Money and planners are great bedfellows.
Raising your awareness of how much money you earn, how much you spend and how much you save is the first step in winning the money game.
An easy way to do this is with a planner. There are numerous electronic resources and apps that work too. However, I like the mindfulness of picking up a pen and writing on paper. I can recount several occasions where the thought of having to write out yet another frivolous expense stopped me from making an unnecessary purchase.
Spend less than you earn has long been touted as the gateway mantra to a life of riches. To do that you’ll need to figure out how much you’re making and where it goes. If you don’t like what you find, the logical next step is to boost your income and cut your expenditure.
Here are five ways a planner will give you better oversight of your money matters.
1. Track Your Spending
Keeping a money log is a great way to hone in on exactly what you’re spending your money on. Once I’ve collated a week’s worth of spending logs, I assign categories and analyse the numbers. There are usually a few eye-openers. I see it as an opportunity to make better future choices.
2. Track Your Debt Repayment
There is something gratifying about crossing numbers off a debt chart. Visually observing the total debt amount getting smaller is motivation to keep going.
3. Track Your Savings
Saving for an arbitrary goal isn’t much fun, especially if you’re really cutting expenses to make it possible. However, when you’re saving for a specific goal; clothes, jewellery or travel, it’s exciting to see the money mount up. Doing this on paper, let’s you viscerally feel it too.
4. Plan Your Monthly Spending
Who hasn’t been in a situation where there’s more month than money? Planning your money every month let’s you know in advance how much you have available for each spending category, as well as savings and investments. This is also a great way to compare your expected expenses versus the actual money you spent.
5. Plan Your Annual Finances
There’s a calm reassurance that comes with sitting down and thinking through your finances for the year. Sure, it can also feel scary, but it gives you enough lead time to make changes if your future finances don’t look good. The key is to have a comprehensive list of categories for both income and expenses. Once you’ve figured out your expenses, you can then have a look at your expected income and see if it’s sufficient for the year. If it isn’t, then you’ve got advance warning to start a side hustle, get a second job or work some extra hours.
What’s your financial state of affairs? Would a dedicated printable money planner help you get more organised? Well, I’m working on a comprehensive money planner. Once it’s ready, it will be available in my shop, I’ll also update this post.