How to Create a DIY Budget Binder for 2021

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The start of a new year gives us a perfect opportunity for a fresh look at all aspects of life. We've been through a lot this past year, and your personal financial goals may have changed.

The phrase “hindsight is 2020” may forever have a new meaning.

We lived through it, and now its time for a new mindset in 2021.

If you're interested in improving your financial situation, starting with a plan is the way to go. You don't need to spend a lot of money to do that. One popular solution is making a DIY Budget Binder.

I'll show you how to create one from scratch, and share some templates you can print and use for free in your binder.

So let's get those finances in order now.

Building Blocks

Let's start with a few materials. You may already have some of these around the house!

  • 3-ring binder
  • Paper
    • Lined
    • Blank or printer
  • 3-ring hole punch
  • Pens
  • Plastic Dividers
  • Ruler
  • Calculator
  • Printer (if you want to use free printable templates)

Here are some of my favorite products to use (especially the pens!):

Avery Damask Binder

Portable 3 Hole Punch

Oxford Filler Paper

HP Officejet Pro

Avery Plastic Dividers

Vision Elite Pens


Stainless Steel Ruler

Here are some extras to make your DIY budget binder complete:

Binder Pockets

Transparent Sleeves

Finance Stickers

Setting Up Your Binder

Arranging your DIY budget binder is easy using dividers with tabs. Add a label to each tab, depending on how you decide to organize your finances. You can use one section per month, or you can use the following recommended tabs:

  1. Goals & Budget – In this section you can include long-term and short-term financial goals. Also include your weekly or bi-weekly, monthly and yearly budgets. I like to include a worksheet each month that compares actual spending vs. budgeted spending.
  2. Income & Expense – This is where you'll track Income (Money coming in) with a record of your pay stubs, and Expense (Money going out) with the Household Ledger.
  3. Savings & Investments – Track your savings and investment balances each day/month/year in this section.
  4. Debt Payoff – If you have debt, especially credit card debt, your primary goal should be to pay it off ASAP. A debt payoff tracker, amortization schedule for long-term loans, and debt-payoff plan can be included in this section.
  5. Net Worth – Track your net worth each month, and watch it increase over time! I recommend using one net worth worksheet per month. At the end of the year, you should have 12 pages in this section.

Feel free to add more sections to your own DIY budget binder. You can include bank statements, bills, and other documents. You can also use a binder folder to hold loose papers.

Free Printable Templates

Build your DIY budget binder with printable worksheets and templates to help you organize your goals and finances. I've created worksheets for each section of the binder that you can print and use for free!

DIY Budget Binder opened to Savings Tracker worksheet

Financial Worksheets

Below are free financial worksheets for you to print and use in your DIY Budget Binder. You can also create your own worksheets – on the computer, or draw them out on paper. Be creative and spend quality time managing your finances!

Financial Net Worth Worksheet
3 Period Spending Plan (budget)
Debt Payoff Tracker Worksheet
Debt Payoff Tracker
Savings Goal Tracker Worksheet
Savings Goal Tracker
Household Ledger Spending Tracker
Household Ledger Spending Tracker

If you like these worksheets, sign up for my email list where you'll receive a free worksheet every week.

Summing It Up

Creating your own DIY Budget Binder will keep you engaged with your finances and help you plan for future goals. The best part is there are no rules – create whatever works for you.

Use your binder all year to improve your financial net worth and succeed at achieving your dreams.

Share this post with friends who might find the ideas and information helpful.

What's in YOUR DIY Budget Binder?

How to Create a DIY Budget Binder for 2021

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