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Today I want to share with you some lessons and insights I gained when I decided to do a 30 day money journal challenge. I have split it up into parts because there was just so much I learned.
This morning I woke up with the sense I wanted to get some structure back into my life.
Yesterday felt full on.
I met my step mother at the Funeral Directors at 11 am. The date was set and arrangements for the day finalised. It was this experience that prompted me to write about planning your funeral while you’re still living.
I had a minor operation last week and had the dressing changed at 11:45. I’ll have the stitches out next week.
I then met with my best and we went for a walk around Westfield Shopping Centre. Don’t worry I didn’t spend lots of money.
I did spend a little bit though.
In fact the shop …
I actually walked around and left without buying anything.
I then made the mistake of looking in the window on the way out and of course saw something I wanted.
Yes, wanted and not needed.
I went back in and by the time I walked out again I had bought three items to the value of £7.
Good thing I have some money building up in my play account.
They are extremely practical and will save me time and memory power too.
They don’t add to any clutter in my house.
So what about this 30 day money journal that I did back in February of this year?
The 30 days ran from Sunday 18th February to Monday 19th March. I was inspired to do this when my friend Ntathu shared a blog post by Sarah L Cain: “I Wrote In a Money Journal For 30 Days. Here’s What Happened”.
I saw it as an opportunity to get back into journaling.
With that first journal entry I decided to set the scene. I decided that I’d be focusing on 3 areas under the heading money - making money, saving money and growing.
I’ve since wondered whether I should also include protecting money.
Mmm - is that coming from a scarcity mindset around money?
This was a useful exercise because it allowed me to think about my current income sources.
My primary income is my full time salaried job. I also receive child benefit which is will stop in September because my son has finished compulsory education.
I also had a few online projects that brought in a little bit of money. I’d recently added survey sites, which in the past I’d not been so keen on.
I guess I have been more successful than most who’ve tried to make money online. I have made some money but not anything that has been consistent.
My ultimate goal is to have multiple income sources so that I’m not relying on just one.
Whether we work for money or we’re given money by the government because we don’t work for whatever reason …
We need some kind of income to cover our basic needs.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs comes to mind.
I also like the Mad Fientist’s Hierarchy of Financial Needs.
So I wanted to work on increasing my income sources.
In the past I’ve struggled to save consistently. I hoped that the money journal would support my efforts to save money.
And I’m not just talking about money that I put into a savings account.
I wanted to find ways to pay less so that I had more left over once I paid for my essentials to save.
I knew this meant reducing my grocery bill and I’d already taken steps by swapping from Asda to Aldi.
I was looking at various discount schemes, discount cards and cashback sites. I’d also found phone apps that paid me for uploading receipts and apps that paid you to undertake shopping tasks.
I found a couple of other tools to help me to monitor my spending and help me to save more. I registered with Meet Cleo to track my spending and Plum would automatically save a small amount on a regular basis. Both I’d operate from my phone using Facebook Messenger.
You can see I was taking this seriously.
To top it all off I decided to fully implement T Harv Eker’s 6 Jar money management system. I seemed to be juggling money back and forth through the month.
I hoped that journaling and keeping daily eye on my money activities would help me to get into some kind of routine and mindful and intentional spending.
So I just wanted to give you an overview of what I hoped to gain from doing the 30 day money journal.
I’m not sure how I’m going to split it up or how many parts it will take.
I’m not going to worry about that at the moment.
The main thing is that I’ve got part one done.
If you’ve completed a money journal I’d love to know about your experience.
The Freedom At 55 Project is my journey to become more money savvy following the breakup of my relationship in my 55th year. I share what I learn about saving money, retirement planning, pensions and living a simpler life. I want you to know there is hope. It starts with reconnecting with your true self and deciding to take charge of your life.