04 March 2019

Guest Post - Ashlene - Tracking my Finances with a Filofax.

Thank you to Ashlene for this Guest Post, we often read/hear people say 'I use my Filofax for Tracking Finances' or other things in our every day life, but quite often a brief description doesn't often help us to try out these ideas, so seeing an actual example is great! Thank you Ashlene for sharing this with us and for the great photos too.  

For a while now I have been trying to make a Filofax work for me as a wallet/purse in order to keep a track of my finances. I've tried pocket and mini sizes and even incorporating my cards and cash into my everyday personal Filofax, but nothing works for me. Then a few weeks ago I began to think that I was maybe trying to make the Filofax work too hard for me. I'm very fussy when it comes to wallets/purses and none of my Filofax experiments lived up to my expectations of what a wallet should do. I wanted a Filofax that would hold cash, cards and coins and most Filofaxes just are not designed to do that. So I came up with a happy medium that has been serving me well for the last few weeks and has also been helping me keep track of my finances. This is one of my goals for this year as I am notoriously bad with money and my boyfriend has recently started talking about buying a house together, so it's time to stop spending and start saving.

Meet my compact Holborn in Wine. I picked this up in Easons (an Irish stationery chain) a few weeks ago. When I first laid eyes on it I knew it was going to work perfectly as my new 'Financial' Filofax. It's thin enough to fit in my handbag but had loads of pockets for receipts, bills, pay slips, etc. Let's take a tour

The credit card pockets on the inside cover hold my credit card and store cards. Most of these are paid off but my aim this year is to clear the credit card and Debenham's card. None of these cards get spent on and I keep them here so I can find them easily when I want to make a payment.

Receipts for recent purchases also get kept in this pocket until I have time to record them on my Finance pages which are kept further on into the Filofax.

At the front of the Filofax, I keep a tabbed month on two pages diary for recording when bills and payments need to be made. I highlight each bill so I can see them easily and I put a little tick beside each once it's been paid. I also record each time I fill my car up with fuel and how many miles I got out of the last fill up.

After the diary, I have a few sheets of Filofax Finance pages. I use some of these to track any daily spending on my debit card (although I'm trying to minimise this) and I also have a sheet for my Debenham's card and credit card so I can see at a glance how much I still owe and track my repayments, interest, etc.

I keep all my reward cards in the Holborn in credit card holders. It's easy to find the card I'm looking for and they are also easily accessible.

Now we come to the back of the Holborn (and my favourite part!). Here, I keep 10 top opening envelopes which are used to budget my money each month. This envelope system is quite popular in America and involves breaking your monthly salary into the the main categories you spend in and putting a certain amount of money into envelopes labeled with each category. Once you have spent all the money in a certain envelope, you cannot spend any more money in that category until you get paid again. I have always liked this budgeting method but this is the first time I have really got it to work for me. My 10 categories are:

- Fuel
- Luxuries (getting my nails and hair done, etc)
- Entertainment (cinema, etc)
- Cosmetics (make up, shampoo, moisturiser, etc)
- Savings (the money which needs to go into my savings account)
- Gifts (used for any month when I have to but birthday gifts, etc)

My monthly food budget is then divided roughly across 4 envelopes. One for each week:

- Week 1
- Week 2
- Week 3
- Week 4

Finally, at the back of the Holborn, I keep my most recent pay slip and my Credit Union book which I need for lodging my savings. The pocket beside the pen loop houses any bills which need to paid which then get filed away once the payment is made.

So that's my set up, but you may be wondering where I keep my loose change. That's kept  in my cute little Kipling wallet along with my debit card, my three most frequently used reward cards (Tescos, Sainsburys and Easons) and my driver's licence. Each week I move my weekly food budget from the Holborn into my Kipling wallet. This means I don't have to carry the Holborn around with me all the time and this stops me impulse buying because all of my cards are in the Holborn. I was never going to be happy carrying loose change in a Filofax and I don't like having a gigantic purse either so this is my happy medium - a tiny wallet of essentials and my compact Holborn for everything else and keeping track of my finances. This set up is working really well for me so far and I hope you have enjoyed this tour around my Financial Filofax .

Thank you Ashlene, and of course if you would like to share anything Filofax or ring bound organiser related with us as a guest post please get in touch philofaxy at gmail dot com

This post first appeared on Philofaxy back February 2013


  1. I am tracking my spending in a Hobonichi Weeks. I really like your set-up and may have to give it a try this way sometime in the future.

  2. Fab post only just realised it was from 2013, still very relatable in 2019. Wonder if Ashleen has kept using this ?

  3. Belated thank you for showing us your financial binder.

  4. I need to get going on this, so thanks for the inspiration!! xx