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Last Updated April 3, 2020

Having a personal finance binder is a fantastic way to organize your finances. I created a Personal Finance Binder to help with: 1) saving more money; 2) reducing expenses; and 3) paying off debt. Find out how to make a financial binder of your own and what supplies you’ll need.

Before you get started, be sure to get your Personal Finance Binder here.

Why You Should Have A Financial Binder

Finding the right budgeting method can be tough. I currently use Excel spreadsheets (I love the calculators, charts, and graphs), but I felt that I also needed a “paper component” to keep everything organized. Therefore, I put together a financial binder to use in conjunction with my spreadsheets. It’s called the Personal Finance Binder.

A financial binder is how you can keep all of your important financial documents together and organized. When you have all your financial documents in one place, it makes it easy for you to keep track of everything.

Benefits Of A Financial Binder

A financial binder is a great way to organize your finances and get control of your money. The Personal Finance Binder will help you:

  • Stay organized;
  • Pay off debt;
  • Save money.
  • Set financial goals;
  • Budget your money;
  • Track your income; and
  • Change the way you think about money so you can have more money.

This binder is everything you need to manage your money better, and that’s the first step on your financial journey.

What’s Included In The Personal Finance Binder

This binder is a digital download of over 55 pages worth of printables. Here’s what’s included:

  • Cover Page
  • Table of Content
  • About Me
  • Money Mindset Assessment
  • Net Worth Worksheet
  • Financial Goals
  • Yearly Financial Goals
  • Monthly Financial Goals
  • Weekly Financial Goals
  • Bill Payment Calendar
  • Weekly Planner
  • Daily Planner
  • Monthly Financial Goals Reflection
  • Habits Tracker
  • Bank Account Information
  • Passwords To Remember
  • Monthly Budget (Filled)
  • Monthly Budget (Unfilled)
  • Paycheck Budgeting
  • Cash Envelope Templates and Spending Tracker Insert
  • Cash Envelope Overview
  • Budget Categories Checklist
  • Income Tracker
  • Annual Expense Tracker (Filled)
  • Annual Expense Tracker (Unfilled)
  • Annual Bill Payment Checklist
  • Daily Expense Tracker
  • Upcoming Expenses Tracker
  • Automatic Bill Payment Tracker
  • Bill Payment Tracker
  • Debt Avalanche/Snowball Worksheet
  • Debt Payment Tracker
  • Debt Worksheet
  • Automatic Savings Tracker
  • Savings Tracker
  • Debt/Savings Thermometer
  • Sinking Fund Worksheet
  • 31 Day Savings Challenge
  • 52 Week Money Savings Challenge
  • No Spend Challenge
  • Yearly Financial Goals Reflection
  • Stock Investments Tracker
  • Donations Tracker
  • Tax Deductions
  • Birthday Gift/Special Day Planner
  • Black Friday Planner
  • Christmas Shopping Planner
  • Weekly Meal Planner
  • Holiday Meal Planner

It also comes with a user guide that explains exactly how to use every printable that comes in this binder. You can mix and match the pages to make the binder perfect for you. If you happen to find a page that does not work for your situation, just remove it from your binder.

How To Create A Financial Binder

There are certain supplies you’re going to need first to set up your financial binder. Here’s a list of all the things you’ll need:

Binder

2 inch binder for personal finance binder

The first thing you need to create a financial binder is a binder. Determine how you plan to use your binder to help you decide what size binder you should purchase.

If you plan to use your binder only for your finances, then you can use a small binder (1 inch) or a medium binder (2 inches). If you plan to use your binder more as a home management binder, where your finances will just be one section of your binder, then you should use a large binder (3 inches).

3 Hole Punch

3 hole punch

You need a 3 hole punch in order to fit your printables into your binder.

Dividers

dividers for personal finance binder

Dividers are great to help you separate the different sections of your binder.

For example, you might have a section for financial goal setting, savings, or paying off debt. You may also want each month to be a different section. Another option you can use is sticky repositionable tabs as a way to divide your binder.

