Whether you only have a couple monthly bills or a whole slew, it’s important to know when they are due. Find a bullet journal bill tracker that works for you.
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Have you heard the news?
I recently shared my bullet journal budget layout on Instagram… again. But this time, things are getting pretty hot and heavy.
In the past, we didn’t really have a budget. It was more like, “here’s our bills. Here’s our income. Pay the bills. Spend the money and write down when and how much we spent.”
While this was a great start for someone like myself who normally just checks her checking balance once every couple weeks, it wasn’t getting us ahead.
We were still spending like crazy. Which meant that I was filling page after page in my expense tracker.
Let me give it to your straight. I, Erin Demoney, am a shopaholic. Especially if I can sit on my couch in my sweats with no makeup on and while eating chips and salsa. Thanks, Amazon.
I am eternally grateful for my family’s financial situation and that my husband and I have both worked out booties off to make a fairly plush financial situation or ourselves. I do not want to come across as ungrateful at all.
However, just because you make decent money doesn’t mean you are better off financially.
Because of my lack of financial education earlier in life, I am tens of thousands of dollars in debt; I have collections (you guys know I keep it real, here. No shame.) and we had just $200 in savings in our Acorns account. At one point, we had over $500, but withdrew it so we could “buy the things”.
By the way, we still use Acorns and love it! It saves all your extra pennies without even thinking about it. You can sign up here and get $5 added to your account.
But, man, do I have a nice collection of high-end yoga clothes, a disgusting amount of makeup, and a bunch of other crap I don’t need.
What we don’t have is our own home because we haven’t ever saved for a down payment and my credit is shot due to the above mentioned issues. And this momma wants her own home. I want to host people and do some Martha Stewart shit and shop for appliances.
That’s the ultimate goal.
So, in January my husband and I decided it was time. It was time to take our money seriously and commit to our biggest goal.
Bring forth Dave Ramsey, a bullet journal bill tracker, and an actual budget.
PS: This is Part 1 of a 2 Part Post. The next post will go more into detail about how we set up our budget and how I keep track of it all in my bullet journal.
I know there are a lot of people that struggle with finances. Whether you are barely scraping by on your current pay, spending too much on eating out or other consumables, or need to get out of a previous financial hardship.
I have known all of these struggles and I want to guide you through them as I conquer my own money demons.
So, for Part 1 of this Mini Financial Bullet Journal Series I will be going over how I set up my bullet journal bill tracker, how I use it to better our money management every month, and give you some tips and ideas to use in your own journal.
Don’t have time to read this post right now? Pin It to your Bullet Journal Board Now.
Why You Might Need a Bullet Journal Bill Tracker
I am the financial manager of our household. I have been ever since Chris and I first moved in together over 8.5 years ago.
While I’m terrible at saving and budgeting by nature, I am really good at paying all of our bills on time.
So, you might wonder why I need a bill tracker. Or for that matter, why you need a bill tracker.
Even if you know in your head when
For example, if you get paid every two weeks and your significant other is paid every week, you can see your exact expenses for those timeframes and budget your money accordingly.
Also, on the same note, knowing how much all of your bills are can give you a better idea of how much money you need to get by each month.
Here is my bullet journal bill tracker for February. I include my income on the same tracker. This allows me to see where our money has to go for the current week.
The other reason you might need a bill tracker is if you find yourself forgetting bills or regularly paying late.
You can reference your bill tracker at the beginning of each week when you set up a new weekly spread and then write the bills that are due throughout that week.
This method of writing the bill name and amount down repetitively, in your bill tracker and then again in your weekly spread can help solidify it in your mind. Also, as you look at your weekly each day, you will be reminded.
One last reason may be to see where you can cut expenses. For example, if you have multiple streaming services, subscriptions, payment plans for online shopping, etc., this could help you visualize those bills and make adjustments.
What Goes Into Making a Bill Tracker?
If you have never sat down and
Before I had a bill tracker in my bullet journal, I had no idea how many bills we had each month and how much they amounted to.
