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Money journaling can improve your finances
If you’re ready to improve your personal finances, then money journaling is a powerful habit to help you reach your goals.
A huge part of being successful with money management is recognizing those mental blocks that keep you from getting ahead. These blocks can be very obvious, or they can be difficult to identify because they’re subconscious.
Journaling about your relationship with money, financial goals, and money blocks can help you experience major breakthroughs in your quest for financial freedom.
In this post, I’ll explain what money journaling is, how to use money journaling prompts, and why you should implement money journaling into your daily routine.
Grab this FREE 100 Money Journaling Prompts downloadable workbook, and start transforming your money mindset!
What is a money journal?
To start, you’ll need to have a money journal. This is simply some type of notebook or journal where you can record your thoughts, reflections, goals, and feelings about money.
Just writing things out will give you more clarity and understanding with your beliefs around money and the obstacles you need to overcome.
As you identify various money blocks and limiting beliefs, you can start to address each one by challenging your thoughts and taking positive action.
This can be a very empowering experience, because you’ll likely discover deep-seated money attitudes and assumptions that are false. When you finally know what’s been holding you back, you have the power to make those changes that will propel your progress forward.
In your money journal, you can keep an ongoing record of many factors that contribute to your relationship with money:
- Thoughts & ideas
- Questions and answers
- Goals and dreams
- Interests and values
- Limiting and empowering beliefs
- Strategies and action plans
The main objective is to deeply consider how each of these aspects has affected your financial journey. It’s essential that you recognize those beliefs and actions that are preventing you from reaching your financial goals.
Why should I journal about my relationship with money?
Money journaling will help you develop a self-awareness surrounding your perspectives and habits with money.
There are plenty of people who get stuck and never reach financial freedom because they don’t realize they’re working against themselves. The limiting beliefs and defeating attitudes about money that become second nature can create a scarcity mindset over time. This is why it’s so important to be intentional with challenging your own thoughts and perceptions.
When you begin to write down your thoughts and feelings about money, you’ll become more conscious of those money attitudes and behaviors that are actually obstacles to your personal finance success. Money journaling will give you the clarity you need to recognize the reasons behind your lack of progress.
How to get started with money journaling
Although money journaling takes time, intention, and some deep self-reflection, getting started is very easy.
You could make it as simple as finding a spiral-bound notebook and just start writing, as a stream-of-conscious exercise. Or, maybe you’re inspired by a lovely journal, quality pen, and a cozy spot. Some will get their mental juices flowing by incorporating colored markers, stickers and graphics into their journaling.
However you decide to journal, the important thing is to create some space and time where you won’t be interrupted. You want to be able to think deeply without distractions, without someone or something cutting short your journaling process.
A helpful habit is to be consistent with your journaling. Writing occasionally and randomly won’t give you the same results as making it a regular practice. If your schedule allows, choose a daily or weekly time when you can commit to money journaling. Even 10-15 minutes each time will reap some powerful benefits for you.
Here are a few steps you can consider as you begin to journal:
- Decide on your preferred journaling tool. This could be a spiral notebook, a regular or bullet journal, or even a word processing program on your computer. There are also websites where you can create your own private journal, so it’s available to you no matter what device you have with you or where you are. I recommend Penzu because it’s free.
- Find a space where you can journal without interruptions. This might be a coffee shop, library, spare bedroom, or home office.
- Consider what helps you get into a reflective mindset. Maybe a candle or some calm instrumental music in the background. Or, perhaps sitting next to a window helps you to focus on deeper thinking. Prepare to avoid anything that might be a distraction, such as uncomfortable temperatures, phone notifications, or external noise.
- You may want to begin by writing about your own money story. What did your parents teach you about money? What are some money decisions you’ve made in the past? When did you first learn to start managing your own money? Reflecting on your past will help you identify your current money beliefs.
- Be aware of your emotions as you write. Do you feel stressed? Fear? Anger? Resentment? Hopelessness? Write your feelings down as they arise. You may even want to dedicate a page in your journal as a feelings tracker.
- Always try to end your money journaling session with a hopeful sentiment or idea. Write down a goal, empowering belief, inspiring quote, or a challenging thought.
These are just suggestions to help you get started. The great thing about money journaling is it’s personal to you, so you decide what you want to put into it and get out of it.
