When trying to keep your budget under control, a planner is essential. However, there is really no reason to spend hundreds of dollars on leather-bound planners and color-coded stickers. A printable budget planner is likely an excellent choice for most people, and some are free.
Finding these budget planners can be a bit more of a challenge. Luckily, that is where we come in. We have put together a list of over ten printable budget planners that you can get started working on today.
What is a Budget Planner?
A budget planner (can also be called an expense tracker) is a simple financial tool used to track your income and expenses. If you have never used one before, this article will help you get started.
A budget planner is used to track all your income (salary, hourly rate, etc.) and expenses (all the bills you pay in one month). These include things like rent & electricity bills, groceries & eating out. Ultimately, it tells you how much money you have leftover at the end of each month.
What Is The Best Budget Planner?
There is no one best budget planner. Everyone has different needs and tastes, so there is no perfect financial tool out there. With this in mind, the following are a couple of popular choices for those who are looking to try a new budget planner or expense tracker.
6 FREE Printable Budget Planners
The following seven printable budget planners are offered entirely free of charge. You may need to enter an email address to be eligible, but an email is undoubtedly worth free budget planning!
1. Free Budget Printable
Being organized doesn’t have to be overwhelming, you just have to know where to look for some help.
There are a lot of things to keep track of when you are running a household: money, recipes, passwords, and meal plans, just to name a few.
Sometimes all you need Is a colorful planner, label, or list to tame the clutter and get your life back in order.
Looking for free daily planner pages that you can add to your binder?
Go to my free library page to download five total pages for free:
- A weekly meal planner,
- monthly budget,
- monthly calendar,
- a daily planner page,
- and a to-do list.
2) Free Monthly Budget Worksheet Template
The Free Monthly Budget Worksheet Template from Coupons for Your Family is an excellent choice for those that are new to budgeting. When you first start trying to put a budget together, it can be challenging to remember everything you need to keep track of.
This detailed worksheet breaks down all of the expenses that you will need to keep track of. In addition, you can mark your expenses that fluctuate from one month to the next and those that will remain constant. Having some idea of your monthly nut and how income and expenses work gives you a much better overall view of your financial situation.
3) Free Budget Binder
The Simply Stacie budget binder is a great choice if you are new to budget planners. This open is very clean, neat, and organized. You will not be overwhelmed with having to make forecasts and predictions. Instead, she gives you an outline to make sure every month stays on track.
This free budget binder comes with twenty printables. You can easily make duplicates of anything that you may need more of. These printables can also be used year after year. Not only is the product free, but it has the only budget binder printables that you will ever need.
4) Free Easy Printable Budget
If you are new to budget planning or want something that will be quite simple, this free and easy Printable Budget is a great choice. This planner already breaks down the monthly categories for you and leaves you with room to add some of your own.
In addition to the monthly breakdown, you also get a cool sheet to keep the year in order. One of the great things about this monthly budget sheet is that it lets you clearly see if you are developing bad spending habits. From one month to the next, you can see what the financial decisions look like and whether or not they make sense. Click here to print.
5) Savvy Budget Planner
The Savvy Budget Planner from Savor and Savvy is a great choice for those that dream big. We love that you will have space in this budget planner to start setting some goals for yourself. After all, what good is all this saving and planning if you aren’t striving for anything?
In addition to the vision board, you will also get sheets that help you plan out monthly budgets and daily spending. In addition to the planner, you will also get a thirty-day plan to help you start to put together a financial plan for yourself. This is a great free planner that all budget-savvy savers should take advantage of.
6) Free Budget Printables And Worksheets
The Free Budget Printables from StackYourDollarBills.com offer you more than just a planner or a budget; they offer you an entire program to get you on the right path financially. These free printables allow you to do everything from meal planning to savings tracking to debt reduction.
The Free Budget Printable has over twenty sheets that you can customize to work for your budget planning. The most important ones on the sheet are very likely the monthly budget planning. If you start keeping track of these numbers, the yearly will quickly fall into place.
This is a budget planner that we highly recommend.
3 Pre-Printed Budget Planners
These are budget planners that have been printed for you. They come with a set number of categories/sections and you simply fill in your numbers. The benefit to this is knowing exactly what information goes where. Let’s look at some of the most popular ones.
1. Clever Fox Budget Planner
This is a great pre-printed budget planner that has been around for quite some time. It was developed to help people who want to take charge of their finances but do not have any prior experience with it. The layout is very simple and easy to understand, making it a great place to start. You can find it here.
2. Go Girl Budget Planner
This is another popular pre-printed budget planner. It’s great if you are looking for something specifically tailored towards women. The layout is very similar to Clever Fox with a few added sections at the end of the document. You can find it here.
3. Limitless Mindset Budget Planner
This is a great budget planner for those looking to start tracking their finances. Created by the Limitless Mindset team, it is very user friendly and comes with instructions on how you can use this document to get started with your own financial plan. You can find it here.
5 Monthly Budget Planner Printables
The following printables are going to come with a cost associated with them. It is important to remember that since these are printables, the price is going to be considerably less than it is when purchasing a pre-printed binder or planner.
In addition, with many of the printable budget planners that come at a cost, you will get much more detailed and sometimes editable information to use.
1) Finance Bundle Binder
The Finance Bundle Binder from Modern Printable Shop is an all-inclusive budget printable that will help you work on goals, make plans, and even keep yourself motivated during the process. Each of these pages comes with motivational finance quotes to keep you dedicated to your savings goals throughout the entire year.
