Bullet journals are all the rage right now. My sister finally convinced me to jump on the “bujo bandwagon” and oh. my. gracious. Now I’m obsessed with learning how to use a bullet journal for finances.
It is easy, aesthetically pleasing, and so encouraging. Visuals really keep me motivated, so this whole finance bullet journal thing has literally been mind-blowing for me!
You can use a bullet journal for anything. Logging daily routines, exercise plans, to-do lists and the like. You name it, a bullet journal can be used to track it. Personally, I will only be using my bullet journal for finances.
In case you are wondering how you, too, can jump on the bullet journal train, here is how I have used mine to help me manage my money so far.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
The one I purchased has a table of contents which will be helpful over the long-term. This way I can quickly find what I’m looking for. If you don’t buy a bullet journal with a table of contents, I have seen other people set one up for themselves on their first page.
I spend most of the week after Christmas and before New Years planning, dreaming, and goal setting for the following year. My bullet journal is where I chose to document my yearly goals so I can see them often.
All throughout the year I glance at this list to make sure I am making progress. As I accomplish goals, I check them off to mark them as done. One little check mark brings sooo much fulfillment to me! #nerdalert
I also set up a monthly goals page for each month. Looking at my yearly goals, I prioritized my goals and wrote a few that would be the most beneficial for me to knock out first. Some of these include finding my 403b from my former employer, knocking out a small savings goals, etc. Again, throughout the month I check these off as soon as they are finished.
SAVINGS GOAL TRACKERS
My husband and I have followed most of Dave Ramsey’s principles to get out of debt (you can read our debt free story right here) and last year we built up our fully funded emergency fund. This year, we have some small goals to knock out like saving for a lawn mower, a mattress, a new couch. You can read our most recent Finance Goal Update post right here. For each goal, I track my progress to see how much farther we have to go. THIS really keeps us motivated to save even more!!
MONTHLY BILL PAYMENT TRACKER
I looooooove this page and look at it all the time! In the past, I’ve always used a page like this for my finances, but now that it is in my bullet journal I use it religiously. It is a chart with all of our monthly bills. As I pay each bill every month, I check it off to mark that it has been paid. “Why would you need to do this, Krystal?!” I’m so glad you asked…
While we were making extra debt payments before we were debt-free, I made sure every bill was paid before I sent extra payments to debt. This helped me avoid the “OMG I forgot to pay our bi-monthly water bill and sent it to debt instead and now I have no money left” panic. That actually happened a couple times. Sometimes bills aren’t regular so we forget we still need to pay them and over budget in other areas. It happens. But this page helps me to avoid that!
I check things off as they are paid. As soon as I want to chuck some extra money to our savings goals, I check my monthly bill payment tracker to make sure our basic living needs have been already been covered. Once I know every bill has been paid, I can use what’s left over to fund a savings goal.
Every day, I jot down how much money we spent and what it is for. Then at the end of month I can easily see how diligent we were, or if there were any problem areas I need to look out for the following month. This is actually a new habit for me, so I’m excited to see if it will help us curb our spending in some of our, ahem, problematic spending areas. I’m also jotting down who spent the money. No more hiding behind “I NEVER spend that much eating out” or “I don’t have an addiction to Target!”
OTHER MOTIVATIONAL PAGES
The sky’s the limit with how creative you can get in your finance bullet journal. Here are a couple other pages I use! You can leave these out or add any others that might be more tailored to your family’s finance needs. Feel free to peruse Pinterest for some easy inspiration.
-BABY STEPS CHECKLIST
-BOOKS READ LIST
-NET WORTH TRACKER
There you have it, friends. I have fallen in love with my bullet journal! It is a way I can make my finances fun, and it is super motivating for me to see all of the pretty visuals.
I’m only a few weeks in, but I can already tell how motivating it is! In the next month or so, I’ll do a follow-up post with my progress and I’ll share things are working for me, things that aren’t working for me, and any new pages I have added.
What about you? Do you bujo? Are there any questions you have about setting up a finance bullet journal?
P.S. If you prefer to have things already formatted for you, the Simple Finance Toolkit is filled with printables to help you manage your money. Budgeting forms, goal setting sheets, debt payoff trackers and more. Enter your email address below, and I’ll send you a link where you can download them right away!