Budgeting Planner Articles

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