Here’s a picture of how I divide my Personal Finance Binder into different sections:

Personal Finance Binder

Folder

divider with pockets for personal finance binder

I recommend you get a folder to hold your statements or bills.

For example, I use my folder to store statements until I’m ready to file them, and store my bills until I’m ready to pay them. You can also get dividers that have pockets so they have a dual purpose.

Here’s how my Personal Finance Binder is organized:

Personal Finance Binder

I normally keep my folder in the front.

Pencil Pouch

Pencil Pouch for personal finance binder

Finally, you need a pencil pouch to hold all your supplies. Keep things such as your pens, pencils, whiteout, erasers, highlighters, checkbook, stamps, and address labels in your pencil pouch.

Again, here’s a picture of my Personal Finance Binder:

Budget Organization Personal Finance Binder

How I Organize My Personal Finance Binder

I’ve divided my Personal Finance Binder into 5 sections. My section breakdown is as follows:

  • Goal Setting
  • Budgeting
  • Debt
  • Savings
  • Other/Planning

You can also divide your budget binder by month as another option.

If this is your first time setting up a financial binder, you may be asking yourself, “Where should I begin?” I recommend you start with setting some financial goals.

Section 1: Goal Setting

This section of my budget binder is where I focus on all my financial goals. It is important to set financial goals and track your progress regularly. People who identify their goals and work towards them usually accomplish their goals, and accomplish them quicker.

Therefore, I keep the following printables in this section (in this order) of my financial binder:

  • Money Mindset Worksheet
  • Financial Goals Worksheet
  • Yearly Financial Goals
  • Monthly Financial Goals
  • Monthly Habit Tracker
  • Weekly Financial Goals
  • Monthly Financial Goals Reflection
  • Net Worth Worksheet
  • Yearly Financial Goals Reflection

Here’s a look at some of the printables from the Personal Finance Binder that I keep in this section:

Personal Finance Binder
Here’s an example of what my Money Mindset worksheet looks like.
Personal Finance Binder
An example of my financial goals this year.
Personal Finance Binder
Example of how I break down my yearly goals into monthly goals.
Personal Finance Binder
Example of how I break down my monthly goals into weekly goals.
Personal Finance Binder

After you make your financial goals, you should calculate your net worth every quarter and go over your financial goals every month. This will help to see if you’re still on track to achieve your goals. If not, you know you need to make some adjustments.

Section 2: Budgeting

Once you have your financial goals set up, the next logical step is to set up a budget. Therefore, the second section of my financial binder is budgeting.

In this section of my financial binder, I keep the following printables (in this order):

  • Income Tracker
  • Daily Expense Tracker
  • Budgeting Categories List
  • Monthly Budget (filled and unfilled)
  • Paycheck Budget
  • Annual Expense Tracker (filled and unfilled)
  • Annual Bill Payment Checklist
  • Upcoming Expenses
  • Automatic Bill Pay Tracker
  • Bill Payment Tracker
  • Cash Envelope Overview
  • Cash Envelopes Templates and Tracker Inserts
Budget Organization Personal Finance Binder
Example of the cash envelopes I made and how I keep them in my financial binder.

Of course, I don’t use every printable in this section every month, but I keep these printables grouped together in the same section of my monthly budget planner anyway. For example, I may choose not to use the Monthly Budget and use the Paycheck Budget instead.

If this is your first time trying to create a budget, follow these 5 simple steps to make a budget that WORKS:

  1. Determine your net income (take-home pay)
  2. Determine your monthly expenses
  3. Determine how much you want to allocate to each spending category
  4. Track and review your spending
  5. Make adjustments where necessary.

Here’s an example of what my monthly budget printable looks like:

Personal Finance Binder
Example of with the Monthly Budget printable looks like.

You can get a free copy of this monthly budget printable by clicking the link.

Once you make your budget, take a minute to sit down and compare the actual expenses versus what you had in your budget. This will show you where you did well and where you may need to improve. You should not let a month pass without reviewing your budget.

Remember, you’re not going to get your budget perfect the first time and it will take adjustments to find a perfect system for you.

