Money journaling can be a fantastic tool to help you shift your outlook and live a life of financial abundance!
You’ve read all about how journaling can help people work through their blocks, so is there such a thing as money journaling? And, how do you even do it?
Good news! Yes, there is such a thing as money journaling, and we’re going to walk you through how to do it. Plus, how to get the most from your efforts to help you improve your relationship with money and reach your financial goals faster.
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What is a money journal?
You may be wondering what a money journal is. Simply put, it’s a daily record of how you spend your money and feel about your finances.
It can help you monitor where your money goes on an average day, identify any spending outside of the norm, and help identify any spending triggers that you have.
Money journaling can be a powerful tool to work through your money blocks (aka limiting beliefs about money) and to help keep you focused on being positive and working towards progress.
The goal is to help you better understand why you do the things you do with money and how to use those traits, or shift your money mindset, to work in your favor.
How to get started money journaling – the basics
Here are some steps to get started with maintaining a financial journal…
1) Grab a journal
This can be anything from a simple notebook to a special-purpose money journal. Just make sure that it’s something you will use regularly and is accessible to you so you can write in it daily.
If you’re using a bullet journal to help manage your finances, you should dedicate some pages in there just for journaling exercises.
- ✅ The Best Daily Journal Ever: This daily journal with prompts is a gratitude journal, affirmation journal, positivity journal, manifestation journal, self-care journal, habit tracker and journal planner all-in-one. The journal includes a daily inspirational quote and space for your affirmations, daily gratitude, and extra space for daily journaling.
2) Gather your spending info
Start by collecting all the receipts from one week- this will give you enough information to fill out at least seven days worth of entries in your money journal. Or, if you use a debit or credit card, you can track your spending for a week from those records.
3) Log & reflect
Log your receipts/purchases and describe how you feel about the purchase. This may seem stupid when you’re logging your grocery trip, but this will give you an idea of where your money is going and help to identify any patterns in your spending habits. Try to remember at least one thing about each receipt that made you feel good/better. or even bad.
For example, you may uncover a pattern where on Tuesdays, after your weekly trail run, you always spend $7 at the smoothie bar on the way home as a special treat. This is okay if you love smoothies, but if you’re only so-so on them, this could be an easy place to cut.
4) Notice trends as you move forward
Take notice of your emotions as you’re spending. Are you thrilled to be at the mall? Or are you feeling stressed out by how much time money it’s going to take just to get through this week? Log these feelings (you can make up your own emojis if you want).
Those are the basics of traditional money journaling. However, that’s not where we’ll end this. There are many other journaling exercises that you can layer in to amplify your work and your results.
5) Process the info and make a plan
After you fill a journal (or even every three months), go back and reread through your entries. You should be able to see your trends more clearly (as you’re looking for patterns).
Do you like what you see? Or, do you need to make a plan on how to shift your behavior to be more in line with your financial goals?
Write down the trend that you see, why you like it (or don’t like it), and how you are going to shift. Be very specific with this part. Be detailed in what you need to do.
Next, create a one-sentence affirmation about this goal, and write it daily it down in your money journal daily so that you keep your focus on what matters most.
Journal about your financial goals
You may also want to write down your goals, what they mean, and why they matter. Remember, your financial why for your goals can be so impactful.
A great savings goal is, “My goal is to save for a down payment on a house in the next two years.”
This could be delved further into – providing security and safety for my family is my most important goal, and having dedicated housing is how you achieve that feeling of safety.
Remember, getting to the root issue/feeling of a goal can help you stay laser-focused on it when the going gets tough.
If you’re not sure about your money goals, they could be around anything – cutting expenses by 20%, become a budgeting badass, no impulse purchases at Target, etc. Be sure to check out how this post on creating smart financial goals. The key is being specific and detailed.
Journal out your prayers
Many times people find a lot of comfort in offering up their prayers to the Lord about their finances. Doing this can ease your burden and really help you clarify what you need help with. At first, you may feel stuck or stiff, but keep at it and the words will soon begin to flow.
