If you only have one shot to introduce your client to a Financial Health tool then make sure the Receipt Exercise and Spending Journal are your go tos. This is the first step toward building a personal financial plan.
- First part is to keep all of your receipts for one week in an envelope. Remember: Get a receipt every time you allow money to leave your possession. If you can’t get a receipt, write it down on a piece of paper and put that in the envelope. Even if it’s just a penny, write it down.
- After saving receipts for a week, you should record it in the Spending Journal. The Spending Journal is a very concrete tool that can help illuminate patterns, but also prepares you for developing a financial process that is built on actual data. You will record what you bought, where you bought it, and how you paid for it (check, credit card, food stamps, etc.)
- It is important to record how you allow money to leave your possession as there may be patterns worth noting.
- The Receipt Exercise and Spending Journal is for your knowledge and the point is to have you become aware of exactly where and what you spent your money on.