Bullet Journal On a Budget (DUPES!)

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One of the biggest misconceptions I hear about bullet journaling is that you can’t do it without spending a lot of money on a nice journal and lots of expensive supplies. Well, that’s not true. Really, the only thing you need to bullet journal are any notebook, any pen and maybe a ruler. ANY notebook will do, even a ruled notebook that you can find at the dollar store. I will admit that having a dot or square grid makes things easier (for me) plus, it does look nicer. But you don’t have to spend $20-30 bucks on a Leuchtturm1917 or a Moleskin journal.  Thanks to the popularity of bullet journaling, there are many affordable options for journals as well as inexpensive pens and markers. Since I’m always using my bullet journal, my kids wanted to join in on the fun but I also didn’t want to spend $40 on just journals alone. Luckily I found them some great journals and pens and markers which are just as good as the products I use. (PS-my kids love bullet journaling and it’s fun seeing them come up with kid layouts. It gets them away from the tv and helps them feed their creative side since they also doodle and write in their journals.)

Bullet Journaling On a Budget:

This journal by Essentials Matrix Notebook really gives the Leuchtturm1917 a run for its money and it’s only about $10 bucks! They have a dot grid and square grid version available depending on your preference. The pages and nice and thick and creamy and they don’t bleed and hold up so well against ghosting. Like the LT, this journal has 192 pages, an elastic band to keep it closed, a back pocket to hold important papers and a ribbon bookmark. The only difference I can think of is that this is only available in black (on Amazon, I believe you can find more colors on their website) and that it has one ribbon bookmark instead of two.

Fineliners (which are basically fine tipped markers) are a popular supply when it comes to bullet journaling. The most popular brands of fineliners are Staedlars or Stabilo pens, which both run pretty pricey. I personally have the Staedlars (36 pack) and I love them. But I find myself only using about 5 colors only and the knock off markers I bought my kids work exactly the same! There are so many more affordable options on Amazon, this 12-pack from Vivid Colors is only $4.99.

When it comes to markers, everyone raves about the Zebra Mildliners and the Tombow Dual Brush pens. Unfortunately both products are pricey. I started hearing about these Crayola Supertips being a dupe for the Zebra Mildliners so I bought those for my kids and I wish I knew about them before I bought my Mildliners. You can find a 20 pack at any Walmart or Target for about $4-5 bucks.
Sargent Art 22-1581 50-Count Fine Tip Washable Marker PacksAnother dupe is the Sargent Fine Tip Markers which come in a 50 pack for about $5. You can get a thick or thin line with both these products depending on how you use it and I’ve seen people do calligraphy with them.
Westcott Stainless Steel Office Ruler with Non Slip Cork Base, 6-Inch (10414)

Finally, any ruler will do. I prefer a non-slip ruler so this one with a cork back is the one I have and it was only $2 at Michael’s.


As you can see, you don’t have to spend a ton of money if you’re interested in bullet journaling. Like I said before, any notebook/pen/marker will work. I’ve actually unfollowed a lot of popular instagram/youtube bullet journal accounts because they only rave about the super expensive/hyped products. And, you do not have to be a good artist to bullet journal, I don’t draw at all in my journal and I love it that way.

My other bullet journal related posts:

Bullet Journal 101 & the Basics
How I track my health & fitness in my bullet journal
How I track my books and reading in my bullet journal
How I use my bullet journal to keep track of…everything!
Bullet Journal Style Book Reviews
February Bullet Journal Spreads
March Bullet Journal Spreads
April Bullet Journal Spreads
May Memories BuJo Style
2016 Book Favorites Bujo Style
Using Your Bullet Journal For Travel Planning

What are your planner/bullet journal supplies? Have you tried bullet journaling yet? Let me know in the comments!

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Nereyda is a 31 year-old mother of two girls with addiction to Friends, fashion, books, Pinterest, Netflix, the color black and a little bit of everything else. Also, the world's worst texter...