Create a money vision board and achieve your financial goals
Have you ever written down a list of personal goals, full of motivation and determination, only to forget all about them a few weeks later?
Yeah, me too.
I think we all struggle with staying focused on the various goals we set for ourselves. It’s not that we don’t have the vision or the ability. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of being too distracted with other things in life.
In this post, I’m going to tell you about a powerful tool that will help you stay motivated and focused on financial goals you have. Whether you want to save for a vacation, pay off your credit cards, or pay off your mortgage early, this tool will help you take the financial steps necessary.
The tool I’m talking about is a money vision board. You may have heard of vision boards before, but I’ll tell you how a financial vision board can be very effective with achieving your financial objectives. I’ll also give you the step by step process for how to create a money vision board.
Ready to learn the power of vision boards and start crushing your goals?
Let’s get started.
What is a money vision board?
In general, a vision board is a visual representation of your achieved goals. It’s a way to tie your current efforts to your future success.
A money vision board is specifically for financial goals you have for yourself. This could be a job with a higher salary, a new car, college tuition for your kids, a fully-funded retirement account, etc.
Your money vision board will reflect how your life will change once you’ve achieved your goals. Typically considered a collage of pictures and inspirational phrases that portray your financial aspirations, your vision board can be as simple or as elaborate as you like.
For example, maybe you have a goal of buying a boat. You could just print out a picture of the type of boat you want. Or, you could also include actual pictures of a boat on a lake, barbecuing on a boat, fishing on a boat, and whatever else gets you motivated to save for a boat.
In other words, it’s not just about achieving the goal of buying a boat. A vision board gives you a daily reminder of the purpose and emotional connection to your financial goal, which is what really keeps you motivated.
What is the purpose of a money vision board?
The perfect vision board for you will keep you focused on your efforts to achieve your goals. It should be a powerful visual reminder of what you want, and why you want it.
Research has shown the benefits of writing, planning, and visualizing goals. Besides the obvious fact that you’ll remember something better if you have a visual cue to look at, there are some important neurological changes happening in your brain when you put your goals down on a piece of paper.
Creating a vision board helps your brain to “encode” your goals, which allows you to store them in long-term memory. Also, the cognitive processing that goes into creating a financial vision board can create an indelible impression on your brain. Both of these effects help you to remember your goals and why they’re important to you.
In addition, creating a vision board activates the power of visualization and imagination, which is essential to goal success. Both abilities create a steady stimulation of the brain’s Reticular Activating System (RAS), which focuses the subconscious mind on any information related to the goals we want to achieve.
Maybe the most powerful reason to create a money vision board is that the brain cannot tell the difference between what is real and what is imagined. When you meditate on physical and mental pictures of your desired goals, your mind will start believing it’s already a reality.
This belief drives you to take the necessary action that will align what you believe (achieving your goal) and what you’re experiencing (not having your goal yet). This is how professional athletes reach high levels of performance.
When you apply this strategy to your finances, you are essentially convincing yourself that your money goals are within reach. If you believe that they can become a reality, your brain will look for opportunities to make this happen.
Why should I have a vision board for financial goals?
Many aspects of life can be tied to a person’s finances. Your home, your job, your life experiences, and even your relationships can have a connection to money.
This is why it’s important to recognize those values that are impacted by your finances. Every financial goal you achieve will have an impact on what you value in your life.
Maybe you want to create more meaningful experiences with your family by traveling together. This will require you to save up the money for airfare, hotels, and activities.
Perhaps you want to provide more opportunities for your kids, so they can have a better chance at a good life. This could mean opening a college fund account and making monthly contributions.
Or, maybe you want to stop feeling so much stress and worry in your life, which is affecting your marriage. You might need to make a financial goal of getting out of debt.
Money goals aren’t just about having more money. Achieving the financial objectives you set for yourself can positively impact and support your relational, mental, and emotional health as well.
Another helpful reason you should have a money vision board is because they can help you track your progress with charts and graphs. When you quantify your goals with numbers, you then have a way to measure your progress more accurately.
How to create the perfect vision board in 4 steps
I mentioned earlier that you can decide how simple or sophisticated your vision board will be.
However, there are some steps you can take to maximize the impact your vision board will have on achieving your financial goals.
If you want to get the most benefit from your vision board, here is a step-by-step guide to help you create your own.
1. Start with defining your financial goals
Your vision board should clearly and accurately depict the goals you want to achieve, and what that would look like in your life. So, it’s important to first take the time to define what your goals are.
Don’t rush this step. Take some time to really consider those aspirations that money can help you achieve. Envision what it would be like to reach your financial goals. Use your imagination to see in your mind’s eye how your life would be better.
Then, make a list of your top 3-5 money goals. They can be either short-term or long-term financial goals, or both.
2. Gather pictures, images, cutouts, and other materials
Next, collect the materials you’ll need to create your vision board. The most significant part of your vision board is the images you’ll choose. Look for images that represent successfully reaching your goals.
The list of suggestions below isn’t required or exhaustive, so use what works for you.
