From bills and grocery lists to appointments and phone calls, millennials are constantly struggling to stay on top of all the responsibilities that come with “adulting". One of the ways they are trying to cope up is by maintaining bullet journals, a trend that has caught the fancy of millennials the world over and has been all over Instagram and Pinterest over the past few years. You might have come across these immaculately organized and penned journal pages on the internet—listing everything from to-dos to “gratitude lists". They serve as planners that you can design however you want.
Bullet journaling lets you lay out all your plans and goals visually. While most people use it as a way to inculcate good habits, like drinking more water and working out regularly, the principle can just as easily be applied to your financial life. “One of the key imperatives of successful financial planning is adopting a systematic and disciplined approach. In the daily humdrum of things and with increasingly hectic work-life schedules, it can be challenging to judiciously follow your investment plan or be fully aware of your regular cash flows, monthly liabilities and recurring investments," said Anirudha Taparia, executive director, IIFL Wealth and Asset Management.
According to Taparia, in order to stay up to speed with your financial health, you can create simple lists that clearly articulate your monthly cash flows and give you a holistic picture of your income, expenses, liabilities, savings and investments. “This can be potent for optimal investment as it can alert you whenever you are going off track or you have more disposable income to invest," he said.
You can make a monthly plan, or get into minute details by logging daily expenses. If the pen and notebook approach is not your style, you can also start a digital planner, say, in an excel sheet.
You can follow one of the templates available online or make your own. We have also created one to help you get started. You can begin by listing your monthly expenses, both fixed and variable. Also, put down other outflows like EMIs and the dates when they are to be paid. Then move on to savings, listing SIPs and other investments, as well as your savings account balance at the beginning and end of the month. List any goals you are saving up for, and track how much your corpus has grown each month; to see that can be a great motivation to keep investing. Finish off with any financial to-dos, and notes to yourself. Add a few doodles and stickers if you have a creative flair, and you’re done!
“Viewing or tracking your finances in a simple and visually appealing manner can help you make better decisions and invest in a disciplined manner," said Taparia. So go get yourself a handy notebook and get started!