Use journal prompts to help jumpstart your money journaling session
Money journaling isn’t just about logging your receipts and how you feel about those specific purchases. It is a fantastic way to reflect on your overall financial situation
One of the best ways to do this is by using journal prompts or questions to help start your money journaling session. Because staring at a blank page with no idea what to write about isn’t helpful, it can even be a bit terrifying.
There’s no right or wrong way to use journal prompts; you can use them daily (just as you would a gratitude journal), weekly, etc. You just want to be sure to do them consistently; working them into your weekly finance check-in can be the perfect spot.
Try to spend at least 10 minutes on each journaling question before quitting or moving on to the next (if you’re doing more than one at a time).
Journaling prompts for money blocks
If you’re feeling stuck in your relationship with money or like you can’t seem to make any progress, using journaling prompts may be a great way to get started uncovering where the money block really is. Then you can work on eliminating those limiting beliefs about money.
Some people call this shadow work journaling, which makes a lot of sense because the things that you’re blocking or hiding from yourself about money aren’t always apparent.
This can be especially true if your financial situation is bleak; perhaps out-of-control debt, an inability to make ends meet every month despite working really hard at multiple jobs, etc.
Here are ten examples of journal prompts that you could ask yourself:
- What do I feel guilty about with regards to my money?
- I’m frustrated because ____________. And that’s why I want to change it. What could help me move closer towards changing this and getting rid of the frustration?
- Why do I feel the need to ________ when it comes to my pay/spending money/buying gifts for others?
- __________ is my kryptonite when it comes to spending money? Is this good for me?
- Explore how you deal with money stress. Do you avoid the issues and hope they will go away on their own? Do you channel your worry into another activity, such as working, eating, or exercising? Do you think you handle financial situations in a healthy or unhealthy manner? Free write about this…
- What are some things I tell myself about money daily, weekly, or monthly basis? Are these things always true?
- Do my thoughts and feelings around money change during different times of the year (e.g., January – New Year’s Resolutions time; March – tax season)?
- I don’t feel confident with my money management skills because…
- What would you tell your younger self about handling money?
- I am not _________ enough when it comes to money. To flip this around, I need to ________. Write out a 5-point detailed plan of how to get there.
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Journal prompts for financial freedom
One of the ultimate goals for many people is financial freedom. This could mean many different things to different people, but there are some general themes that often come up.
Ten ideas for journal prompts around financial freedom…
- What does financial freedom look like to me?
- How will I know when I’ve reached it?
- If I felt confident with money, I would…
- One actionable step that I could take today to move closer toward financial freedom is to…
- What activities am I doing that are responsible for 80% of my financial results?
- How much money do I need to feel secure for the rest of my life? Why is this the amount? What does this amount mean to me?
- Describe an instance where money helped you feel amazing/free. How much money did it take? Could that feeling be achieved by spending less? Or spending nothing?
- I deserve to be wealthy because…
- Who is my financial role model, and why?
- If I were to receive 10 million dollars today, I would… (be specific and descriptive).
Journal prompts to help uncover your money story
Your money story is made up of all the things that have happened in your life related to money or finances. It is how you feel about yourself and money, including any emotions (sadness, anger, frustration) and patterns of behaviors around spending/saving and debt repayment.
Your money story starts to develop at a very young age; think five years old. It’s influenced by the people around us and how they talk and act around money (usually our parents or who raised us).
Look over these questions for financial story prompts:
- My earliest memory of money is when…
- When people brought up money at my house, it would be/feel like…
- Were my parents on the same page about money? How did their words and actions differ from each other? What did that tell me?
- What was the first time I bought something with money? What did it feel like to spend my own hard-earned cash on that item?
- When I got older and started earning my own income, what were some of my early financial decisions around paychecks/bills/etc.? Did I make good decisions, or what did I learn from them?
- How do people in your life now talk about or handle money? Are my friends’ spenders, savers, avoiders?
