Looking to get a better handle on your finances? You may want to consider a monthly bullet journal. Part calendar, part to-do list, part note keeper, this type of journal can help you organize your finances, track short- and long-term financial goals, and more. And because it’s highly customizable, you can modify your journal to suit your specific needs. Whether you’re trying to curb your spending, get out of debt, or improve your financial habits, read on for ways a bullet journal can help.
What Is a Monthly Log?
Having a daily to-do list is useful. But sometimes, it helps to see the larger goals and tasks you’ve set for yourself, especially if you’re working to develop good financial habits. Enter the monthly log, which is a key component of many bullet journals. The log gives you a snapshot of the things you’d like to accomplish that month and the progress you’ve made so far. You may choose to include it alongside your daily or weekly to-do list or keep it on a separate page.
How to Fill Out Your Monthly Log
Figuring out what should go in the log each month may take some time. You might find it helpful to make a big list of all upcoming events and tasks. Then, place each item in the correct month’s log, and be sure to add details such as important dates and milestones. You may also decide to categorize and color-code each entry for easy skimming.
Here are some different ways you can tackle financial stress through journaling:
• Get control of bills by listing when each bill is due, how much is due, and the payment method you plan on using.
• Keep tabs on your savings plan by noting when you intend on putting money into your savings account, how much you’re depositing, and where the money is coming from, such as your checking account or paycheck.
• Track your progress on paying down student loans, car loans, personal loans, credit cards, and other debt.
You can also use a monthly log along with your budget or a spending app to help you better understand your spending habits.
Benefits of Using a Bullet Journal
There are plenty of reasons why many people turn to bullet journaling to help them keep their finances on track. For starters, recording things like your expenses and spending, household budget, or savings goals can help you stay organized and increase productivity. There’s also the thrill of watching your savings balance go up or debt balance go down — and celebrating those accomplishments.
Visual learners may find monthly logs especially useful, particularly if they decide to color-code entries. But even just jotting down important details about your financial life can help keep your goals top of mind.
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4 Monthly Bullet Journal Ideas
Here’s the beauty of a bullet journal: You can try out strategies others use or create a bespoke system for yourself. It can be as simple or complex as you’d like, and you may even find that it evolves over time. Here are four ideas on how to use bullet journaling in your financial life.
Use a Bullet Journal to Control Spending
You don’t have to have the classic signs of a shopaholic to want to curb your spending. A bullet journal can be a great tool to help you rein in the number of purchases you make.
One idea is to create a weekly bullet journal where you set how much you’ve allotted for discretionary spending that week and track any purchases made. Understanding how and where your money is going could help you avoid the bottom-dollar effect. This is when you may feel less satisfied with the last item you were able to buy with your budget.
Another option is the kakeibo budgeting method. This simple but effective strategy requires you to create a line item budget at the start of each month based on how much you plan on earning and spending, plus your savings goals. Throughout the month, you track every single penny you spend. At the end of month, review the log to see if you stayed on track spending-wise and are making progress on your savings goals.
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Use a Bullet Journal for Financial Education
Despite what you may think, you can learn about finance without having a finance background. In fact, boosting your financial literacy could improve how well you spend, save, and invest your money. And a bullet journal might help get you there. You can use it to track your progress in an online financial literacy course, for example, or as a place to write down the books or podcasts that will help build your personal finance knowledge.
Use Bullet Journal to Land a Job
Whether you’re searching for your dream job or the next gig, consider devoting a few pages of your bullet journal to your job search. You may want to start by listing your goals in an easy-to-see spot so you can refer to them throughout the process. Use other areas to note the roles you apply for, key details about the positions, notes on the companies you researched, and any upcoming interviews. You can also try creating daily, weekly, or monthly to-do lists in your journal to help you stay on track.
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Use a Bullet Journal to Track Progress on Long-Term Goals
Let’s say that you’re saving for a big-ticket item, like a house or car, or setting a long-term goal, such as paying off a large credit card bill. Bullet journaling lets you set, monitor, and track your progress on those goals. You can also break them down into smaller, easier-to-manage tasks that you set on a daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis.
Bullet journals allow you to record tasks, deadlines, responsibilities, and more in a format that combines a to-do list with a calendar. Though it can serve a wide variety of purposes, a bullet journal can also help you organize your finances and maximize your productivity. Common ideas include journaling to control spending, boost your financial literacy, help with a job search, and work on short- and long-term financial goals.
A money tracker app can be another valuable tool. With SoFi, you can connect all of your accounts on a convenient mobile dashboard. This gives you a bird’s-eye view of all of your balances even while you’re on the go. You can also get spending breakdowns, financial insights, and credit score monitoring — all in one place.
What should be in a monthly bullet journal?
Monthly bullet journals are flexible, so use them to suit your needs. For instance, if you want to monitor and manage your personal finances, you can use the bullet journal to track when bills are due, when you plan to deposit money into a savings account, how much debt you have, and more.
How do you make a monthly bullet journal?
You can purchase ready-made bullet journals or make your own. If you go the DIY route, simple buy a notebook you like and personalize it. It’s a good idea to create an index that you can update when needed as well as a log to list your future goals. You can also create sections for monthly and daily logs, where you can add more details.
What are monthly spreads for?
A monthly spread is another name for a monthly log. This is where you lay out the tasks you have for a particular month. Typically, a spread runs two or more pages, but do whatever works best for you.
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Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.