If you can't keep up with all the confusing spreadsheets and millions of organisation apps, we don't blame you. We've found a way to organise your personal finances in a way that’s fun and creative: bullet journaling. It makes tracking expenses as exciting as choosing your next Netflix binge.

If you journal every day,  financial bullet journaling is an easy habit to take up. In this blog, I’m going to lay down some ways you can keep your personal finance as colourful as your Randelas. Plus, we've got a little surprise for you – a downloadable and printable template to kickstart your financial bullet journaling!

So, grab your favourite markers, and let's get creative with our finances.

What is Bullet Journaling?

Bullet journaling is a creative organisational technique that started to help people manage tasks and to-do lists. Unlike traditional journals that are filled with lengthy narratives or freeform writing, a bullet journal is primarily focused on quick, concise entries represented by "bullets" or symbols. Most bullet journals start with a ‘key’ to lay out the symbols and colour codes used in the journal to help understand the entries. It has spread like wildfire since it was first publicly shared in 2013. And is now widely used to conquer financial goals in the most fun way possible. Think of it as a personalised financial diary where you can track everything from your daily spending, to your long-term investment strategies.

Let’s be real, budgets and balance sheets might not sound like the most exciting things, but with a splash of colour, you could be surprisingly hooked. Bullet journaling allows you to tap into your creative side as you design spreads, choose colour schemes, and even create symbols that represent different financial transactions. Suddenly, budgeting isn't a chore; it's a canvas, and can be pretty therapeutic. Scribbling down your goals and playfully noting your spending habits by hand is like having a friendly chat with your money personality. You're giving a nod to the habits you want to adopt and giving a sassy wink to the ones you want to kick to the curb.

All you need to start journaling is our printable budget tracker bullet journal and a pen. If you’re feeling a little extra, pick up some coloured pens, highlighters, coloured tape, and stickers to add to your setup. Remember, there is no right or wrong way to visualise your money goals or track your spending habits.

How to Start Bullet Journaling

All you need to start journaling is our printable budget tracker bullet journal and a pen. If you’re feeling a little extra, pick up some coloured pens, highlighters, coloured tape, and stickers to add to your setup. Remember, there is no right or wrong way to visualise your money goals or track your spending habits.

Personalising Your Bullet Journal

The key and symbols page in a bullet journal is your personalised decoder for efficiently managing your goals, habits, and notes. By assigning unique symbols to different financial categories, you craft a visual language that's special and specific to you. When you make your journal entries in your signature shorthand, these symbols act as instant cues.

Here are some ways you can have fun in creating your keys and symbols:

  1. Personal connection: Create your symbols with personal meaning by associating them with your interests, hobbies, and daily life. This creates a more personal connection to your journal.
  2. Creative expression: Embrace your artistic side and experiment with colours, doodles, and unique designs. Let your imagination run wild and use this as an opportunity to express yourself
  3. Have fun with it: Break free from the regular, boring symbols and come up with new, playful icons that are specific to your experiences. Incorporate humour into your symbols to turn your journal into a space that brings a smile to your face every time you use it.

The Importance of Setting Monthly Financial Goals

Setting monthly financial goals is an essential practice that can empower you to navigate your financial journey with purpose and clarity. These goals serve as guidelines, providing a clear direction amid the many financial choices and obligations we face in our everyday lives.

By breaking down your larger financial aspirations into manageable monthly targets, you can measure your progress, stay accountable, and make necessary adjustments along the way. Whether it's saving a specific amount, reducing debt, or investing in your future wealth, monthly financial goals ensure that each step taken contributes to the larger picture of financial well-being. They transform big aspirations into tangible actions, giving you a sense of achievement and motivation.

These are some things to consider when setting your monthly financial goals:

  1. Define clear objectives: Begin by creating specific and measurable financial objectives for the year. Whether it's saving a certain amount, paying off a particular debt, or investing in a specific venture, having well-defined goals provides clarity and focus.
  2. Break down into actionable steps: Once your bigger goal is set, break it down into smaller, actionable steps per month. These should be tasks you can work on each month that contribute to the achievement of your larger goal. Each step should be achievable within the given timeframe.
  3. Set realistic and attainable goals: Ensure that your monthly financial goals are realistic and attainable based on your current financial situation and commitments. Overly ambitious goals might get you frustrated or burnt out. By setting targets that challenge you while remaining within reach, you'll maintain motivation and a sense of accomplishment as you make progress.

The Budget Tracker

Honestly, this is a secret weapon for financial independence. This tool is the only thing in my chaotic impulsive life that helps me to steer clear of overspending and ensuring every rand finds its purpose.

You log in all your income sources and allocate funds to various expense categories. By doing this, you can proactively manage your financial flow. The benefits are noteworthy:

  • You gain a clearer understanding of where your money is going, making it easier to align your spending with your financial priorities.
  • The "Budget Tracker" remains flexible, enabling you to make necessary adjustments to your allocations and maintain alignment with your financial goals.

Track Your Expenses

To be effective in tracking your spending habits, you’ll need to log every expense on a monthly basis. Write down the date, what you purchased and how much it was in your expense tracker pages.

Top Tip: You can also choose a specific colour to single out the most important expenses you need to track to align with your financial goals. 

How it helps:

  1. Identify trends Tracking your expenses helps you identify your habits, how much impulsive spending you may need to let go of, and how much more you can redirect to your savings.
  2. Make better decisions If you are a visual learner, seeing colour codes based on your financial habits will help you make better decisions easier.
  3. Make tax easier Come tax season, you don’t need to sweat it because your journal will be there for you for any personal finance information you need.

Ready, Set, Journal

Now that you're armed with the secrets of bullet journaling to add a splash of colour to your financial life, go ahead and secure that financial freedom. Whether you're a seasoned journal enthusiast or new to the concept, we have equipped you with the insights and inspiration needed to get started on your own bullet journaling journey.