Keep a Money Diary Everyday and Become Better with it.
I have had a money diary for as long as I can remember. I like to write down things like new investment ideas, work ideas, my goals and net worth target for the year. When I'm on vacation I use my diary to write down everything that I want to see and what I've spent that day. It just looks "scratches" from an evil genius but it makes sense to me! My friends were going to steal one of my diaries and print a page on a t-shirt because they think it is hysterical. When I'm on a long plane or train ride I love to snuggle up with my diary and chart new goals or new ways that I want to tackle my career. It relaxes me to take all of my ideas out of my head and place then in my handy book. Then reference how far I've come at a later point.
How To Use Your Diary:
1. Goals. When I get a new money diary, I'll write what I want my net worth to be in a set amount of time on the first page. I then write all of my goals that I want to achieve on the first couple of pages. I write down what cars I want to buy, trips I want to go on, business successes (like writing a new best selling book), personal training goals or yoga classes per month I'd like to attend. It is nice to have the first few pages full of all of my ambitions, so when I'm having a crappy day I can quickly flip to the front of the book and recharge!
2. Daily Spending. I also like to jot down my daily income and expenses each day. Today, for instance, I took back some bottles from a party I had this weekend and collected a whopping $6.60! For the rest of the day I wrote down all of my expenses like breakfast , coffees and another liquor store run. I am very social. :)
3. Budgets. At the end of the day I'll tally my income for the day vs my expenses. It's amazing how after a few weeks you're that little bit more careful about how you spend your money. Watching a few days go by where you spend just a bit too frivolously will be more obvious when you add up all of your spending daily. If you just swipe away you sometimes don't make the connection between all of your random purchases and how much you really spent. It's easy to forget a $65 gas bill when you don't write everything down. It'll keep you on top of your spending.
4. Career or Stock Ideas. The other thing I keep track of is what my next trading or business idea will be. I'm thinking of buying some options on stocks that have been beat up over the last month and I'll capture those ideas to execute in the morning when the market opens. I'll also write down current stock prices so when I go back to see if my idea that I didn't execute would have worked or not. It's right there in black and white. If I have an amazing business idea -- I'll write that down too to keep on my radar.
Go out now and get your own money journal. Be sure to get one that reflects your personality, make sure it's substantial (just like your attitude towards money), and it needs to have a pocket in the back for receipts, cash or other documents when you travel. But make sure it's on sale.
Love your money and write about your spending and investing ideas EVERY day.
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