It’s a year almost to the day since I started bullet journalling and- without wanting to sound completely over the top- it has genuinely changed my life. I wasn’t really too disorganised before, I’ve always had a thing for to-do lists, I can’t really function without them, but comparing my old system to how I run my life today, it almost looks frantic! Check out the so-utterly-shared-and-re-shared, you’ve-probably-already-seen-it original bullet journal run-down video here.
So, let me take you on a quick trip back to the dark days of pre-BuJo life. And we’ll just overlook the old lists-on-lists arrangement I had going on back then, the however-many-things-I-can-cram-into-my-memory-will-be-however-many-things-get-handled situation, and for a second, let’s just focus in on my shoddy financial planning. The system I had there basically was; ‘well, I don’t know how much I have in any of my accounts, I don’t know what I’m spending my money on, I’m saving but not regularly and I don’t know what for and you know, as long as my card doesn’t get declined, happy days!’ I can’t say that this system worked for me per se, I can just gladly admit that it never got to a point of utter irreparable catastrophe. But needless to say, I needed change.
My current set-up is still pretty simple. In short, I keep a written record of all money going in and out of 3 separate avenues; my current account, my cash and a pre-paid card that I mainly use for emergencies and travel. On top of that, I’ve set myself a strict budget in each of my six main areas of spending and created an easy visual tracker to go with it, which I update with each spend to show how close I am to my limits. And then I’ve laid out some savings goals and have a running tally to show visually how close I am to achieving each target.
This system works perfectly for me, because it’s simple and I live a pretty simple life. But it can be tweaked I think to fit any sort of financial situation, with the same systems being applied to tracking debt and direct deposits and so on. So lets take a look at it all in action!
In addition to all of this, for when I’m on the go, I downloaded a handy app called Spender where, not only can I input every penny I get in and toss out, I can also designate each transaction into groups that I’ve created and each group can be given a budget limit. That means I have my budget graph on me at all times (no more ‘I didn’t realise I’d already used up my food budget when I was ordering that second Starbucks of the day’). The app which you can get here for iOs and Android, has a free version, but I would recommend spending the manageable 79p-a-month subscription to enable the budget full budgeting features as well as the ability to sync you app and all your financial comings and goings across your devices, so wherever you are, you know where you’re at.
(FYI, this post is not sponsored, I just really like this app!)
Once you get into a rhythm of tracking your finances, the feeling of calm and stability that comes with knowing how much you’ve got, where it is and where its going is almost like having more money! So much less panic, so much less worry. You can now hold yourself accountable for every penny that comes in and out. Whether you like it or not!
This painting took a lot longer than expected.
Finally, past my bout of creative block, I’ve been on quite a roll with new ideas