Staying On Your Path: Start a Financial Journal

Reaching financial independence is a long and arduous journey. It could take years instead of months, and in most cases it takes decades. Lots of things will happen to you in this time, unexpected doctor bills, having kids, getting married and even starting a blog. And sometimes these things get in the way and like anything hard, striving towards financial independence becomes easier and easier to give up on as things get more and more difficult.

However it is necessary to take a step back once and a while and ask yourself, “Why do I do this?” , and “Why am I eating rice and beans and saving all of this money?”. Perhaps you do this because you grew up poor and don’t want to experience that ever again. Or perhaps you want to give your children the best life possible. Maybe it’s as simple as hating working and wanting to call your own schedule for once, and obtaining the financial security to do so. Perhaps you hate stress and like the feeling of having plenty of money in your brokerage accounts.

In any case it may be wise to start a financial journal. Basically like a diary but instead of writing about your boring life, you can write about your even more boring financial life. Start to take note of your successes, relating to things like monthly savings rates, or investment performances. Keeping a record of these things will for one, help you remember why in the heck you’re trying to retire early and it will hopefully serve as motivation for future investments. Or perhaps it might dissuade you from buying that new Subaru WRX you have had your eye on for so long. At first start to write a half of page a day, or roughly 200 words, this will serve as a nice summary of the day, and it will give you perspective on the small things that you accomplish each day relating to your finances. For example maybe you write about that coffee that you didn’t buy, or that deal you found at the mall.

In conclusion keeping a record of things is critical to your success. You would be surprised how many rich and successful people keep a journal of their accomplishments to serve as guides during difficult times. Life gets in the way for basically everyone, and that goes doubly for people’s financial lives. Keeping motivated is the number one way to stay on the path of an early retirement, and hopefully a happy retirement as well.

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