Finding the best budget planner to help you sort out your finances can be sort of a conundrum. Depending on your style, you may prefer a simple printable budget worksheet. Or you might prefer a printable budget planner that you can customize. It really depends on your individual needs.
To help you sort out your dilemma of finding the best budget planner to use this year, I ordered five budgeting planners to compare. I’ve also done a search for some of the best budget planner printables I could find as well.
I’ll share with you the features, things I love most, and things that are downright annoying. Hopefully, by the end of this review, you’ll have decided on the best monthly budget planner for your unique situation. Now, let’s get into it. Here’s a review of the best budget planners for paper lovers…
The Best Budget Planners for Paper Lovers
- Sturdy, solid material
- Has pockets for receipts
- Monthly summary
- Has a Holiday Spending Tracker
- Only budgeting area is for your annual budget
- No debt tracker
- Not enough space for account numbers, websites, etc
- The monthly layout is difficult to follow
- No area for a monthly budget for variable budgets
This planner made the cut for the best budget planners because it’s a good quality planner for the price. It has a nice design and enough space to gather all of your bills and statements in one place. If you’re looking for pretty and economical, this planner should be at the top of your list.
- It fits in your purse
- The closure is magnetic
- Has a Christmas expense planner
- Has pockets
- Too small (7×5.3×1.3)
- No monthly budget planner
- No debt tracker
- Not enough space for many account numbers, passwords, etc
- Folders are only large enough for receipts
This monthly budget planner made LAAB’s best budget planners list because it is perfect for someone who needs to track their day-to-day spending while out. Unlike the first Boxclever planner, this one fits perfect in your purse and is good for carrying around. It has all of the same features as the first Boxclever budget book; however, it is quite small. If you don’t mind the size, you’ll definitely get your monies worth because it’s made of quality material and it’s quite affordable.
- Feels like a workbook
- Has plenty of space
- Each month has a budget
- Every month has individual daily expense trackers
- Monthly budget check-in and thoughts area
- Untraditional budget planner (more so a workbook)
- No individual savings tracker
- No individual debt payoff progress tracker
- No area for account info, passwords, websites
- Too large (8×10) to carry with you everywhere
- Not sturdy
This made the list of best budget planners because I like that it’s a workbook and it’s incredibly affordable. If you’re just getting started with this whole budgeting thing, the layout in this monthly budget planner makes budgeting easy. All you need to do is start the month by creating your monthly budget and then track your daily expenses. If you’re looking for something simple that will get the job done, this one will do it.
- Covers 24 months of budget planning
- Comes with instructions and a step-by-step guide for building a workable budget
- Allows you to set financial goals
- Space to break down income and expenses month to month
- Has notes sections
- End of year section and space to create goals for the next 12 months
- Didn’t like the layout
- Charts for each month are rather small
- No space for account info, passwords, websites, etc
- Don’t like the material the cover is made of
Despite its shortcomings, Your Balanced Budget Monthly Planner made the best budget planners list because it covers two years and it’s super affordable. If you need step-by-step guidance on building a proper budget, paying off debt, and creating financial goals, this planner will certainly help you. This planner is incredibly easy to use and if you need something to just keep track of your budget and not your overall financial life (passwords, etc), this one may work for you.
- Comes with thorough instructions on how to use
- Has tips for managing your cash flow
- Area for creating goals
- Appears to be a knock-off version of Your Balanced Budget Monthly Planner
- Only covers 12 months unlike the previous planner
- Has a balance sheet worksheet that’s intimidating for beginners
The Home Budget Workbook only made the best budget planners list to compare to Your Balanced Budget Monthly Planner. It has many of the same features; however, it only covers 12 months and its design makes it feel like it’s something created for a bookkeeper rather than an average person looking to create a budget. Although it’s super affordable, I wouldn’t recommend this planner.
- Plenty of space for crafting your monthly budget
- Track your monthly money goals for each month
- Has space to track your monthly contributions to an emergency fund
- Spacious expense and debt tracker
- Hand stitched binding
- No area for passwords, account numbers, or websites
This monthly planner made the best budget planners list for several reasons. One, I love supporting small-business owners and this budget planner is made by Printable Wisdom, found on Etsy. Second, it has so much space and feels like something I would definitely use as a person who is notoriously obsessed with all things personal finance. Last, it’s so pretty! I love the design and although the hand stitched binding can be a deal breaker for some, it adds a nice touch and is quite unique from all of the other monthly budget planners.
- Perfect for those who use cash budgeting
- Sturdy pockets, perfect for holding cash
- Comes with digital files to track your monthly bills, total debt owed, debt payoff and more
- Comes with a budgeting printable and budget excel spreadsheet
- You can’t create the budget in the budgeting system (the reason it comes with digital files and spreadsheet)
- Reduced to using this budgeting system only for managing cash
Despite the fact that this budgeting system is only for managing cash, it made the best budget planners list because of all that it offers! Seriously, this is perfect for those of you who want a better way of maintaining your cash budgeting system. Although I understand it can be annoying keeping up with the book, plus updating your budget, savings, and debt payment digitally or on paper, you get a lot for your money. This entire system is $25 and that includes your digital files and excel spreadsheet. And it gets bonus points because it’s pretty too.
Related Reading: The Best Cash Envelopes Wallets for The Cash Envelope System
Finally, if nothing else in this best budget planner round-up tickles your fancy, Life and a Budget has a great set of worksheets that are extremely affordable! In this printable budget worksheet pdf bundle, you’ll receive the following:
- budget coversheet
- savings tracker
- income tracker
- expense tracker
- budgeting printable
- bill checklist
- password tracker
- goals worksheets
You’ll get all of this for only $5 and you’ll receive lifetime updates to these monthly budget worksheets as well. Just print them out and add them to your budget binder!