How Financial Journalling Can Help You Prepare for the New Year and Beyond

Published 22nd December 2021

When you have a goal in mind, there is a specific school of thought which champions the practice of writing things down. The idea is simple: by emptying your head of your aspirations and committing them to paper (or a public forum, such as Facebook), you’ll be more inclined to try to achieve them.

It’s one of the reasons you’ll see friends posting about their fitness goals online, for example, or why those who are hoping to shed some weight write down their daily calorie intake in a notebook.

Journalling Can Work Wonders for Your Finances Too

Of course, ‘journalling’ in this way can work wonders when it comes to keeping on track of your finances. It’s called, you guessed it, financial journalling – and it’s currently a trend, says the team at Huffington Post.

‘The idea is that by journalling about your spending, you start to see patterns in terms of where your money goes.’ states the article.

Done regularly, writing down your expenditure in this way should make sticking to a budget that bit easier.

It can also improve the health of your finances and your headspace, continues the Huffington Post piece. Ahead of Christmas specifically, the Unity Mutual team agrees that it’s a great idea – after all, many companies pay staff ahead of December 25, meaning the wait for January’s wages can be an excruciatingly long one.

Journalling Your Way to a More Financially Stable January: Here’s How

In her Huffington Post piece, writer Beth Mahoney quite rightly points out that ‘money is a wellbeing issue’.

When our bank balance is healthy, we feel better; it really is as simple as that.

So, how can you use the concept of journalling to navigate the often costly festive season and enjoy a more financially fruitful new year?

Treat Yourself to a Planner

Now, this could seem counterproductive – spending money to save money – but by starting with a planner or book you’ll enjoy writing in, you’ll feel more committed to making a habit of financial journalling.

You could look for a journal specifically designed for logging your expenditure, or simply map out your finances in a standard notebook. Marking the very first step in your financial journalling, er…journey…buying a great-looking planner will set you up for success.

If you’d prefer not to spend the money, simply use a Word document to log what you spend your money on, or even the Notes app in your phone.

Some banks, via their online app, will also do the hard work for you, tagging any money that leaves your account by type – including ‘fashion’, ‘food’ and ‘fuel’, categorising your expenditure to help you see where your money is going.

Money can be taken out

We understand that life can throw some unexpected financial curve balls which is why with Unity’s Mutual’s Tax-Exempt Savings Plan you are able to take your money out at any time after the first year. You may get less back than what you originally paid in but you’ll have the peace of mind knowing that you can access your money at any time.

Honesty is the Best Policy

Now that you’ve committed to the art of financial journalling, it’s important that you’re honest – with your notebook and therefore yourself – regarding your expenditure.

Jot down everything you buy, from that morning takeaway coffee to the gift you bought Matt in accounts for the annual office Secret Santa. Before long, you’ll see a pattern emerging. You could be spending far too much money on your daily latte, for example, or perhaps a cheeky, post-work trip to Nando’s adds up to more than you realised across the month.

If your banking app doesn’t do it for you, create columns in your planner for the various things you spend your money on. Before long, you’ll have a clear picture of your monthly outgoings.

Say ‘No’

For example, at this time of year, social events are aplenty – but, unless you’d like to see your bank balance drop dangerously low (and your energy reserves!), it’s worth saying ‘no’ once in a while.

Sometimes, a night on the sofa is well needed, both to recharge and save on spends. A night in can often be a great way to get together too, without breaking the bank.

Consider declining a social event or two in favour of saving some money – and perhaps even your sanity. After all, December can be so jam-packed that we rarely take time for some much-needed self-care. So there’s definitely no harm in spending some time in 2022 just relaxing (queue sigh of relief as your back hits the sofa).

It’s also worth following influencers – via platforms like Instagram – who post money-saving tips and advice to help you cut down on your expenditure. Plus, consider unfollowing those who have a busy social life and will therefore make you feel like you’re missing out if you’re not also flashing your cash on fancy meals and huge clothing and homeware hauls.

A few of the influencers we like at Unity Mutual include Millennialsaves who via her Instagram account has a wealth of advice to help you where money is concerned; The Penny Pal, who offers a wealth of money saving tips for millennials; Clare Seal of My Frugal Year who is documenting her journey out of debt or Veronia Spaine who works to help women overcome overspending.


Put in the Work

If you want to see an improvement to your financial situation come January, apply some dedication to journalling.

‘Financial journalling doesn’t have a one-size-fits all approach’, says Huffington Post, adding: ‘it’s a process that tends to differ from person to person.’

By creating your own custom approach to journalling, you will be more inclined to stick to it. Start now and, who knows, by January you may have a better idea of just where your money goes – and how you can set yourself up for a year during which you save more than spend. Here’s to 2022!

Want to start saving ahead of the New Year? Unity Mutual offers a wealth of savings products with tempting interest rates – head here to take a look for more information and terms and conditions.

Need help?

Look at our
Customer Centre