I have had a money diary for as long as I can remember. I like to write down things like new investment ideas, work ideas, my goals and net worth target for the year. When I’m on vacation I use my personalized diaries also I keep it as money diary to write down everything that I want to see and what I’ve spent that day. It just looks “scratches” from an evil genius but it makes sense to me!
Yes, the idea of using a money diary may not set your pulse racing, but it can be a great way of pinpointing where money’s slipping through your fingers. Write down how much you spend, what you spend it on and when – is a great way of spending less and saving money.
How To Use Your Diary:
- Goals – When I get a new money diary, I’ll write what I want my net worth to be in a set amount of time on the first page. I then write all of my goals that I want to achieve on the first couple of pages. I write down what cars I want to buy, trips I want to go on, business successes (like writing a new bestselling book), personal training goals or yoga classes per month I’d like to attend. It is nice to have the first few pages full of all of my ambitions, so when I’m having a crappy day I can quickly flip to the front of the book and recharge so that I can invest lot of money to my business!
- Daily Spending – I also like to jot down my daily income and expenses each day. Today, for instance, I took back some bottles from a party I had this weekend and collected a whopping $6.60! For the rest of the day I wrote down all of my expenses like breakfast, coffees and another liquor store run.
- Budgets – At the end of the day I’ll tally my income for the day vs my expenses. It’s amazing how after a few weeks you’re that little bit more careful about how you spend your money. Watching a few days go by where you spend just a bit too frivolously will be more obvious when you add up all of your spending daily. If you just swipe away you sometimes don’t make the connection between all of your random purchases and how much you really spent. It’s easy to forget a $65 gas bill when you don’t write everything down. It’ll keep you on top of your spending.
- Career or Stock Ideas – The other thing I keep track of is what my next trading or business idea will be. I’m thinking of buying some options on stocks that have been beat up over the last month and I’ll capture those ideas to execute in the morning when the market opens. I’ll also write down current stock prices so when I go back to see if my idea that I didn’t execute would have worked or not. It’s right there in black and white. If I have an amazing business idea, I’ll write that down too to keep on my radar.
How a Money diary helps you?
Once you’ve kept your diary for a week or so, you’ll probably notice that you start spending less. It’s one of those curious psychological tricks. If we don’t know exactly how much we spend, it’s easy to spend more. The moment you write it down and start to add it up, your spending begins to fall.
Don’t worry if the results of your spending diary come as a bit of a shock. The worst thing to do is to think that your spending habits are beyond salvation. Believe me, they’re not. If you’re willing to make some changes, you can really turn around what might seem like quite a bad financial situation into a much healthier one.