Journaling is one of the most beloved self-help tools out there, and for good reason. Whether you’re into gratitude journaling, recording your dreams, or simply letting your thoughts flow, it’s no secret that doing it consistently can change your life for the better. And if we can use journaling to shift our mindset, improve our overall well-being, and make our dreams come true, why shouldn’t we use a money journal to improve our finances and manifest success?
That said, although the goal of a money journal is to help you keep track of your finances, it’s so much more than that. In addition to keeping track of your finances by recording your savings and spending, a money journal helps you examine your spending habits and create better ones, improve your financial intelligence, and ultimately transform your relationship with money.
If you’re looking to take your finances to the next level, you’ve come to the right place. Whether you’re looking to pay off your student loans, improve your credit score, or build an emergency fund, using a money journal can help you reach all your financial goals. Keep scrolling to learn more.
1. Determine your income and monthly expenses
The first order of business is figuring out what you’re working with by adding up your income against your monthly expenses. This will give you a good idea of what you have left over to spend, which will make it easier to examine your spending habits through journaling. To do this, try using this free budgeting calculator, and be sure to use credit card statements and other bills for reference to get an accurate number.
2. Record and reflect on all purchases
To be successful with your money journal, you have to commit to recording and reflecting on all purchases—whether it’s a $3 iced coffee or a $300 grocery store run. It may seem silly, but it’s vital to improving your money IQ and EQ. Also, don’t worry about keeping a meticulous spreadsheet for your numbers; simply creating a bulleted list for purchases will get the job done.
Additionally, write down how you felt when making each purchase and how you feel about it right now. Think about the mood you were in and the circumstances surrounding it. Were you upset about something at work and trying to soothe yourself? Was your partner stressing you out? Were you elated over some good news? There are no wrong answers, so write whatever comes to mind; either way, reflecting on your purchases will help you get a clearer picture of how you spend your money.
3. Use money prompts to get your thoughts moving
In addition to reflecting on your daily purchases, enlisting the help of money journal prompts from time to time is a great way to fully understand your intimate relationship with money. You’ll get a clearer picture of your subconscious beliefs about finances and how they may be holding you back and gain insight into areas you need to improve. This is also a great practice to do on the days you don’t spend anything at all.
Money Journal Prompts To Help Get You Started:
- When I think about money, I feel…
- How did the adults in my life talk about money when I was a child?
- What is my biggest fear with money?
- Do I regret the way I’ve handled my finances?
- Am I envious of the financial success of others?
- How could I handle money differently?
- What is the purpose of money? What does success look like to me?
- What is my Achilles heel when it comes to spending?
- How have my childhood experiences or family beliefs shaped my money mindset?
- Do I respect money and treat it like the tool it is?
4. Do weekly and monthly reviews and reflections
At the end of each week and month, calculate the total amount of money you spent and write down how that number makes you feel. Do you feel guilty about how much you spent, or were the splurges worth it? Is there anything you could’ve done differently that would’ve helped you save more? Taking the time to do this and answer these kinds of questions will move your thoughts about money in a positive direction and encourage you to get better at handling it.
From there, set money goals for the following week or month ahead and create a plan to achieve them. Depending on what your goals are, this may mean cutting out your morning Starbucks runs and paying off more debt or using cheaper transportation (like a bus or metro) instead of an Uber on your next girls’ night out. Whatever you decide, this process will help you create positive, healthy spending habits and beliefs about money, and make it easier to spend within your means.
5. Write a letter to money
Untangling your relationship with money can be a complicated process, but it’s invaluable to your financial freedom. In your money journal, write a raw and unfiltered letter to money disclosing all your thoughts, fears, and emotions surrounding it. It doesn’t matter if this is a love letter or a hate letter—all that matters is that you write it. Doing this will help you dispel your negative, self-limiting beliefs once and for all and ultimately help you attract abundance into your life.
6. Define success in your own words
A successful life looks different to everyone, and figuring out what yours is is the first step to manifesting it. Use your journal to paint the picture of what success means to you; you can do this by doodling, drawing, writing, or creating a bulleted list. For some, success may mean climbing the corporate ladder; for others, it may mean having the freedom to follow your creative passions. This will help you get clear on your intentions and make manifesting success easier because you’ll have clear goals to work towards.
7. Affirm your success and wealth with daily affirmations
Using affirmations to make your financial goals come to fruition may sound silly, but make no mistake: it works. In truth, this is one of the easiest ways to let go of limiting self-beliefs and sabotaging habits because affirmations help rewire your thinking. So, find your favorite affirmations and repeat them to yourself daily, pick one that resonates with you and write it in your journal every day, or find a new one every morning with a daily affirmation app. No matter what you decide, using daily affirmations will help you cultivate a rich mindset and believe in the wealthy woman you’re becoming.
Abundance Affirmations To Help You Get Started:
- I am capable of success and wealth.
- There is nothing wrong with wanting more money.
- My life is filled with health and wealth.
- Money is a tool that can change my life for the better.
- I control money—money doesn’t control me.
- My finances don’t scare me because I have a plan.
- I have the power to improve my relationship with money.
- I choose to spend my money wisely.
- Money is a good thing. It helps me to do the things that matter to me.
- I am on the path to a wealthy life.
Money Journal Essentials
Ready to embark on the path to financial freedom? Here’s what you need to get started:
Featuring finance articles from an industry expert and year’s worth of undated pages to help you plan, record, and reflect on your finances.
If a guided journal isn’t your thing, this simple lined journal with a beautiful vegan leather cover is just what you need.
Never lose your place in your journal again. Featuring 15 different colors to match your mood and aesthetic.
Bright neon colors are a thing of the past. These muted pastel highlighters will help important info stand out without blinding you in the process.