Depending on how many bills you have will determine how much work and even space you will need for your tracker.
Step 1: Find Every Bill
The easiest way I have found to find every single bill is to pull up your most recent bank statement. As long as you pay your bills with your debit card or a check, this method is reliable.
If you use cash, I suggest finding receipts or finding the paper/email for each bill you pay in cash.
Go through your bank statement line by line and any cash receipts or paper bills and highlight all of your bills.
Step 2: Write It Down
As you are highlighting and finding bills, write down the payee and the amount on a spare sheet of paper. For now, leave your bullet journal to the side until you can gather all of your information.
For things like utilities that change month to month, write down your most recent amount.
Step 3: Due Dates
In this step, you will be going back to your research. It’s time to dig up all of the accounts for the bills you have listed and find the actual due date. Not the date you paid according to your bank account, but the actual due date.
Write the due date of each bill next to the corresponding bill.
Step 4: Organize Your Bills by Due Date
In this step, you have two options. You can grab your bullet journal and jump right into the designing of your bill tracker, or you can relist all of your bills on a separate sheet of paper in order of due date. I recommend the latter to avoid messing up.
Step 5: Create Your Bill Tracker
It’s time to put it all together. You can find other variations below, but for this post, I’ll show you the most efficient way I have found.
Draw a calendar for the corresponding month on either a single or double page spread. This decision will depend on how much room you need, how large you write, etc.
Once you have drawn your calendar, choose a colored marker, preferably something light like these Tombow Pastels. Start on the first. Create a highlight with the color of your choice on any day you have a bill due. If you have multiple bills due on the same day, make the necessary number of highlights.
Then, write the payee or name of the bill along with the amount on
The last thing you may want to do is add a small checkbox next to your bills to mark off when you pay them.
When you are done, you will have a complete bill tracker. But, let’s keep going here.
Adding Income to Your Bill Tracker
If you want to add your income to your bill tracker, there are a few methods to go about doing it.
If you are on salary and know exactly how much you get paid and one what dates, you can fill them in at the beginning of the month when you create your bill tracker.
Choose a different highlight color that is not similar to your bill highlight color. Create a stroke on any days you get paid. Then, write the source of income and the amount in the box.
If you are an hourly employee, work for yourself, or have another situation where your income changes regularly, you will have to write in your income as you go.
If your income amount changes but the dates are always the same, start by highlighting the days you get paid with a different color than your bill color.
Why You Should Include Income in Your Bullet Journal Bill Tracker
It’s a bill tracker? Why am I tracking my income, too?
That’s a brilliant question!
Being able to see when you get paid along with the amount can help you better prioritize your spending for that pay period. Here’s an example.
John gets paid on the 1st and the 15th of every month. About
However, his paychecks are only $1000 each. So, John needs to save money out of his second paycheck to be able to afford all of his bills that are due between the 1st and 15th.
Having a bill tracker with both his income and his bills can help John decide how much he needs to save from his second paycheck to afford his bills at the beginning of the following month.
This is a common scenario. Many people cannot afford to pay all of their bills in a the given pay period from one check. So it’s important to budget your money so that you aren’t living the high life one week and scraping quarters out of the bottom of your center console the next.
Bullet Journal Bill Tracker Inspiration
If you don’t love the idea of creating a calendar style bill tracker, check out these spreadsheet bill trackers for inspiration.
No Time to Create Your Own Bill Tracker?
If you are looking at the above layouts and thinking, nope. Not gonna happen. be sure to check out my printable bullet journal budget bundle in my shop.
It has more than just a bill tracker. Gain control of your finances with a financial goal setting page, bill tracker and budget, spending log, debt tracker, meal planner, financial calendar, and $1000 emergency fund tracker.
Also, be sure to check out these fun and functional printable financial planner stickers.
Supplies to Create a Bill Tracker
I hope you found some useful information in this post. I am so grateful for every person that reads my post and shares them on social media. You guys are the best. Let me know what you want to see on The Petite Planner in the comments below.