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I have been using a bullet journal for several months now, and am loving how it keeps me organized and helps me be more productive. I use it for my daily to-do lists, to track things like books I want to read, and even *gasp* to actually journal in from time to time.
My husband and I are doing the Dave Ramsey debt snowball to knock out our debt and start saving to buy our first home. It was really slow going in the beginning, but we are finally both on the same page and starting to see results. This was definitely an area I wanted to be able to track and document in my bullet journal, but when I started looking for ideas and inspiration, I wasn’t able to find many layouts to go off of.
After a few months of experimenting I feel like I have finally come up with a few layouts that are working well for me, and that are really helping us stay on track.
One layout that did NOT work was this one to track expenses. I thought that if I had to write everything down, note whether it was a want or a need, and note whether I swiped a debit card or paid cash, it would force me to be responsible with my spending. We ended up sticking to our budget pretty well, anyway, and it turns out that writing down every single monetary transaction for a family is VERY tedious! This may have been more useful when I was single, and is a layout I use for my business/blog bullet journal, but I won’t be adding it to my personal one again next month.
A layout that worked extremely well was adding our monthly budget to my bullet journal. I wrote out each expense, the amount, whether we would be funding it with cash or paying from my bank account, and a check box for when that category is funded. I divided the layout up by paycheck, adding which categories we would fund out of each paycheck.
Being able to see the entire month at a glance, and checking out progress was a huge stress reliever. No more missed payments because a bill was forgotten, or spending too much of a paycheck because we aren’t aware of an upcoming expense.
The layout I am probably most excited about is my debt snowball/savings layout. We have some big goals we would like to knock out this year, like becoming totally debt free and saving to buy our first house. I tried several different ways to track our progress on these goals, but ended up borrowing this idea from Boho Berry.
This picture was taken before it was totally filled in, so don’t worry, we do have an emergency fund!
One other financial themed layout I have been enjoying is my “wants” page.
If there are things I am not 100% sure I want to buy, or something I need to save up for, I add it to this page. It gives me some “goals” to keep in mind and motivation not to blow all of my spending money.