- How do you want to handle money with your significant other? Any changes from how your parents did things or how you do something now?
- What and how do you want to teach your children about money?
- Do I consider myself to be a spender/saver/avoider? What is my money personality?
- Write a letter to money, as if they were a person, telling them what kind of relationship you would like to have with them.
Money journaling with positive money affirmations
I am a massive fan of positive affirmations because they can transform your life. I hope you’re as excited about this journaling practice as I am!
When it comes to money affirmations, think of them as training wheels for making a giant leap or change in your financial attitude. They are little reminders that help keep the bigger picture forefront and remind us that we have what it takes, even when we might feel like something is too big to take on or believe.
The way they work? Say it, write it, think it, and read it over & over. It gets in your subconscious (where lasting change happens) until you start believing what the affirmations say about you. You don’t need a ton of them either; just a few very relevant and focused phrases that connect with you on a deep level.
How to use positive money affirmations as a part of money journalling
Many people say their affirmations at a time when they’re alone with their thoughts and can really focus. Sometimes daily as part of their morning routine. Or, others use affirmations when they’re feeling down as a way to snap themselves out of it. Just make sure you know why you’re using them and what outcome you’d like to achieve.
Here are ten examples of money affirmations:
- I am worthy of financial abundance.
- Money comes to me easily and effortlessly.
- I am passionate about my work, and I love how it brings in a great income.
- My spending habits align with my financial goals.
- Wealth constantly flows into my life.
- My finances improve beyond my dreams.
- I am attracting money at this very moment.
- I am open and receptive to all the wealth life brings me.
- I have the power to be a financially successful person.
- I have the power to improve my relationship with money.
You want to pick an affirmation (or 2-3) that you really connect with, one that means something to you on a visceral level. If none of the above work for you, be sure to check out 250+ money affirmations to Catapult Your Wealth.
You’ll want to write out your affirmations in your finance journal daily, and you’ll want to say them as you write and honestly believe in the truth of that statement. It will feel silly initially, but slowly over time, your mindset will shift.
Money manifestation journaling prompts using affirmations
I’m all for using the power of positivity, but I am still working on how I believe in manifestation and work it into a place where it doesn’t feel weird for me. My very logical brain has a hard time letting go and just believing. But one thing that has helped me has been this next process.
Pick 2-5 money manifestation affirmations that define how I want to feel about my financial life and use them for a journaling prompt as to how to get I get closer to there.
For example, I really like the affirmation, “Money comes to me easily and effortlessly.” As sometimes it just feels hard. So I write about what I need to do in order to feel that way. Do I need to be less reactive? Do I need to see more of the good and focus less on the bad? And so forth. It’s an exercise that puts that positive affirmation in my brain and helps me unpack it.
Some other good money manifestation affirmations are…
- I am open and receptive to all the wealth life brings me.
- I attract money beyond my wildest dreams.
- The more I focus on joy, the more money I will make.
- I attract money to give to others.
- Money is energy, and it flows into my life constantly.
- I have the power to attract wealth and money into my life.
- I choose to focus on money flowing to me with ease.
- I can see examples of abundance all around.
- Money chooses me, always.
- I visualize myself having money and I receive more money.
At the end of the day
Money is one of those topics that people are often uncomfortable talking about, but it’s also something we all have to deal with daily. That’s why it’s so important to make sure our relationship with money is as healthy as possible.
By taking the time to write down how we feel about money and then reading it to understand and uncover things, you can start seeing yourself in a whole new light. One that focuses on your financial goal and living an abundant life, instead of what’s lacking or what you don’t have. Money journaling is one of the most impactful tools you can use to help you reach your financial goals.
Articles related to money journaling:
- Your Money Mindset is Your Most Important Asset (and Here’s Why)
- Wishing for Wealth? Here’s How to Manifest Money
- Can You Change Your Tragic Money Story to One of Triumph?
- Conquer Your Money Demons by Dumping Your Limiting Beliefs About Money
- 5 Simple Ways to Help You Reach Financial Abundance