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How to Change Your Spending Habits

Updated on February 26, 2015

Financial Journaling, What is it?

What is financial journaling you ask? If you are an accountant you would think that financial journaling was posting numbers to different accounts for a business. That is what financial journaling is in a professional manner. In a personal aspect it is a very helpful tool that can help in your financial journey to become even more successful in changing your spending habits. It helps you by allowing awareness of how you spend your money each and every single day. I know that all of us are familiar with journaling. This is where we write our personal thoughts and dreams in a book (journal) to keep private. Financial journaling is similar. This is where you write down each and every day where you spend each dollar. I know that sounds quite overwhelming. It can be if you have an attitude of “Oh, something else I have to do.” If you go in with an attitude of making your life much more prosperous then this tool will be very successful for you.

Some of you may wonder why this is important in your finances, especially if you already journal your feelings. Journaling your finances allows you to see how much money you spend each day. It also allows you to see where you are spending the money. There may be something that you need money for, and you are not sure where that money is coming from. Once you see where you spend your money in your financial journal then you may be able to cut out that extra cup of coffee or newspaper for a while to save the money that you need. Financial journaling will help you determine how you feel about money and why you feel the way you do about saving and spending money. This tool was so helpful to me in learning budgeting and saving money. I am sure that it will be helpful to you as well.

Beginning financial journaling seems overwhelming at first and a really big challenge. I am here to tell you that the first week is the hardest. Once you make it through the very first week you will be able to finish up financial journaling for the time that you need it. I am going to put a sample of a journal page that I will be referring to throughout the book here below.

Amount of money spent
Item purchased
5 am
12am (next day)
The chart should have times from 5 am to midnight. You write down the amount of money spent at the time listed and the item purchased at that time.

How do I begin financial journaling?

Financial journaling is can be challenging, but can be very beneficial. This process has to be focused "one day at a time." For this process to be successful it has to be done for one month. That sounds like a long time, but it is really not. To begin just concentrate on day one. When you are going to work or out you need to write down if you stop and get coffee, a newspaper, breakfast, or even gas. You would write down each thing and the cost. Once you have completed your first day you will write down how you feel about what you spent.

Writing down how you feel seems kind of senseless. It is not at all. It will allow you to see if you really need what you have purchased or if it is something you just want. If you are wanting to save money for something like a new computer or iphone then maybe you could cut out the coffee or make it at home to save money toward your goal. You could also get a subscription to the newspaper instead of picking one up every morning. That will definitely save you money. This is what writing down how you feel and where you can make changes will help in changing your spending habits.

How do you feel about what you spend your money on?

Spending money brings up lots of different feelings for each person. Some people are happy to spend money. Other people are happy to save money. Some people do not believe that they deserve to be rich because of the way that they grew up. Others know that they will be rich because that is what they believe with all their heart and soul. There is no other choice for people who know they are rich. That is all that they know.

In the beginning I did not believe that I deserved to be rich because of how I grew up and what I was taught about money. Money was a really bad thing and people would not like you or be your friend if you had money. I do not believe that at all now. It took me a while to unlearn what I had been taught, but I did. I am sure glad that I did. Now I realize how important money is for needs and how enjoyable it is especially when you can help others. As you are financial journaling I hope that you realize what a difference money can make in a positive way in your life. I certainly did in mine.

Once you determine why you do the things that you do with your money you need to know when you should start making the changes that you want in your life. You need to start immediately. The reason that you want to start immediately is that life is way too short for you not to get all of the things that you deserve. You deserve the very best so you need to start financial journaling now. If you wait and not start to financial journal then you will miss out on all the financial things you will be able to do with your life. To be able to maintain the financial status that you want and need with financial journaling you need to do it at least twice per year. Once in January or February and the second time in July or August. This will show you where you are at financially as well as any changes that you need to make to have the successful journey that you deserve.

Is Financial Journaling Important?

Will you try financial journaling to change your spending habits?

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How to teach your children about keeping a financial journal

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