Later, I’ll go over several money journaling prompts you can use as springboards to future money journaling sessions.
What to journal about
As I mentioned in the previous section, journaling is a personal exercise and you should write about topics that are most important and relevant to you.
There are many areas in your personal finances that you could explore. Here are several to give you some ideas:
- Financial goals
- Money mindset
- Limiting beliefs
- Money blocks
- Money management
- Your money story
- Your relationship with money
- Money values
- Needs vs wants
- Purpose of money in my life
- Leaving a financial legacy / generational wealth
- What financial freedom means to me
It’s important to keep a good balance between negative and positive issues. If you get too focused on all of the problems you’re facing, you may feel too discouraged to take action.
With every session, make sure you’re giving both sides equal consideration. After all, money journaling isn’t just about identifying the obstacles. The end goal is to determine how you can overcome these obstacles and more forward with a healthier money mindset.
How to use money journal prompts
I’ve listed 100 money journal prompts below to help you get started on your money journaling. There are lots of ideas, but don’t get overwhelmed!
Let me give you some tips on how to use these money mindset journal prompts.
- First, there is no one right way to use these prompts. They are simply offered as suggestions to give you a little inspiration. You don’t even have to use any of them if you already have some topics in mind.
- Second, you don’t need to go in any particular order. You decide where you want to start, and how your journaling progresses.
- Third, I recommend you pick just one prompt to write about during each journaling session. You might be able to completely address a prompt in 10 minutes, or you might feel like you need a week to write everything down. There is no rush! The important thing is to be purposeful and thorough.
- Finally, don’t overthink! Sometimes you just need to start writing even if you don’t know where you’re going with your thoughts. You can even start with jotting down single words, or you can draw a picture. If you wait until you can write with perfection, you may never get a word down.
A list of 100 money journal prompt ideas to guide you
How you perceive and handle your personal finances has been shaped by your life experiences since you were a child. Your money mindset is a very personal and multi-faceted part of your overall beliefs.
To help you identify what beliefs and actions are both helping and hurting your financial progress, here are 100 money journal prompts to guide you.
- When I think about money, I feel …
- How do I want to feel about money? How is it different from how I feel now?
- How would I define my relationship with money? Is it awkward, or stressful, or insecure? Or is it romantic, professional, or confident?
- How do I invest in my relationship with money? Do I give it a lot of attention, or do I avoid it?
- How does money make me feel guilty? Frustrated? Resentful? Worried? Happy? Hopeful?
- What is my biggest fear with money? My biggest regret? My biggest dream?
- What are my spending triggers? How can I avoid them?
- What are my money values? Do I make them a priority? How?
- What causes financial stress in my life? How do I deal with money stress?
- How do I feel about sharing about my financial situation with others?
- Do I get jealous when I hear of others’ personal finance success?
- How do I feel about wealthy people? What are my preconceptions about them? Why?
- What do I feel obligated to or for when it comes to spending money?
- When do I feel hopeful about money? When do I feel hopeless?
- What are the scripts that I tell myself in relation to money? Are they true? How can I prove them?
- What beliefs about money do I need to change? What beliefs should I replace them with?
- Do I believe I can always make more money? Or do I believe there will never be enough? Why?
- What does it mean to me to not have enough money? What does it mean to me to have too much?
- Do I live to make money, or make money to live?
- How do I use my money to make my life better?
- What do I believe is the purpose of money? Do I want to change this belief? To what?
- What would financial freedom look like to me?
- Do I believe I deserve to have financial freedom?
- Do I believe I’m capable of achieving financial freedom?
- How will I know I’ve achieved financial freedom?
- How do I feel when I think about having more money?
- What areas do I feel confident about money management?
- What areas do I feel insecure about money management?
- When did I feel the most secure about money? When did I feel the most insecure?
- What would I tell my younger self about money?
- What would I ask my future self about money?
- What would my future self tell me about how I’m managing my money today?
- What financial advice would I give to someone just out of college?
- If there were no limitations, I would ___________ with my money.
- What habits and actions are contributing to my financial troubles?
- What habits and actions are helping with financial progress?
- How much money do I think I really need? Why this amount?
- How much money would I need to achieve financial freedom? Why this amount?
- How has money contributed to my happiness? Why, what happened?
- How has money contributed to my stress? How?