- a sheet of paper, construction paper, cardstock, or poster board
- a collection of images, photos, magazine cutouts, printed inspirational phrases and quotes, stickers, and any other visual elements or embellishments you want to add to your board
- goal trackers
- pair of scissors
- glue or double stick tape
- colored markers
- a frame
The materials you use to create your vision board will depend on your preferences. You could make a vision board that fits on an 8.5 x11 sheet of cardstock paper, or you could make it on a large poster board. You could use your own photos, cut them out of magazines, or print them off a website. You can also create a document where you type out the phrases and quotes you want to use, then print it and cut them out.
Try to gather 20-30 visual elements for your vision board. You probably won’t use all of them, but that will give you a good selection to choose from when you start arranging the elements.
Make sure that each image prompts some positive emotional response. You want every picture to be a visual reminder of what you really want to achieve.
There are several places where you can find images to print out. Look on Pinterest, Instagram, or stock photo websites like Unsplash and Pixabay.
If you want to use your own photos, simply upload them to a 1-hour photo service like CVS or Walmart.
3. Arrange the vision board elements into a collage
Now that you have all of the images, words, and trackers you want to use, it’s time to arrange them on the paper or poster board.
You may want to order your images according to time, cost, or effort. You could also arrange them by categories (debt, retirement, savings, etc.). Of course, you don’t have to have any specific arrangement. However, be sure you decide on the final arrangement before you start gluing them into place!
Once you’ve arranged all of the elements (and before you start gluing), step back and look at the collage from a distance. You want to make sure that everything is visible and the collage of images as a whole is an accurate visual representation of your goals.
If it looks too cluttered, or too simple, make some adjustments. You want to create an eye-catching vision board that is inspiring and one you enjoy looking at.
After you’ve put everything in place, glue each piece down. If you’re adding a tracker to your board, you may want to just use a small piece of tape, so you can remove it easily to add updates. If you don’t have a tracker, you can put your vision board in a frame if you like. (The nice thing about a glass frame is that you can write on it with a dry erase marker!)
4. Put your vision board in a place you’ll see daily
Last but not least, be intentional about where you will keep your vision board. You want to place it in a location where you will see it daily.
Also think about when you want to look at it. After you wake up? As you’re going to or coming from work? While you’re at work?
Find an empty space on a wall, a mirror, or a cork board where you can hang it. You could also tape it to your fridge or a cabinet door. If you want to keep it in a notebook or journal, be sure to keep it out and open.
Be strategic about the place you pick, so you can spend a few moments every day to review your board thoughtfully and imagine achieving your goals. Placing your board in sight serves as an effective way to keep your goals in mind, and prompts you to take action toward them.
The more often you can look at your vision board and be reminded of your goals, the easier it will be to stay on track with your financial aspirations.
Ideas for financial vision boards
Your financial vision board will be personal to you and your own goals. There are no rules when it comes to making and using a vision board, as long as it’s effective at maintaining a clearer focus on achieving your dreams!
But, if you need a little inspiration, I’ve given you some ideas below that you’re welcome to use. For each vision board, I’ve listed some image suggestions that may inspire you. You can find these images (or similar ones) online – just Google what you’re looking for, and click on the Images tab at the top of the search page.
If you can’t download the image to print it out, take a screenshot of it on your computer. As long as you’re only using the image for personal purposes, you’re not breaking any copyright rules!
Retirement vision board
Do you dream about what your ideal retirement would look like? Then make a vision board for it!
Write down all the things you’d like to do, where you want to live, and places you want to visit. Find pictures (or take them yourself) that depict your vision of your dream retirement. Use a savings tracker to monitor your progress toward a fully-funded retirement.
Images you could search for:
- countries you want to travel to
- your ideal home in retirement
- the city or town you want to live in
- hobbies or activities you want to try out
- a retired person on vacation
Emergency fund vision board
Saving up a 3 to 6-month emergency fund is a long-term goal for many. It may take you months or even years to save up enough to cover 6 months of expenses. A vision board can help you stay motivated, give you extra focus, and keep you on track.
Here are a few images you could use for your emergency fund vision board:
- a large stack of cash
- a graph showing an increase in savings
- a “mock” bank statement showing the balance you want
- a person paying with cash
If you need to focus on building an emergency savings fund, a money vision board can help you meet your goal.
Debt-free vision board
If you’re currently burdened by a lot of debt, you probably need a good dose of inspiration and encouragement as a reminder that you *are* capable of being debt-free.
So, grab a poster board and start cutting out some pictures that motivate you to pay off those credit cards and student loans!
Here are some images that might be useful:
- credit cards that have been cut up
- a person paying cash for a large purchase
- an image that depicts peace or freedom
- inspiring debt-free quotes and phrases
Travel vision board
Traveling, especially to other countries, can be very expensive and take months of saving up. Because it’s considered a luxury, you may have resigned yourself to the idea that it’s just not a priority.
If you aspire to be a world traveler, I would encourage you to make a goal, write out a savings plan, and create a travel vision board. Don’t be discouraged by how long it takes to save the money! When you finally realize your dream in reality, you’ll be so glad you made the effort.