The debt, student loan, car, and house payoff thermometers are a great visual representation of the things you need to do to reach your goals. Sometimes seeing just numbers isn’t quite enough, and these thermometers can simply change the way you look at and care about your financial goals.
Another great feature of the Finance Bundle Binder is the happiness, thankful, goal tracker. This helps you keep your feelings in check as you are keeping your financial world under control. With the calendar, the monthly and yearly budgets, and everything that is included with this Finance Bundle Binder, you have everything you need to get your budget in check.
2) Budget Planner – Monthly
The Frugal Cottage Designs Budget Planner is a great way to help you plan your financial goals. This budget planner allows you to map out why you are interested in saving and then start a plan and a process to make your savings goals a reality.
Sometimes your reason for saving is because you need to, and other times it’s because you want to. Regardless of your situation, it’s nice to have this laid out in front of you in a planner.
The Monthly Budget Planner gives you enough for three months of serious budget planning. You can take note of where your debt stands, how many days you can go without spending, and also how much your savings are growing.
Perhaps our favorite feature of this budget planner is the monthly reflection page. At the end of the month, it’s smart to look back and see how you did, what needs improvement and how you can reach your goals the next month. Paying detailed attention like this is what will lead to continued success in your budgeting practices.
3) The Ultimate Budget Binder by Money Tamer
The Money Tamer ultimate budget binder has over 55 pages of information that will help you get your budgeting in check. The printables are color-coded (if you want them to be), and they will work with 1, 1.5, or 2-inch binders. This Ultimate Budget Binder has everything from budgeting to savings tracking to debt tracking.
If you talk to people who are good at keeping a budget and staying on a financial plan, they will tell you that organization is key. Not just being organized with your information tracking, but understanding where the money is going and why.
In order to be really good ad budget planning, you need to keep track of bank accounts, budgets, income, expenses, debt, and savings. Only then will you get a full view of what is working and what is not working.
With the Money Tamer bundle, you get very detailed budget sheets to work with, credit card trackers, pages for keeping notes, and a debt tracker as well. The Budget review worksheet is one of the most helpful pieces of this set. Seeing whether or not your budget is done correctly is a big step in the process.
4) The Ultimate Budget Binder
First Hustle Then Brunch has a great financial budget planner resource called the Ultimate Budget Binder. When they described this resource as Ultimate, they were not kidding. This kit has everything you could possibly need to set a budget, maintain it and keep yourself motivated in the process.
In addition to allowing you to keep track of your financial habits, we love that the Ultimate Budget Binder brings to light some additional ways to make and save money. For instance, a side hustle is going to help increase your savings or decrease your debt. You will have a place to keep track of all of this information with the budget binder.
As we mentioned, sometimes, it is hard to understand what needs to be budgeted. With the Budgeting Categories Cheat Sheet, you will get an idea of all of the categories you should be keeping track of. The debt repayment tracker is another valuable resource that helps you see your debt start to disappear.
Overall this is a helpful budget planner printable that will last for years to come. If you can teach yourself to follow a detailed plan like this, you will have very few financial worries.
5) The Ultimate 2021 Budget Binder
Last but certainly not least is the Ultimate 2021 Budget Binder from the Savvy Couple. We love how realistic this planner is, taking into consideration things like donations, holidays, and even retirement.
One of the most frustrating things about budgeting is that it can be an ever-changing process. The month-to-month view will not always look the same.
With this Ultimate 2021 Printable Budget Planner, you will get a bill payment calendar, goal trackers, and expense planner, and even a debt payments tracker. You can keep track of your daily expenses with this binder and even learn how to create an emergency fund.
There is nothing that the Budget Binder plan leaves untouched. If you have ever wondered where your paycheck goes, this is the planner that will tell you. Sometimes being able to see the visual of the money that came in and where it has gone will help you better understand how to reach your financial goals.
Although this budget planner does not offer quite as much from an inspirational or motivational standpoint, you can easily add those features for yourself.
If you are motivated by quotes or putting a sticker on a page when you reach a goal, you can easily create that for yourself. Sometimes the simplest things can be motivation; however, if they work, they are worth repeating.
With the rise in technology, there are now budget planners that can be found on your computer or mobile device. These are typically referred to as spreadsheets. These require a bit more work to get started but they are worth it if you want something fast and easy to use. They are also great for those who want to compare their spending habits throughout the year or look at historical trends.
You can find a few of these on the following websites:
Google Sheets Budget Templates
One of the most popular spreadsheet planners is Google Sheets. There are a few different templates with different features and layouts available for free. For those who don’t know, Google Sheets is a program made by Google that allows you to create and manage spreadsheets on your mobile device or computer with ease. The template pictured above is by Aspire Budget, some other popular spreadsheets can be found here:
Is there a budget template in Excel?
These budget planners for 2021 that we have reviewed are all great options that are ready-made and will have you planning in a matter of minutes. However, if you feel as though none of these is a perfect fit for your personal budget, you can always use Excel.
Those who are good with Excel may create their own spreadsheet with a budget that has all the necessary formulas in place. However, those who don’t have the same Excel skills may benefit from the Excel budget template.
The template makes it very easy to manage your finances and have everything organized in one central location. The Excel template will allow you to see expenses, savings, and your cash balances at any given time.
In addition, the Excel budget template also has some really nice graphics. If you aren’t good with numbers, the visual images will tell you how your savings goals are working out.
In addition to the basic budget template, Excel also has some specific budget templates. If you are planning for a wedding, a business, or an entire family, there are templates that you can look through and quickly download. The nice thing about these is that they are easily accessible from any location.