5 Ways to Bullet Journal on a Budget

I always loved back to school supplies. Something about the smell of fresh crayons. When I became an art teacher, art supplies held the same wonder and joy for me.

When starting a bullet journal, one of the best things for me was the chance to break out all of my old teaching supplies! However, I quickly found that my beloved Prismacolor Markers bled right through my freshly bought Leuchttrum 1917 bujo. Sad faces!

I quickly realized that I would need to get new supplies to work in my journal. However, most of our income goes to our medical expenses, so I needed to be frugal.  Financial organization holds vast importance in our house.

Well after some research, I came up with 5 Ways to Bullet Journal on a Budget.

Bullet journal supplies can be daunting simply by the sheer number of things you can by. Let’s keep it simple though, especially if this is new to you, see if you like it before you invest your money.  This is assuming you’ve already decided to invest your time.

1. Get a grid or dot grid journal.

I started with a lined journal that my mother in law gave me for Christmas. I persevered Jan - May creating my own gridded lines. It took forever to set up a monthly spread.

I’m actually surprised I didn’t quit but I was desperate to try to find some correlation between what I was doing, eating, sleeping, and my pain levels. I needed real data to take to a doctor.

These are some cheaper alternatives to a Leuchttrum 1917 if you want to dip your toes in just to see if you like it before you invest. I found this one on Amazon and it is half the cost but with the same amount of colors and several pages.

2. You don’t need micron pens.

Sharpie pens work just fine and have a good point. There is no need to invest in super expensive artist pens unless you want to down the line for archival purposes.

3. There are cheaper alternatives to Tombow Dual Brush Pens.

Yes, Tombow’s are fantastic and they don’t bleed through but again they’re expensive for the amount you get per marker.

If you want a good way to fill in boxes classic Highlighters work great and there is minimal bleeding or ghosting as the cool kids are calling it these days.

Old school Crayola markers work great too. I'm currently using Staedliner Thin Line markers because they are doing double duty with my Inspirations Coloring Book.

4. Get Stencils not Stamps

I invested heavily in stamps and inks and wish I hadn't.  It's a hassle to bust out the stamps and inks during set up and forget about using them daily.  You won't sustain keeping up with the basic requirements of the journal.

Not to mention that you have to buy the stamps, blocks, and inks...that gets expensive.

However, you want your bullet journal to look nice, so these are what I'm currently using.  They're lightweight and take up minimal room in my bujo supply box.  I can even slip one into the pages of my bujo to transport if I'm working on a spread.

They also double as straight edge rulers...you can't beat a multitasker!

5. Get white out before investing in Washi Tape

This 10 pack of white-out tape will last years. That's the kind of value I'm after with my buys. You will mess up and if you have even a tiny streak of OCD perfectionism in you, it will drive you nuts.  Die-hard bujo specialists use gorgeous washi tape to cover booboos.  I, however, love my white out.  Just start fresh.

That said, washi tape is still gorgeous and I don't blame you if you want to treat yo self. I mean just look at these colors and styles!

So get your supplies ready and go ahead and get ready for March! February is a short month. March will be here before we know it and why not get ready to be organized. More next Tuesday on setting up your current month for success.