Finally, at the end of each month, I fill out the Annual Expense Tracker to compare how I did from month to month.

For example, if you overspent on dining out in January, you can see if you made up the difference by spending less in February or March.

Personal Finance Binder
How I use the Annual Expense Tracker to compare my spending from month to month.

Section 3: Debt

The next section is where I keep track of my debt.

In this section, I keep the following printables:

  • Debt Worksheet
  • Debt Avalanche/Snowball Worksheet
  • Debt Payoff Tracker

I use a Debt Worksheet to help me make a debt repayment plan, and keep track of my debt payment.

Debt Worksheet Personal Finance Binder

When using the Debt Worksheet, follow these steps:

  1. List out all of your current debts with their interest rate, minimum payment, and total balance owed.
  2. Figure out which debts you want to pay off first using the Debt Worksheet found in your Personal Finance Binder. For me, I’m using the Debt Avalanche Method, which means I’m paying off my debt with the highest interest rate first.
  3. Once you figure out which debts you want to pay off first, use the Debt Avalanche/Snowball Worksheet to keep track of your progress as you pay down your debt.

Finally, I also use a Debt Payoff Tracker to help me keep track of my progress. This printable is a nice visual that makes it easy for you to see your progress and motivates you to keep going.

Here’s an example of what the Debt Payoff Tracker looks like:

Debt Payoff Tracker
Debt Payoff Tracker

You can get a copy of my Debt Worksheet and Debt Payoff Tracker, and Monthly Budget printable) in my FREE Resource Library. My Resource Library is loaded with more than 20 pages of easy to print worksheets, checklists, and money-saving tips.

Section 4: Savings

This section of my budget binder is where I focus on my savings goals. I keep the following printables:

  • Automatic Savings Tracker
  • Savings Tracker
  • Savings/Debt Thermometer
  • Sinking Fund Worksheet
  • 31-Day Money Savings Challenge
  • 52-Week Money Savings Challenge
  • No Spend Challenge Calendar
  • Stock Investments Tracker

These printables make it very easy for me to keep track of all my savings goals.

Here’s a look at some of the printables from the Personal Finance Binder that I keep in this section:

Personal Finance Binder
An example of my Sinking Fund Worksheet

The Sinking Fund Worksheet will help you map out all the savings goals you have and how much you need to save for that goal.

For example, in 2019 I had a major birthday trip and party I wanted to save for. I also like to prepare for Christmas and any other holidays or events in advance. So, the picture above is what my Sinking Fund Worksheet looked like last year so I could properly prepare for these expenses.

Personal Finance Binder

One of my secrets to saving so much money is I automate my savings. The Personal Finance Binder has an Automatic Savings Tracker to help you with this. This worksheet will help you track all of your automatic savings so you’re more organized.

Personal Finance Binder

The Savings Tracker is a fun visual to view your savings progress. I don’t know if you’re like me, but coloring in each box keeps me motivated to keep going because I can actually see the progress I’m making.

Section 5: Other/Planning

The last section of my budget binder is where I focus on any seasonal planning I need to do or other miscellaneous financial business. In this section I keep the following printables:

  • Bank Account Information
  • Passwords To Remember
  • Donations Tracker
  • Tax Deductions Tracker
  • Black Friday/Cyber Monday Shopping Plan
  • Christmas Shopping Plan
  • Weekly Meal Planner
  • Holiday Meal Planner

Here’s a look at some of the printables from the Personal Finance Binder that I keep in this section:

Bank Account Information Budget Organization
Bank Account Printable
Personal Finance Binder
An example of how I use the Weekly Meal Planner printable.

If you want to know more about how you can save more money with the Personal Finance Binder and exactly how I use it, you can read my detailed article “Save More Money With The Ultimate Personal Finance Binder.”

Summary

I use my Personal Finance Binder for budget and financial organization. A financial binder is perfect for you if you have a hard time organizing your finances; you’re tired of stressing about money; or you just don’t know where to start on your financial journey.

This list of supplies should help you get started with setting up your financial binder. If you haven’t done so already, you can get your Personal Finance Binder here.

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