- Who is my financial role model? Why?
- If I were to receive 1 million dollars today, I would _________________
- If I had to spend $25,000 right now, I would _____________________
- Do I believe I can use money to impact the world? If so, how would I do that?
- My earliest memory of money is _________________. How do I feel when I think about it?
- When my parents talked about money, I felt ____________________
- How did my parents relate to each other about money? Did they partner together, or fight about differences?
- How did my parents handle their finances together?
- What did my parents talk about regarding money? Were they generally positive conversations, or negative ones?
- What phrases did my parents use repeatedly about money? How did they affect my own beliefs about money?
- How did my parents deal with financial difficulties?
- The lessons my parents taught me about money were ___________________
- The lessons I wish my parents had taught me are __________________
- List 5 ways your outlook on money has changed since you were a child.
- How do I feel when I spend cash as opposed to using my credit card?
- How did I handle my money after I got my first job?
- How have I been responsible with money? How have I been irresponsible?
- How have I learned from my past financial mistakes? How did my actions change with my money?
- How do I handle money with my partner? How is this different than my parents?
- What do I want to teach my children about money? (or, what do you want to teach your future kids about money?)
- Do I see myself as a spender or saver? Why? How is money personality represented in my actions?
- If money were a person, what would I say to her in a letter? Write a short letter to money, expressing how you feel towards her. Let her know how you want to improve your relationship with her.
- How do I believe my relationships would be affected if I had a lot of money? How do I believe others would perceive me? Why?
- How do I feel about wanting more money? Do I feel it’s wrong / selfish / unethical? How does it align with my spiritual beliefs?
- How would I feel about myself if I had a lot of money? What would I believe about myself?
- List all the possible ways you could increase your wealth. Which ones are you willing to do?
- What is currently working in my personal finances? What is not working?
- What do I most enjoy about my current financial situation? What do I least enjoy?
- What am I afraid to change? What am I afraid to sacrifice? What am I afraid to do?
- What excuses are holding me back from achieving financial freedom?
- What is the best piece of advice I ever received about money? What has been the most powerful lesson?
- What is the best financial decision I ever made? What is the worst? What lessons did I learn from both?
- What do I want my finances to look like in 5 years? 10 years? In retirement?
- What’s the most important thing money can buy me? What’s the most important thing money could never buy me?
- What are my short-term financial goals? mid-term? long-term?
- What do I look forward to the most when I think about having financial freedom? Why?
- Do I believe I can have financial security without being wealthy? Why or why not?
- What does generational wealth mean to me? Is it important? Do I feel responsible to create it? Why or why not?
- What do I want my financial legacy to be?
- What do I need to do to strengthen my financial literacy? Create a plan to do this.
- How do I feel about financial life in retirement? Does it scare me to run out of money? Or am I confident I’ll have enough?
- How does my environment affect my attitude toward money? My relationships? My job? My faith?
- What do I need to remove from my life so I can move forward easier?
- What is your ideal way to generate more income? What do you need to do to make this happen?
- If I knew I had 30 days to live, how would I spend my money?
- Do I believe money can bring me true peace and joy? If yes, how? If no, what can?
- How do I express love and appreciation for others through money?
- How do I feel about tithing and charitable contributions? Do I feel guilty if I don’t give? Do I worry I won’t have enough left?
- What are the money decisions that I’ve made in the past 10 years that I’m most proud of?
- What are my skills and strengths that I can use to achieve my financial goals? What skills could I learn to help me?
- What are the 3 biggest financial challenges I’m facing right now? List 5 actionable steps you can take to solve them.
- List 5 affirmations that would help you develop a more positive money mindset.
- List 5 scriptures or quotes that encourage you in your current financial situation.
- List 5 tasks you can complete this week that support your financial goals.
- Create two columns in your money journal. In the first, list 5 limiting beliefs you have about money. In the 2nd, list 5 empowering beliefs you can replace them with.
- Create a vision page in your journal with drawings or pictures of how you envision life once you achieve financial freedom.
- List 12 personal finance books that will help you strengthen your financial literacy. Read one a month, then journal about what you learned from each one.
- Write down what your money values are, and how you can make them a priority in your financial life.
- Who do you look up to when it comes to money? Write down all the reasons you admire this person and how they handle their finances. If you know them personally, consider asking them to mentor you.
