Bullet journals for personal finance and budgeting

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In the case of balancing your finances, there are many choices, together with smartphone budgeting apps. However typically, you don’t essentially want or need bells or whistles or in your quest to save lots of extra money. And for many who discover satisfaction in balancing a checkbook, tech instruments simply aren’t the identical.

Enter bullet journaling, or #bujo. Initially a kind of productiveness instrument that permits customers to trace progress, objectives, and to-do lists, bullet journals have additionally been discovered to be efficient money-management instruments. You’ll use pen and paper as a instrument to attach together with your funds, see the place your cash goes, and observe your monetary objectives.

What’s a bullet journal?

A bullet journal is a journal designed to trace habits, preserve to-do lists, and usually arrange a schedule through pen and paper. Official Bullet Journals might be bought, however many individuals DIY their very own through no matter journal they select. What tends to separate bullet journaling aside from conventional journaling is using graphs, charts, and symbols for instance a accomplished job or undertaking. One other key distinction is the inclusion of an index, or desk of contents, within the bullet journal, to simply reference completely different elements.

Generally, a bullet journal isn’t meant to dive deep into the darkest elements of your unconscious. It’s extra a spot to simply maintain observe of concepts, to-do lists, and sure, cash strikes.

Easy methods to use a bullet journal for private funds

In case you search #bujo or #bulletjournal on Instagram, you’ll see examples, or spreads, of varied layouts utilized in a bullet journal. These spreads might be creative or fanciful, however the important thing similarity is that they’re all designed to make their proprietor’s life simpler. For instance, this bullet journal unfold acts as a finances tracker and financial savings log:

Picture credit score: @feminist_bujo

A bullet journal might be no matter you make it. Listed below are some inventive methods and causes to make use of a bullet journal as a approach to maintain observe of non-public finance objectives.

It needs to be famous bullet journal shouldn’t be used to retailer delicate information, like passwords or account numbers, however as a basic place to maintain monetary questions, objectives, and nagging reminders in a single place.

Observe each day spending

If a tech instrument isn’t intuitive, getting within the behavior of writing each day spends through pen and paper could be a approach to simply observe spending, observe any behaviors, or discover locations the place it might be attainable to save lots of. Seeing your finances could make transactions really feel extra tangible than they might have felt if you happen to’re solely seeing cash auto-deducted out of your account. To search out inspiration, search #spendingtracker on Instagram.

Bullet journal budget

Picture credit score: @everydaybulletjournal

Concentrate on a financial savings purpose

One widespread means to make use of a bullet journal for funds is to make use of it as a visible approach to characterize a significant financial savings purpose. Including a visible part — like this hand-drawn brick wall, with every brick representing $10 — could make the financial savings purpose really feel extra tangible than it might have felt if you happen to had been merely placing apart cash in a financial savings account.

Bullet journal bricks for savings

Picture credit score: littlecoffeefox.com

Observe month-to-month payments

Even in case you have payments set on autopay, seeing your month-to-month payments written down in a single place will help you bear in mind the place your cash goes — and see how a lot you’re paying in complete on payments every month.

Observe upcoming bills

One sensible means to make use of a bullet journal to maintain financially organized is to have lists of upcoming birthdays, holidays, and need lists from varied members of the family. That means, it’s straightforward to make the most of gross sales or coupons to purchase items all year long. It will also be a superb place to maintain observe of need-to-know dates that will prevent cash. For instance, does day camp tuition rise in February? When will your yearly pool membership be billed? Maintaining observe of each monetary obligation of the yr on one bullet journal unfold can remind you when your month-to-month finances could fluctuate.

Earn money conversations enjoyable

In case you’re the sort to zone out whenever you see numbers on a display, a bullet journal — full with the power to let your creativeness circulation on paper — might be a good way of merging creativity with monetary objectives. As with all monetary instrument, the bottom line is to search out one that may be satisfying to make use of, useful to see, and enjoyable within the second, so your private funds don’t really feel like a chore. Having the journal readily available will also be useful when discussing cash together with your companion, particularly if considered one of you must see an idea to higher perceive it.

Maintain monetary to-dos in a single place

Work with an property planner. Discuss with an accountant about 2018 taxes. Contemplate insurance coverage wants. Purchase life insurance coverage. Likelihood is, you’ve acquired dozens of to-dos that haven’t but been achieved. Committing these to-do lists to paper could be a nice first step towards making them a actuality. Utilizing a monetary journal will also be a approach to maintain observe of notes, questions, and issues to contemplate, and will also be one thing to share together with your partner so she or he also can do a number of the legwork. Some folks would possibly desire engaged on a spreadsheet, but when pen and paper give you the results you want, a monetary bullet journal may very well be a approach to make headway in your 2019 monetary objectives.

Share monetary objectives as a household

A household bullet journal, together with spreads for saving up for an upcoming trip, might be a good way to get the entire household concerned in discussing cash, studying easy methods to save, and studying that financial savings and budgeting are on a regular basis actions. Tweens and teenagers might also be motivated by the inventive angle of a bullet journal as a approach to observe their very own spendings and financial savings objectives.

Discover a monetary system that works for you

Clearly, a bullet journal may not take the place of any digital or tech instruments you already use. However a bullet journal unfold can provide you a distinct means to consider cash, and might become profitable administration extra enjoyable (and positively much more fairly) than it might have been earlier than.

Anna Davies is a author, editor and content material strategist dwelling in Jersey Metropolis, NJ. She has written for New York, Glamour, Elle, Males’s Well being and others and has written 13 younger grownup novels below varied names. Her favourite issues to spend cash on are low cost theater tickets, oversize sweaters, and chilly brew lattes.

Featured picture credit score: BulletJournal.com

Haven Time period is a Time period Life Insurance coverage Coverage (ICC15DTC) issued by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance coverage Firm (MassMutual), Springfield, MA 01111 and supplied completely by Haven Life Insurance coverage Company, LLC. Not all riders can be found in all states. Our Company license quantity in California is 0K71922 and in Arkansas, 100139527.

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