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Have you been trying to stay on track financially?  Have you had trouble keeping spending in line here at the Jersey Shore?  After a few months indoors you might feel like splurging just a little.

Spending money is okay, but it needs to be tracked and organized. For many, apps on their phone or spreadsheets on the computer help them achieve this task, but even the best technology can fall short when it comes to building good habits.

That’s where bullet journaling comes in. What is it exactly? Bullet journaling is a simple, organized system that helps people kick start their to-do lists and stay on track with goals.  This can really help people keep track of their spending habits and make sure they’re all set to retire here at the Jersey Shore.

How Does Bullet Journaling Work?

Bullet journals can look like an everyday journal, or you can add color to make it more fun! Whatever works best for you, it’s just important to make your journal exciting enough to stick with. People work in different ways, meaning your bullet journal should be work specifically for YOU to reach your goals.

How Can Bullet Journaling Help You Reach Your Goals?

Bullet journals allow you to keep a record of:

  • Your financial goals
  • Your spending habits
  • Random observations you make about your money habits

It’s one thing to make a mental note of your spending habits in the moment, but it’s a totally different thing to put it in writing.  This adds accountability and allows for reflection after the fact.  You can really think about whether or not that purchase will help or hurt your chances of buying that retirement home in Spring Lake, or joining the private golf club in Manasquan.  Retirement at the Jersey Shore isn’t cheap, but it is absolutely doable with an organized system for financial accountability!

Bullet Journaling for Your Retirement Plans in New Jersey

While bullet journaling can be used for anything from tracking sleep patterns to weight loss, or tackling your daily to-do list, here are a few ways to bullet journal your way towards a better budget.

Plan for Upcoming Vacations or Big Purchases

If you’ve been wanting to make a big purchase or splurge on an upcoming event, use your journal to keep track of how much you need to save. This active form of budgeting is key in any good financial plan.

Have you been dreaming about your next trip to Europe? Find out the cost of flights, hotels, food, etc. and start putting aside money for that.

Have you been dreaming about buying a boat to go fishing out of Point Pleasant? Figure out how much you’re going to need and physically write it down in your journal.

Drawing a visual representation of what you’re saving for can help make your goals feel more REAL. With all of the technology that exists today, it seems very basic to hand-write things in a journal, but there’s something about putting pen to paper that helps things sink in to your brain.

Track your Monthly Expenses

According to a recent survey, only 14% of respondents used cash to pay for everyday purchases. Putting all of our purchases on cards/apps/other digital payment methods makes things easier, but it also makes it easier for spending to get out of control.

At the end of the month (or sooner), use your bullet journal to track your expenses. You can simply list out what the money was spent on and how much.  You can also use this as an opportunity to include reasoning behind a purchase.

Budgets aren’t set in stone, and should have flexibility to an extent.  Maybe that night out on the Asbury Park boardwalk wasn’t planned, but adjustments can be made as long as your expenses are being tracked.

Again, having a tool to visualize what you’re spending in comparison to what you’re saving can be an eye-opening way to reassess your budget.

Pair it With Your Favorite Financial App

Apps can be more useful in immediately alerting you to overspending, helping you budget in real-time. While journaling is still great for reflecting on your spending later down the line, or revisiting over and over again as needed, an app can help keep you more accountable upfront.

Journaling is a great tool to reinforce those goals established in your financial plan.  A retirement goal here is only as good as the budget you set for yourself.  Those short term, month-to-month, expenses in your budget will add up to decide if you ultimately meet your goals or not.

If you need help making your budget, or getting your financial plan up and running, we would be happy to speak with you.  You can click here to schedule an initial meeting, or give the office a call at (732) 223-9000We want to help make your dream of retiring at the Jersey Shore a reality!

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