4 Budget spreads to keep your finances in check


As I was setting up my 2018 bullet journal, I felt an urge for having a few separate spreads to properly keep track of our financial situation this year and then I thought, why not share this with you? I find it extremely helpful and eye-opening even, so you may find these as handy as I do 🙂



Rhodia Dotbook & Navigator A5 cover


#1 FINANCES 2018

The first thing you will notice is this large 2018 calendar tracker that is used for logging in/ticking off the amounts paid each month. These are not necessarily money that go out of your bank account, some of it will be put on separate savings’ accounts, such as MOT (Ministry of Transport) that I like to save up for monthly rather than pulling the entire extra amount off that particular month I service my car. I do use a colour code for where I park the money, e.g. light green colour for bills paid off and money out of the bank account, and other colours for different savings’ accounts where you park your money for bills/expenses paid less frequently.

Monthly & Yearly sections – this is the place where you spread your expenses/bills regarding the due date frequency, plus the amount that is charged/saved. For instance, you pay your life insurance monthly, so it will be under Monthly section where you can write down the date and how much it costs. Same goes for Yearly section, but as I have mentioned above, I like to save up for bigger chunks of cash as I find it easier to save a certain portion of the entire amount predicted rather than plug my hair out when it comes to the day, they tell me the amount and I have nothing on my bank account that can cover that – of course, you cannot be sure what the total price will be for e.g. servicing your car, but you can predict the approximate amount (assuming you know how much basic servicing is and you have regular check-ups or you can ask at your local garage ahead of time).

Our BTS Joy on paper Etsy shop was opened at the end of November 2017 and I created a separate tracker for it. If you too are a proud owner of an Etsy shop (yay!) or you offer any kind of services, you will know how easy it is to get lost in what your actual profit/expenses are. This tracker is a general, very simple review to keep your shop in check – obviously, you can include detailed expenses and a detailed breakdown of everything, but I find it a bit confusing when included along with the bill tracker. I count it all separately and then log in the amounts accordingly. Etsy bill payment, postage, packaging and supplies used for creating the products are all deducted from money in. Then I take the amount, subtract the tax and that leaves me with the final revenue number. And again, there are other expenses as well that are not included on here, e.g. electricity, equipment, petrol etc.

Up in the right corner, there are 3 sections, all completely open to your own interpretation:

  • Must earn – here goes a certain amount of money that I need to earn a month to be able to pay all the bills
  • Savings – an ideal figure per year
  • Donate – percentage (5-10%) of the income that goes to my favourite charity after bills are paid off





We’ve all been there, right? At some point or another.

At the top of the left page, you can see US (you & your partner, you only, a picture of the entire family etc.) and down go the debt bubbles! Honestly, I don’t know why I am laughing right now, but here go the bubbles…

Each bubble represents an area of your debts, aka where you got the money borrowed from, e.g. student loan, car loan, a friend, mortgage, unpaid taxes etc.   Also, I am including everything that needs to be paid this year, e.g. accountant’s bill, VAT, wedding etc. You can colour code each bubble regarding its importance, or number them so you can clearly see what is urgent. The large bubble in the bottom corner of the page is your total.

Moving on to the other side, there is your total broken down to monthly and weekly payments:

TOTAL / 12 = monthly payment; TOTAL / 52 = weekly payment

Now, I know what you’re thinking – how on Earth am I going to be able to pay THAT kind of money a week?! I really want you to NOT focus on that and start panicking. Focus on the number, because that is precisely what it is, a number. This is the number you are aiming for. That is what your mind needs to focus on. You are aiming for this number and you will find ways to reach it. If you want it bad enough you will.

Paid off tracker is a fun tracker in which you can colour in your debt amounts paid off. I used numbers in thousands and each square represents a £100.

And at the bottom, you can see your first of the month starting and end of the month ending balance with +/- ; plus being for money put in and minus as the money you had to borrow again/transfer somewhere else. This balance log will keep your debts in control. It will take a bit of time to count them all, but it’s definitely worth seeing where you stand every month.


The green colour across all spreads above is Tombow dual brush pen no. 192, Asparagus.



Don’t you just love this spread? 🙂

This is very straight forward – here, you can log in where you purchased from, item you bought, why you got it, date purchased, and amount paid. WHY has a significant role here and I am so pleased it popped in my mind when setting this up! We are all guilty of impulse buying from time to time, aren’t we? To avoid this, it is a very good practice to ask yourself ‘Do I really want this? What do I need it for?’ before you make a purchase. I am well aware of how much I spent the previous year and I cannot let this happen agcain considering how much our debts are… Hopefully, this will help you too! Let me know if you like this idea 😉

Every month will be separated with a line under which I record a total amount spent that month. This will make it easier when counting the year’s total in the right bottom corner.




Another simple spread for keeping an eye on your groceries this year! Sometimes, it can get out of your hands and you spend more than your budget allows you to. It is very helpful to keep a record of what shop you went to, what was the nature of your purchase (e.g. weekly groceries, farmer’s market, organic shop, monthly stock up etc.), and how much money you spent. Again, at the end of the month, I will draw a line and count the monthly total to make it faster when counting the year’s total – I will probably use a piece of paper that will be glued to the page where there is space.


And that’s it! If there are any other spreads you are going to be using this year to keep yourself sane with your finances, please, let me know in the comments below! I’ll be more than happy to chat with you ♥


Thank you so much for coming here, I hope it’s been super helpful to you! Have a great day!!


On YouTube → 4 Budget spreads to keep your finances in check