This free printable monthly budget planner is a simple way to set up your budget and get a look at the month ahead.
Filling it out is pretty simple – add your expected income, jot down your expenses, date due, whether it’s been paid yet (you can fill this in throughout the month) and any helpful notes you may need.
Let’s face it: budgeting is important! It’s no surprise that budgeting printables have become super popular. That’s why we’re happy to bring you this fantastic & FREE monthly printable budget planner. You can easily set up your budget, track everything and know where your money goes.
Our favorite thing about this free budgeting printable? It is beginner friendly. You’ll find it easy to add in your income, expenses and a date for everything that you’ve paid. Best of all, there is also a helpful section where you can include notes for every transaction.
If you’re like me, you look at what you paid last month to remind yourself what you need to pay this month. I can’t tell you how many times I forgot about a bill until the prior month’s expenses log reminded me. I would have hated to have paid those late fees!
How to Use
When you create a monthly budget, include all of the regular, recurring expenses. These may include rent or mortgage, utilities and estimated amounts for groceries or eating out.
Create a Miscellaneous category and include incidentals such as birthday or holiday gifts, or a car repair or anything else that you will pay for that doesn’t happen all the time. It is those sneaky, unplanned expenses that can really derail your budgeting plans.
Make sure to use the notes to explain specifically the expense. I am surprised how quickly I forget what I spent money on, so using the notes helps to refresh my memory and makes it easy to reference later.
This is so important. Using a tool like this printable gives you the opportunity to review your monthly budgets. Are you seeing different categories of spending change significantly over time? It helps to pinpoint changes in expenses early and helps you to quickly adjust.
I realized that I was spending more and more money each month to go to the movies. Oops! I love the movie theater popcorn, but I didn’t like seeing how much I spent or how often I went. I decided to subscribe to a streaming service instead which dramatically reduced this entertainment cost. Of course, I don’t get the movie theater popcorn ! Sigh…
The other sneaky expense I discovered was the total cost of fancy coffee drinks. I am too embarrassed to tell you how much I spent. While I miss my daily Starbucks runs, my wallet thanked me immediately!
Sometimes, just writing down the expenses on a tracker and reviewing them will help to figure out where all the money goes. The free printable budget worksheet will help you make decisions to spend money wisely.
Last Nugget of Knowledge: Take a look at the Totals section. It shows you exactly how much money you have left over after you’ve paid for your expenses. You can add that money to an emergency fund, or invest in a retirement account.
Note: I like to play games to motivate me and my family to save money. Seriously! It can be a lot of fun, and we all like to cross off our goals as we achieve them. Check out the Penny Challenge and the 52 Week Money Saving Challenge. These are fun, fast and effective ways to save money!
If you’ve never budgeted before, this is a great time to start. With this free printable, you can take control of your finances.
1. Fully document your monthly expenses. The most common mistake is to quickly jot down your monthly expenses and realize later that you forgot about a few. Remember that by tracking everything, you have the opportunity to make changes. Your goal when you start budgeting is to track it all. Don’t leave out anything! You might not like the result, but it is so important to write it down.
2. Review the Prior Month’s Expenses. Don’t just input the numbers and leave them to move on to the next month. Carve out 20 to 30 minutes during the 1st week of the month to look at the previous month’s expenses. What expenses were higher than expected? Which ones were lower? Where did you not spend any money? Are there any surprises? Did you forget to track anything? These are some of the questions that you should answer before filling out the printable expenses tracker.
3. Adjust Your Budget. Your budget is not carved in stone. You’ll need to keep adjusting it. I start by thinking about my goals and then think about how I can adjust the planned monthly expenses to reach my goal. As I noted above, I made coffee from home and watched Netflix instead of going out to the movies, and saved a lot of money each month.
This isn’t a one-and-done step. I look at my budget every single month to keep myself on track.
4. Use Envelopes to Help. Take a simple printable envelope and add cash to cover the planned expenses for that category. It is silly, but extremely effective. I had a budget of $85 per week for groceries and could have easily charged it, but I find that I make better choices if I pay for cash out of my grocery envelope. Bye bye $20 bottle of wine.
Note: If I have any money left over from the envelopes, I add it to my savings accounts or include it to the two savings games I listed above.
5. Be Proud of Progress. If you’ve never kept a budget before and you track for a month – that’s BIG progress! Don’t compare yourself to other people. The goal is continual improvement, so take pride each time you record your expenses and review the budget. Too many people would never even think about doing that!
How to Print Planner
Note: This free blank budget printable is non-editable, so you need to fill your budget information in manually.
- Enter your email address and we’ll deliver it your inbox right away.
- We recommend you print it on 8 1/5 x 11 paper at 100% size, so you will easily be able to see your budgeting information.
Please note: this budgeting printable has been created for personal use only. Do not upload the printable files to your own site.
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Setting up your Planner in a Binder
So, let’s get started! I recommend you print at least six of these printables and place them in a binder. It will help you prepare for the next six months.
If they are there, printed and ready to use, you will be more apt to use them.
It will take a little bit to get used to writing down all of your expenses. That’s ok. It won’t take long before it gets to be a habit. It is funny, but after a few months, I noticed that I stressed a lot less about money. I knew exactly how much income I had and knew where all of my expenses were going. (Did you hear my sigh of relief?)
This budgeting tool is simple. You don’t need anything complicated – download this printable to help you get started.
Be sure to take a look at our other free budgeting printables, so you can find others that work for every personal finance project. We know that once you start to use these printables, you won’t be able to resist staying organized and on track!