Beginners Guide to a Money Diary

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Why should you keep a money diary?  It sounds like too much work!!  Those were my thoughts at the beginning of my money journey.  So, let’s talk about those thoughts. 

In order to have this conversation I need to ask you to think about why you want control over your money.  Is there something you want to have or do that is the driving force behind this?  Do you just want to have money at the end of the month instead of more month at the end of your money?  Whatever your reason is, make this your Budget Mission and record it somewhere in large PRINT.  Keep your mission in front of you. You’ll need it.

What’s the purpose of the money diary?  The simple answer is that your diary will show you where you are spending your money; when you are spending your money; why you are spending your money; and how much money you are spending.  With this information, you will be able to create a realistic and effective budget.  The budget will be a powerful tool to get your desired Money Mission.  It is that simple. 

MONEY DIARY + BUDGET = MONEY MISSION

My wife and I love to travel.  A dream vacation was our first Budget Mission.  The night before that long awaited vacation we were packed and ready to go.  We knew what we wanted to do.  This trip was particularly exciting because we had all of the money we needed to pay for everything planned for our trip.  We did not have to rob money from food or rent to pay for the vacation.  We did not need to increase credit card debt or any other debt to make it happen.  We were able to really enjoyed ourselves without any regrets. 

What is your Budget Mission? Dream big and create a budget to get your mission.

Start your Money Diary right now.

Track your day-to-day spending.  A money diary can be kept on either an electronic device and/or paper.  Here is a sample of a money diary.  This money diary is a free to download.

Example

Spreadsheet version – Money Diary

The recording of comments helps you to understand the feelings that led to the spending that you later regretted.  It is important to be honest here.  You do not have to show anyone else, so there is no judgement.  We all have our weaknesses and triggers.

Consider keeping a precise money diary, particularly in the beginning.  I would suggest using the money diary for at least 30-60 days.  You will be able to see exactly where you’re doing great and where some adjustments need to be made.

After tracking your spending in your money diary for the 2 months, check out my post: “6 Steps to Creating a Working Budget”.

Don’t Stew Over Money!

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