But a few years ago I found myself with over $2000 in credit card debt and big daydreams of saving and investing. So I had to find another way around the word and my thoughts about it. I found that I really (and I mean really) like the word PLAN. Yes I am a planner addict.
I have created my own travellers notebook planner covers and designed my own planner inserts. I have my own line of notebook planners in my shop check them out here!
It was with these notebook planners and simple inserts that I was able to get my finances under control and start growing my wealth.
This is the start of my journey on my way to success.
Why a financial plan and NOT a budget?
So I put my planner addiction to work.
I created an income and expenses insert for my planner that I could plan my money with.
Notice how it seems normal to have (singular) income and (plural) expenses? I intend to change that for myself and I hope many more people make the change too.
In the front of the insert, I would write out all my bill payments and break them down into weekly, fortnightly, monthly and yearly amounts for future reference.
This helped me see the overall cost of things and how much I need to put aside. If my pay changed from weekly, fortnightly or monthly I could adjust the amount in my next money plan easily.
My plan was to use every dollar of my pay every time. I would not however use more than or less then my total pay. Every dollar I had would be assigned a job, including the fun jobs. With my plan I felt like I was a money boss and it felt good.
This method is also called the zero based budget.
When my pay arrived in my bank account I would get out my money planner, pen and calculator. I was enthusiastic about money planning my spending in a way I NEVER was with budgeting.
I would write the amount received on the left side of the page and on the right I would write out where each dollar would go.
I opened seven online savings accounts
I needed somewhere other than my transaction account to put the money once I assigned it a job. It was too hard to keep track of what was spending money and what was bill money when it was all in my transaction account.
I tried the envelope system and the clip system but they just didn't work for me. Here in Australia we have notes and coins in our currency. Trying to clip a coin or stop an envelope from tearing because of the coins was such a hassle. And to be honest I didn't like the idea of carrying around all my money in my wallet. I needed easy, simple and secure.
Online accounts were the answer for me.
Every dollar had a purpose and so did I
I was becoming the Boss of my money and in very little time I had paid off all my credit cards. All two thousand dollars was paid off including the interest. The day I cancelled that card and had it cut up was amazing, I felt free.
Now I needed a new goal. I suddenly had all this "extra" money that had been given the task of paying off my debt, but now it had nothing to do.
I needed to find a new job for the "extra" money I now had. I loved my money planner insert but now I needed another. A goal planner. A money challenge planner.
This was the point that I started my thousand dollars savings challenges.
My Thousand Dollars Planner
I had been reading The Richest Man in Babylon - George S. Clason, and heard from various other sources in real life and online of setting a simple goal of saving a thousand dollars and investing it.
The key to this very simple strategy was to repeat the goal consistently over and over until great wealth had been achieved.
I could do that! Heck, I just did two times that paying of the credit card. I needed a bigger goal though otherwise I was likely to get bored after the first few challenges were completed.
On the first page of the money challenge planner insert I wrote out my goals.
My Money Goals
Make $1000 in dividends.
Complete fifty challenges
Start a side business
Every time I found money that I could put towards my thousand dollar challenge, I would record it in my thousand dollars planner insert . If I sold something on eBay or I didn't buy lunch I would transfer that money into an online account that i nicknamed "MyThousandDollars".
Each time I reached a thousand dollars, I chose an investment and I started a new challenge. I have since completed eight of these thousand dollar challenges. You can read about my last one here.
There you have it! I was able to get creative, keep it simple and achieve $8000 towards my financial goals with two little notebooks.
Keeping it fun and positive made it notably easier to achieve success. Even the easiest road becomes impossible if you don't want to be walking it.
I highly recommend The richest man in Babylon. I really enjoyed the storytelling aspect and the simplicity of ideas to better your personal finances.
Another book I enjoyed reading that helped my find my inner money boss was #girlboss - Sophia Amoruso.