Earlier this month over on Instagram I introduced my 2022 Know Your Worth budget planner by the Happy Planner. I tried budgeting in a planner a few year ago and it just didn’t work out (at the time). But now I’m in a different place in life and I’m ready to jump in again. What better way to start this budgeting journey than with the Happy Planner system. No matter how hard I try to move away from this disc-bound system it just keeps pulling me back. So I’m not fighting it anymore!
I’ll admit that I wasn’t a fan of math when in school however (to me) budgeting is way different. There is no greater “high” or satisfaction than when numbers work out perfectly in your budget. An added benefit of a good budget is seeing your savings grow and debt being paid off! But, if budgeting feels like pulling hairs or pulling that scab off a scar, then it’s time to reset. Just like I did! So let’s get started.
For this years’ budget I’m using the undated Hello Savings Classic Happy Planner “Know Your Worth” budget planner. I love just everything about it from the black and gold cover to the simple and neutral pages. This planner is specific to budgeting and has a variety of helpful pages.
Budget Planner Pages
- “Currently” page or monthly dashboard
- Monthly pages
- Monthly budget page
- Savings tracker, accounts + debts page
- 6-weekly expenses pages
- Take note page with a check it off box and important box
- Each month ends with a blank page
With this budget planner I’m also including other tools such as the budget planner companion pack, savvy saver filler paper, mildliner highlighters and my Kate Spade gold dot calculator (a girl has to have pretty tools too!). For your convenience all products will be linked at the end of the post.
I’ll also be incorporating two other methodologies to tackle expenses as well as save for the future. One method I’ve always used comes from Dave Ramsey and it’s paying off debt using the “debt snowball” method. The other tool is also not new to me, it’s the budget by paycheck method. You’ve no doubt heard of at least one of these methods so I’ll only briefly go over them below.
Debt Snowball Method
If you struggle to stay on track with your budget because you feel it’s not moving anywhere, than maybe the debt snowball method is for you. Essentially with this model you are paying off debt in order of the smallest amount to largest amount. When you use this method and you focus all your energy (and funds!) on the smallest debt, while paying minimum on all other debt, you will be able to knock out that debt faster.
Once you pay that smaller debt off you take the amount you were paying on it and add it to the next lowest debt and so on.
Budget by Paycheck Method
The budget by paycheck is a simple and easy strategy where you budget each time you get paid. Conventionally we were taught to setup a budget once a month and then manage it. But if monthly budgeting isn’t working for you or you just need to know your worth then it’s time to start thinking and budgeting differently.
More importantly, the budgeting by paycheck method keeps you more familiar with your finances and ultimately empowers you to practice healthier financial habits. To incorporate this method I’ll be using the weekly expenses pages to budget by paycheck (detailed below).
How do you know if either of these method would work for you? Well…you don’t. But it’s worth a try right?! In short, your best strategy will be the one that you actually stick to. Let me expand on this point a little more.
Back in 2017 and then again in 2019, I frankenplanned a budget planner by using the cover of a vertical planner with the Happy Planner budget extension pack. Like many who use this system, I often found myself mixing and matching pages from various planners.
While it worked for the months that I didn’t change anything; once I started mixing up the pages it just became a jumbled mess and quickly became the demise of that budget planner. I strongly encourage you to find the budget planner that works for you -without needing many changes. You might also want to check out my 5 tips for creating the perfect Happy Planner for you.
How I’m Using Know Your Worth Budget Planner
In order to add some additional tabs at the back of the budget, I decided to move the cover and four-months worth of pages to the Happy Planner black quilted snap-in cover. I’ll keep the remainder of the budget pages on the original discs until I need them. I also decided to add an elastic band pen holder for a pen and might even add a second band for a pencil.
That is one reason why I’m loving this new undated Hello Savings Know Your Worth budget Happy Planner is because there really isn’t anything that I wanted to do to it (and that’s saying something!). So what I’m going to do now is load this post up with some of the inside pages, how I’ve set it up and plan to use it.
Every good planner system starts with a beautifully lettered name (this claims it as yours!). To add your name you can use stickers, vinyl or practice that hand lettering technique. For my “hello” page I had my daughter hand letter in pink my name. Love it!