Some ideas for images you could use on your travel vision board:
- countries you want to visit
- landmarks or buildings you want to go to
- an airplane, boat, or train in motion
- a money jar full of cash
Vision board for financial freedom
Are you tired of living paycheck to paycheck? Do you wish you had enough money to live in financial freedom? A Financial Freedom vision board can help you achieve your money goals!
Your idea of financial freedom will look different than someone else’s. Your path to get there could also be very different as well. You’ll need to take the time to figure out what you need to do to achieve your goal.
This might mean just getting out of a mountain of debt. Or, maybe you need to increase your income. For many, both will be required.
For your vision board, you could choose the images that reflect how your life would improve if you had financial independence. Here are a few image examples you could use:
- the car you want to buy
- a vacation home by a lake
- someone getting a promotion
- a person being generous
New home vision board
Owning your own home is a big part of the American dream life. However, it requires a significant amount of money for a down payment and mortgage fees. This can be a huge deterrent for many people who are struggling to get their bills paid.
If you want to own your own home, start saving now. Write down a specific goal with numbers and deadlines. Look at your budget and come up with a plan for setting savings aside. Then, gather some materials and create a new home vision board.
Here are a few image ideas that may inspire you:
- your dream house
- your ideal kitchen, bedroom, backyard, etc.
- house keys next to an approved mortgage application
- a realtor “for sale” sign with the word “SOLD”
How to turn your vision into reality
Having a vision board to keep you motivated and focused is extremely effective, but you’ll never achieve your goals unless you take consistent action.
Goal-setting does not have to be a complicated process. Too many people get caught up in the details and unknowns, which often keeps them immobilized.
Keep it simple: have big dreams for the future, take small steps in the present.
Okay, so there’s a little more to it than that. But, your success is ultimately based on these two rules.
First, you need to figure out where you want to go, and when you want to get there. What do you want your future life to look like? What do you want to achieve?
Spend some time using your imagination, and then write down what you come up with. Here are some examples:
- I want to be out of debt in 5 years
- I want to buy a new house in 3 years
- I want to pay off my student loans in 2 years
- I want to fully retire in 10 years.
Then, break down this huge, audacious goal into smaller steps. What do you have to do this month? This week? Today? Write those steps down.
Don’t worry if you don’t know all the details. Just start moving forward, starting with that first step. It’s the only way to figure out what’s missing. You’ll figure it out as you go, the important thing is to take action.
Have a system for keeping track of your progress. Find a free savings tracker online, create a spreadsheet, or use a mobile app. Having a visual helps you realize you’re getting closer to reaching your goal and that your efforts are making some headway.
Finally, create your money vision board as a constant reminder and inspiration to keep taking steps toward your financial dreams. You’ll need this on those days when you feel a little discouraged or tired.
Don’t let your emotions or circumstances make you quit. Take a good, long look at your vision board and imagine you’re living the dream. You’ll be back on track in no time.
And, if you want a little more guidance, I’ve written many posts on financial goals and how to achieve them. Here are just a few:
- 15 Financial Goals Everyone Should Have For 2023
- How To Overcome 15 Major Obstacles To Achieving Goals For 2023
- Why Is It Important To Set Financial Goals? Here Are 9 Powerful Benefits
- How To Motivate Yourself To Achieve Your Goals (11 Effective Ways)
- How To Plan 5-Year Goals In 3 Critical Steps
How to make a digital vision board
You can make a vision board using physical materials (as outlined above), or you can create one on a computer.
A digital vision board is an easy way to create a collage that reflects your financial goals using a computer or tablet. There’s no printing, cutting, or gluing. You simply find images on the web and add them to your digital vision board.
I have done this myself using Canva. Canva is a great graphic design tool that’s perfect for beginners. It’s easy to use, and it has a free version.
You could also use a word processing program like Microsoft Word, or Google Docs.
Here is the vision board I created in Canva:
Here’s a step by step for creating a digital money vision board:
- Surf the web for images that inspire you and are connected to your goal. Either download them or take a screenshot. Be sure to save all of them in one folder on your computer.
- Open Word, Canva, or other program and choose the size of layout you want to use. This could be 8.5×11, 12×12, 11×14, etc.
- Upload and/or insert your images on to the layout. Use your creativity to arrange them in a way that’s inspiring to you. Add some motivational quotes and phrases using the text feature.
- You can either download your file as a JPG file or take a screenshot. Then, add this file to the camera roll on your phone. This way, it’s always easily accessible.
Final thoughts about using a money vision board
A money vision board can be an amazing tool you can use to help you achieve your financial goals. It’s a fun and creative way to connect your current efforts to your future success, which can strengthen the discipline and persistence to stay the course.
However, a money vision board must be used together with written life goals, action steps, tracking tools, and consistent action in order for it to be most effective.
If you’ve struggled with reaching your goals in the past, I encourage you to keep trying. Use the vision board guide in this post to make your own, and see if it helps you get past the setbacks and hurdles. Keep putting one foot in front of the other.
Nobody said achieving your dreams was easy. But, those who’ve done it know it’s worth it.
Other posts you may enjoy:
- 100 Money Journaling Prompts To Improve Your Financial Life
- 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