- Create a 5-year plan to accomplish 3 long-term financial goals.
How to use affirmations in your journaling about finances
I don’t subscribe to the “name it and claim it” teaching, the law of attraction, or the belief that my thoughts will manifest my reality. However, I do believe that what I allow into my mind will ultimately affect how I feel and how I behave.
This is why I listen to a lot of audiobooks that encourage me in my Christian faith, and inspire me to become a better person. When I open myself up to this type of content, I feel hopeful and motivated. This, in turn, leads me to take action, which results in progress.
As you explore your beliefs and behaviors surrounding money, you can use affirmations, quotes, bible verses, or anything that inspires you to think powerful thoughts. When you meditate on these thoughts repeatedly, you’re building new beliefs. These new beliefs lead to aligning behaviors, which help you achieve your personal finance goals.
However, there is one very important aspect to this exercise that you need to understand.
You must be certain that the affirmations you are using are actually true.
For example, maybe you decide to affirm yourself with the idea that you will become a millionaire within 12 months. This, in fact, is a wonderful and exciting thought. However, it’s not true. Yes, it’s a positive notion and a lofty goal. And, I guess you could say it’s not impossible. But, you cannot state it as a fact.
Instead, you can encourage yourself by focusing on the idea that you are capable of taking control of your finances and achieving debt freedom. Because you are capable! Will you actually do it? Well, that’s something completely different. But you can state this affirmation as a fact that you can believe in.
So, how could you use affirmations in your money journaling practice?
I would suggest you find sources that you trust. Authors, bloggers, or podcasters that have experienced success through hard work and consistent effort. Be inspired by their stories, and keep a record of quotes, ideas, and encouraging words that they offer.
Personally, I turn to the Bible frequently to find truth. There’s a lot in there that speaks of improving one’s mindset, and I know that it all aligns with my faith and values. I’m always encouraged after reading scripture.
Here are a few examples of affirmations you can use when money journaling:
- I am fully capable of increasing my income.
- There are opportunities all around me to make more money.
- I can take steps to align my spending habits with my financial goals.
- I am not a victim of my circumstances. I can make better choices to improve my financial future.
- I have what it takes to be a financially successful person.
- I am grateful for the skills I have, because they help me bring in a good income.
- I am not stuck in old patterns of thinking. I have control over my thoughts, and I can choose to change what I believe.
When you come up with an affirmation that is helpful, write it in your journal. Then, read it on a daily basis, and meditate on it throughout the day.
Over time, your mindset will start to shift in a more productive direction.
Commit to money journaling for 90 days
Now that you know what money journaling is and how it can help you reach your personal finance goals, it’s time to make it a habit.
Commit to writing in your money journal consistently for the next 90 days. This could mean 10 minutes every day, or 20 minutes three times a week. Choose a schedule you can stick to and that provides the optimal benefit for you.
Working through money issues requires time, patience, and intention. Make the practice of money journaling a priority with a personal commitment. After several weeks, you’ll be encouraged by the insights and self-awareness you’ve discovered.
Don’t forget to download this FREE 100 Money Journaling Prompts printable workbook, and start transforming your money mindset today!
Getting in touch with the reasons behind your beliefs and behaviors with money can help you overcome any mindset obstacles holding you back. Money journaling can be a very effective method to do this.
Take the time and effort to dig deeper to uncover deep-seated perceptions that drive your behaviors on a daily basis. Identify the blocks that keep you from improving your finances, so you can take the steps to remove them.
Use the money mindset journal prompts in this post to get you started. Slow down, reflect, and write about your own feelings and experiences with money throughout your life.
You may discover that financial freedom is closer than you realized.
Other posts you may enjoy:
- Money Values: How To Align Your Priorities With Your Spending
- 9 Powerful Benefits of Setting Financial Goals
- 5 Principles To Change Your Life After 50
- The Mexican Fisherman: 5 Lessons To Live By
- How To Create An Abundant Mindset
- 5 Ways Limiting Beliefs Harm Us
- 5 Money Lessons I Wish My Parents Had Taught Me
- 21 Powerful Benefits of the Quality Over Quantity Mindset
- How To Meet Your Future Self and Change Your Life
- A Willingness To Change: Here’s the How & the Why
I hope you enjoyed reading