I’ll be starting this budget planner in May but will be reviewing how well it worked for me in June. Be sure you are a member of the Creative Planning Expressions Group because that’s where I’ll be going over the details of how my setup worked for my budget and needs.
Just before the monthly calendar pages there is monthly dashboard which is typically called the “currently” page. I plan to use the top left box for “goals”, the middle box for “important” and the last box for “don’t forget”. The larger box (on the right side) is where I will jot down notes or quotes and the last box is labeled “unexpected spends”. I’m keeping my fingers crossed I don’t go over six lines!
Monthly Calendar Pages
Next up is the monthly spread where I have used the Know Your Worth value pack stickers to indicate when bills are due and paydays. I’ve also included a savings goal sticker in the sidebar where I plan to keep track of a specific savings goal. Since I’ll also be using the budget by paycheck method, I have plans to highlight the days that are for each payday. That way I’ll have a visual of what days/bills are for that payday coming up.
Monthly Budget Page
Now we get into the meat and potatoes of the budget planner. The page on the left is the monthly budget planner page that will give me an over view of my monthly budget. I’ve changed a few of the budget category headers to fit my needs as well as assigned a highlight color to each category. This is also the page where I’ll be using a pencil for writing in the amounts.
Savings Tracker / Accounts + Debts Page
While I didn’t include a picture of this page it is because I haven’t quite figured out how I plan to use it. I expect I won’t use it for how it is presented but rather I may use it somehow to track my business expenses and revenue. More to come on this as I get into using the budget planner.
Weekly Expenses Page
One the right side is the weekly expenses page (shown above). This is where you would list your expenses for the month. But, I plan to use this page to balance my budget by paycheck so I’ve made a few alterations. Everything above the highlighted line will be bills, everything below will be unbudgeted spends. I’ve also color coded the week which will also correspond to the payday on the monthly tab.
Take Note Page
Directly after the weekly expense pages is a note page that includes a lined “take note” box on the left and two boxes on the right labeled “check it off” and “important”. Under the “take note” section I plan to summarize my weekly totals. Next to this page is a full blank page which as you can see from the picture below, I plan to use that as a monthly retirement check-in area.
At the back I’ve added four tabs for additional budgeting information and tracking.
4 Tabbed Sections
- This tab will hold motivational tips, information about the debt snowball method, budget by paycheck method and other budgeting tips.
- Financial Goals
- Every good plan starts with goals. I’ll be using the goals vision boards from the Know Your Worth companion pack. My vision will include three financial goals that I’ll be working towards. It will also be the place where I keep an extra sheet of paper to just jot down notes and other financial goals I’d like to work towards or keep in mind.
- Debt Payoff
- This tab will hold the debt payoff trackers from the Savvy Savers filler paper pack. I’ll be closely monitoring any outstanding debt on a paycheck basis. This will also help to keep me tuned into my progress as well.
- Finally the last tab will hold the savings trackers from the Savvy Savers filler paper pack. I plan to track all sinking funds in this area as well as any savings (that is not a sinking fund).
Budget Planner Supplies
Below is a list of supplies I used to setup my budget planner. This particular planner was really popular and most of the products are sold out from that collection. But I have linked below any products that are still available.
- Undated Hello Savings Classic Budget Happy Planner
- Know Your Worth Budget Classic Planner Companion
- Savvy Saver Classic Filler Paper -Debt Payoff Tracker
- Value Pack Stickers -Know Your Worth
- Zebra Mildliner Highlighters
- Dashboards Silver Foil (I used the gold foil ones but this is for a 3-pack of silver foil dashboards)
- Kate Spade New York Gold Dot Desktop Calculator
- VillaBeautifful Au Revoir Pen (link to my code)
- Black and White Elastic Band Pen Holder
- Black Quilted Hard Cover with Medium Gold Metal Discs
It is rumored (shhh….) that I might be giving away a Know Your Worth Classic Budget Happy Planner on the Creative Planning Expressions group next month. All active members will be eligible.
If you are inspired to create or setup a budget planner don’t forget to share by tagging me on Instagram and using #btdinspired, I’d love to see your work (and I just might repost your photo)!
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