By Carrie Sloan
Read more about financial vision boards at LearnVest.com.
What if there were a fun, free, creative project that could help you reach your financial goals faster?
Well, there is. And the holidays — when there’s no shortage of catalogs lying around — are the perfect time to whip out the scissors and glue, and kick off the new year right by creating a financial vision board.
What is a vision board? Basically, it’s a poster or bulletin board you fill with images and words that illustrate your ideal life. You can tear photos from magazines, put up cards or print Google images, or draw whatever it is you need.
The goal is to choose five to ten goals you want to focus on. Maybe your board will include a new job and a perfect house, a dream wedding and a healthy baby, or you, smiling because you’ve finally gotten out of debt or saved up an emergency fund. Then again, maybe it will be filled with all of the above.
The benefits of this exercise are twofold: Not only can mapping out your priorities help you determine where your money should go, tapping into your deepest desires can set you on a path to achieving what may seem out of reach today.
After all, just the simple act of writing down your goals helps you focus your energy on making them a reality.
What You’ll Need:
–Poster board or corkboard
–A glue stick or rubber cement (plain old glue tends to cause magazine pages to
ripple) or, if using cork board, thumbtacks
–Catalogs and magazines. The more variety, the better.
–Peace and quiet.
How to Create a Successful Vision Board:
We’ve been conditioned to want the things we see around us. Designer clothes, a bigger house, a shinier car. Those things are all well and good, but now is the time to think about what would truly make you happy, even if it’s not the tried and true. Before you begin combing through magazines, takes some time to daydream and picture yourself living the life you want. Remember, you needn’t choose “things” only: A financial vision board should reflect your ideal reality, whether that’s a strong marriage, a mortgage paid off, or, okay, a new car.
Start flipping through your stack of magazines and indiscriminately tear out anything that speaks to you. Words, phrases, images—whatever catches your eye. You’ll sort through them later, but for now, anything goes. Maybe you’ll spy your perfect rustic cottage in an Anthropologie catalog, or tear out a woman enjoying an idyllic yoga retreat during her comfortable retirement.