Get started in your Bullet Journal with these two essential layouts.

How To Start A Bullet Journal – Tracker and Expense Log Layout

Well, we made it! This is the final blog post in my How To Start A Bullet Journal series! I hope you have started creating your spreads, and are gaining a little bit of confidence! Today we are going to be adding a couple of layouts that I have found to be very useful. These collections are commonly used in the Bullet Journal community, and are a great starting point for you! We are creating a tracker that can be modified to your needs and an expense log.

*Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. This means I may earn a small commission if you decide to buy a product, but it does not affect the price for you! All links provided are products that I personally use and recommend! If you would like to know more, please visit my Disclaimer.


I know that starting a Bullet Journal can be extremely overwhelming, and there is so much information! If you don’t have time to read each of these blog posts, you can grab the free downloadable guide here!

I think it is safe to say that the process of adding collections to your Bullet Journal is something you will really look forward to! I know it is one of my favorite parts of Bullet Journaling. However, I completely understand if you are a little bit hesitant to start!

In this post, I am going to take these two commonly used collections, and show you how you can create really simple layouts for them. This will hopefully give you the confidence to start creating the layouts for your own collections!

If you missed the post in this series where we brainstorm what collections you want to include in your Bujo, please visit this blog post, How To Start a Bullet Journal – The Collections! This post not only explains what a collection is, but also has a free printable of collection ideas that you can print off, or save to your computer.

If you are ready to create your first couple of collection layouts, then read on!

The Tracker

What is a tracker, and can you use them in your Bullet Journal?

Trackers are something you will see everywhere in the bullet journal community! Trackers provide a place to track how often you do something, use something, see something, etc. They have been used to create a routine of good habits, and they have been used to track quitting bad habits. Some people use mood trackers and sleep trackers to analyze their personal well being. The possibilities are endless!

I could create an entire post of different things you can track, but to give you an idea what I am talking about, I have created a shortlist;

  • Exercise
  • Water Intake
  • Skipping The Soda/Juice/Coffee
  • Vitamins
  • Home Cooked Meal
  • Housework
  • Making Your Bed
  • Journaling
  • Social Media
  • Reading A Book
  • No Spend
  • Period
  • Intimacy
  • Sleep
  • Mood

This tracker I am going to share with you is really easy to set up, and can be modified for whatever you are tracking!

In the example, I am creating a housework tracker. (Not my favorite tracker in the world to use. But hey, somebody’s gotta clean the house!)

Creating The Tracker

For this collection, I used two pages. The amount of space you need will determine how many pages to use.

Because there are typically 31 days in a month, we need 31 rows for a daily tracker. Most notebooks do not have enough room for 31 rows, plus a row to record what you are tracking. For this reason, I suggest you use this spread in portrait orientation. Rotate your journal 90 degrees, so you are looking at it sideways.

Start by writing out a simple header for your spread!

Next, we are going to write our days of the month. I usually do this a couple of rows down from my header. Because I like to write the habit/task down the left side, I am going to start by writing the very last day of the month on the right-hand side of the page. Now, just work backward from there, finishing off at one. (Note: If you want to write down your habit/task along the right side, I would suggest you start by writing the first day of the month on the left side of the page.)

This cleaning tracker for your DIY Planner will help you stay on top of your household tasks, and help you get back your time.

Along the left-hand side of the page, you will now write down the habits or tasks you will be tracking.

Using a ruler, I drew lines along the days and the habits to create the grid separation!

And for a final touch, I used my black pen to make the dots within my grid stand out more! Of course, this is optional. If you are using a dot grid notebook, this would be a lot easier than if you were using lined or blank paper.

This cleaning tracker can help you stay on top your household tasks room by room, or task by task.
Cleaning trackers are a great way to stay on top of your household chores. In this photo, the tasks are broken up room by room.

Now, whenever I complete a cleaning task, I will mark that task under the corresponding day with an X to indicate it is complete! This will give me a nice visual of how often certain tasks are getting done!

*I ended up going back in with a grey Tombow Dual Brush Pen (N55) and highlighting each room in the house. This added a little separation and decoration to the layout!

The Monthly Expense Log

What is the monthly expense log, and how can I use it?

Another common collection in the Bullet Journal community is a monthly expense log!

I would like to start with this disclosure; this collection is very different from a budget. With this spread, we are simply tracking the money coming and going from our accounts. If you prefer to budget, you could definitely find space to add sections for “planned” and “actual” columns on this layout!

I personally like to use this layout to give me a visual of when my bills come out of the account, and how much we are spending on a week to week basis. If you would like to see more budget specific spreads in the future, be sure to leave me a comment so that I can create those for you!

I hope at the very least that this will give you an idea of how easy it can be to incorporate financial planning in your Bullet Journal!

Creating the Expense Log

I started out by writing my header in the top left corner of the page.

To the right of my header, I wrote “Total Income:”. At the end of the month, I will add up our combined income, and write the total here.

Next, I write out all of my reoccurring monthly bills along the left side of the page. This includes the amount of each, and the day they will be paid. This will provide you a snapshot of what bills are coming out of your account, and when!

Below that, I write out my additional expenses. These expenses are the ones that are not automatic, do not have a set amount, and/or occur more than once. This will get filled out at the end of the month. You can write any expenses you want to track here! This month, I am tracking groceries, eating out, fuel, fun, home maintenance, and pet expenses.

Along the right side of the page, I like to create a weekly spending log. Since there are 5 weeks in January, I draw out 5 boxes and label them week 1, week 2, etc. At the end of each week, I will add up how much money was spent that week.

Get your finances in order with a simple budget layout for your DIY Planner or Bullet Journal.

Along the bottom of the page, I like to add some reflection questions that I will answer at the end of the month. These questions usually are aimed at my financial goals for the year. If you do not want to do this, you can add something else here, like a savings tracker, or a no-spend quote!

Conclusion

I hope that these collection layouts gave you some inspiration to set up in your Bullet Journal! I also hope you gained some confidence to start your own Bullet Journal from this series!

Remember, your Bullet Journal is meant to help you achieve your goals and ambitions. This is not just any planner! Make it your own! And there is no wrong way to do it. If you are shy, don’t show it to ANYBODY! Just start, and see if it works for you! I am confident you will find something in this that you will absolutely love!

If you are looking for further resources, I would like to remind you of a couple of resources I mentioned throughout this series!

The official Bullet Journal website: This website is a great resource for people looking to learn the foundation of this system. There is no one who can explain it better than the creator, Ryder!

If you prefer to read books, I would highly suggest Ryder’s published book; The Bullet Journal Method – Track The Past, Order The Present, Design The Future. Not only does this book go over the foundation of the system, but it also provides ideas on how to use the system to live a more mindful life. It is a fantastic read!

If you are eager to start a Bullet Journal but don’t want to create the spreads for one reason or another, then I invite you to join the Journaling My Life VIP club! You will gain immediate access to my library of free Bullet Journal printables. I am constantly adding to this library, and have many plans to add different types of content in the near future!

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask! I know there is a lot to learn about this system, and I know there is no way I could have answered all of your questions in this series!

Until next time!

How To Start A Bullet Journal – The Series

The Basics

The Collections

The Index & Key

The Future Log

The Monthly, Weekly & Daily Spreads

A Tracker & Expense Log Layout (You Are Here!)

Learn how you can create a simple tracker and expense log for your Bullet Journal. These minimalist spreads only take a few minutes to create, and are very beneficial layouts to have in your Bullet Journal!

I know that starting a Bullet Journal can be extremely overwhelming, and there is so much information! If you don’t have time to read each of these blog posts, you can grab the free downloadable guide here!

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