I get asked a lot about how I stay motivated on my financial journey. From paying off over $77,000 of debt to saving to buy my first home with cash, my financial journey can feel long and defeating at times.
There a lot of tools & methods that I use to keep myself on track and excited for my financial journey, one being discovering my WHY and purpose. Beyond that, constant motivation and reminders are critical to my determination and dedication.
Today, I wanted to share my financial visual board with you. Being able to see where you started versus where you are today is a fantastic tool to remind yourself that you are making progress, even on the days where you feel you are not getting anywhere with your money.
What is a Financial Vision Board?
“The difference between who you are and who you want to be is what you do.”
We have the power to change our lives. We do this by creating a vision and taking the necessary actions to make it a reality. But our lives are so hectic that often we lose sight of “the big picture.” Creating a vision board is an excellent project and a daily reminder of the life you want.
A financial vision board is merely a bulletin board in your home that gives you a real image of your goals, plans, dreams, ideas, and things that motivate you. It is not as all-encompassing as your budget binder, but it's excellent for keeping you – and everyone else in the family – motivated and encouraged!
The benefits of making a vision board are both practical and psychological.
- First, the practice of writing everything down – debt, income, bills, budget, plans, etc. – helps you to see concrete goals to be achieved. Suddenly, what seemed impossible in your head now feels manageable. You can see the reality of your dream life, and how you will achieve it.
- Second, having your goals in front of you every day gives you a psychological boost. A visual board removes the temptation to procrastinate and encourages you to keep taking steps toward freedom.
“Some people dream of success while others wake up and work.”
Research shows you are more likely to be successful when you write out your goals. It helps you focus your energy on making them a reality. And you are MUCH more likely to be successful if you display them in attractive, image-driven ways that motivate you.
This is the beauty behind the concept of a vision board.
But, before you can make a financial vision board, you have to know your financial vision.
Put Your Financial Goals on Paper
Chances are if you’re already thinking about a vision board, you’ve done the groundwork. But if you haven’t, there is no better time to reduce your stress and regain power over your own life than now.
“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” – Walt Disney
Gather all your financial paperwork. Write down all your income sources and amounts. Make a budget. Learn how to implement the cash envelope system – this system is so vital for budget success!
Set specific, realistic goals and outline the steps you will take to achieve them. If you are going to tackle debt with the snowball method, arrange your debt in a list from smallest to largest.
If you are saving toward a down payment on a house, make a note of how much you need to save each paycheck for reaching that goal. Just remember to keep it manageable.
Becoming financially secure is a journey. It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen if you stay committed.
“Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do. Don't wish it were easier; wish you were better.”
If you are in debt and are having difficulty making ends meet, look at ways to cut back and save money. What can you do without? When you add up all the luxuries we come to think of as necessities, you’ll be surprised how much money you can save! And once you make a visual board, you’ll be surprised how much fun it can be to save as well!
Once you have defined your goals and have all the steps in place to achieve them, you can funnel your creative juices into crafting and designing your vision board!
How to Make a Vision Board
Your financial vision board can be whatever you imagine it to be, from magazine clippings on poster board to a colorful hand-drawn chalkboard, to some crazy elaborate design you will undoubtedly discover on Pinterest!
This project can be as large or as small as you choose. It can encompass every financial goal and plan you set in place, or it can be tailored to fit your space and needs.
- Some like to keep things strictly financial, with charts of diminishing debt and yearly budgets with pockets for bills and receipts and payoffs.
- Others like to cater theirs to monthly or quarterly goals to include meal plans, calendars, and to-do lists.
- Still, others like to make their boards motivational and fill them with quotes and dream houses and vacation photos and personal rewards and visual reminders of what they’re working toward.
Your board should be appealing to YOU. Choose colors, fonts, images, quotes, charts, and envelopes that make you feel happy. The board is yours – let it inspire you!
Where Should I Put my Financial Vision Board?
Simply put – your vision board should be displayed in a high-traffic place where you will see it – and look at it – every day.
The ideal place might be next to the back door where you hang your coats and keys, or on the front of the refrigerator, or over your desk where you check email and pay bills, or in front of your elliptical or treadmill. Wherever that “sweet spot” is for you.
For even more exposure, you could take a picture of it for your desktop wallpaper, or print a copy for your budget binder. Seeing it often is a positive way to help you make changes and form new habits for a better life.
“If you really look closely, most overnight successes took a long time.” – Steve Jobs
My Favorite Vision Board Resources
I use a lot of pictures on my vision board. My son is front an center in most of them. I also like to use the tracking charts from Debt Free Charts. Coloring in my lines after I make a savings contribution or debt payment is surprisingly satisfying and one of the number one things I look forward to on my financial journey.
I have also made my own financial progress trackers that you can get for free in my free resource library.
Your Financial Vision Board Helps Form Your Reality
Once you get your board finished, revisit it regularly. Update as things change, whether weekly or monthly. Visually celebrate when small goals are reached. Remember: it’s not the vision board that works – YOU are the one doing the work – and you deserve to be inspired and celebrated.
Your financial vision board can be the perfect tool for keeping you on track with your spending and saving goals. Seeing is believing, and this continual reminder in your line of sight will keep you motivated and focused on achieving your new reality.