Budgeting can be hard work and leave you feeling overwhelmed, but it doesn’t have to be like that.
A good budget planner is your own little pocket financial motivator that can keep track of your income and expenses, record debt and savings progress for you.
Everyone budgets differently so it’s important to find one that suits your style. We discuss the best budget planner for your needs and include a few examples for you to consider using.
Best budget planners for 2021
You certainly don’t need a budget planner to budget, however it makes it a lot more fun.
Budget planners come in all shapes and sizes, but they all have one purpose: to store your financial information together in one place.
We explain the different types and their pros and cons, so you can choose the most appealing one for you.
Budget books can make the task of budgeting much easier. The benefits of using budget planning books are:
You can see and understand exactly where your money is going: when you write down how much you’re spending, it’s much harder to ignore the bad habits. Calculating how much you spent last month should be the first step for anyone who wants to budget effectively.
Everything is organized in one place: if you are fed up with having stacks of bills around the house, a budget planner stores everything in one place so you can easily find what you are looking for.
Planning helps you meet your goals: a budgeting book sets out your financial plan for the month ahead, so you know exactly what you need to do to meet your goals.
Other members of the family can access the budget information: budgeting should be a family effort, and it’s important to share the budget plan with everyone to combine efforts. There’s no point in one member of the family abiding by the rules when another is blowing money on non-essential goods.
Master your money with these budget planner books:
Clever Fox Budget Planner is a monthly planner that helps you keep track of your income, expenses and spending. The layout makes it quick and easy to access the information that you want to find, which is all in one place. You can even store all of your receipts in the handy pocket at the back.
If you’re looking for a simple and affordable compact budget book, the GoGirl Budget Planner is a good choice. You can set clear goals and expense categories to keep your personal finances organized. There is also a useful habit tracker to help you improve your spending habits.
Budgeting apps have been rising in popularity, and for good reason. The pros of using an app to track your personal finances include:
Easy to set up: most budgeting apps require a download and an email address to set up your account. Once you’ve done that, you can begin inserting your information.
Accessible 24/7: the most attractive thing about budgeting apps is the ability to check your financial health at the touch of a button.
Receive real-time notifications: budgeting apps can be programmed to alert you if you’re getting close to your monthly budget, or notify you of activity in your bank account.
If you decide to use a budgeting app to manage your finances, there are some cons that you need to consider as well.
Security: some people have concerns about inserting your financial and personal information on an online budgeting app. Cybercriminals target weak systems to try and steal your details. Using a secure password manager to store your login information can help protect your data.
It won’t make decisions for you: a budget app is only as good as the data you put in. Sure, it can tell you how much you’re spending each month and recommend areas where you can save money. However, it can’t make good financial decisions for you.
If you’re looking for the best online budget planner, these free apps fit the bill:
Mint links all of your financial accounts, tracks and categorizes your transactions. If you go over your budget for a particular category you will get an alert. You can also be reminded by an alert for upcoming payments.
Zeta is designed for helping couples budget together. You can set personal or combined financial goals and even hide certain financial information from your partner if you prefer.
PocketGuard makes it easy to take control of your money, optimize your spending and grow your savings automatically. The atomization function cleverly categorizes your expenses so you don’t have to. You can even export transactions into spreadsheets.
Printables make the best monthly budget planner for personal finances because there are so many different styles available to suit you and your goals.
The benefits of using printable budget templates are:
Printables have simple layouts: downloadable budget planners have a simple structure that allows them to be personalized. The easy to fill in fields allow you to calculate your income and track your expenses on a daily or weekly basis.
Templates are universal: whether you are a college student or a parent trying to control the household budget, printable budget planners can cater to a wide variety of requirements. If you want a full-size printable budget planner, no problem. If you want a weekly or monthly planner, there are lots to choose from online.
They are free: simply search for budget planner printables online, download and print. It’s that easy.
Before you start downloading your new budget planner, consider some of the drawbacks printables have:
Quality: due to the vast volume of free printables available online, you may notice that some are not as high quality as others. Take a look at the reviews before wasting time downloading and printing.
Some printable budget planners come at a cost: not all printables are free. Check the terms and conditions before selecting one.
Printables will need organizing: your new printable budget planner will need storing in a folder so that each month, all of your personal financial information is in one place.
Some people prefer to stick their budget planner on a wall at home to keep them focused and motivated. Wall charts are a low expense budget planning option and most are customizable to suit your goals.
Wall charts are fixed in one place, making it difficult to take your financial information with you on the go. They can also be difficult to edit without making the whole sheet messy.
Different types of wall charts include:
Financial planning Excel spreadsheet: if you know your way around Excel, it won’t take you long to put together a budget planner that works for your financial situation.
Custom wall charts: websites such as Etsy sell unique and custom budget planners.
Which budgeting methods should you use with your budget planner?
Once you’ve got your budget planner sorted, consider which budgeting methods will help you rein in your spending and keep your saving efforts on track.
The 50-20-30 plan is one of the most popular budgeting techniques. Simply allocate 50% of your income on essentials, 20% to your savings pot and the 30% left can be spent in any way you choose.
Implement your budget with a budget planner
Without a budget, it’s impossible to know your financial situation. With a budget planner, the process of organizing your finances is much easier.
When choosing your budget planner, consider its size, features, durability and reviews. The best budget planner is one that you will actually use.
Are you tired of struggling with your finances? Take control of your money with the latest personal finance advice on our website.