What to Include in Your Financial Vision Board
If you're anything like me, you've probably made some sort of vision board before. They were all the rage when I was in middle school, and me and my friends would spend hours cutting out pictures of people and places and gluing them onto a poster board (or, the traditional "sticking it into the back of our binder for everyone to see" method).
I LOVE making financial vision boards. They're a fun way to actually visualize your financial goals and they serve as a good reminder in your day-to-day life of why you work and save. Plus, it's been proven in the past that if you can visualize yourself doing something, you're more likely to achieve it.
That's why the pictures, quotes, and references you put on your board should inspire to live your best life. Don't put anything negative on the board to "motivate" you to work harder. This is your happy place- the space where you can dream as wildly as you want!
"There really is only one reason to read any book about money: to give yourself the gift of a better life." Vicki Robin, Your Money or Your Life
Step 1: Determine your values.
Nobody just wants money.
An image of plain cash doesn't have much emotional value to it. Yet the things that money may be able to buy, DO. For you, what's truly important to you might include:
Time with family
Relationship with partner
Lifelong Learning (less formal)
If you can, take a moment to write down your top 5-10 values prior to starting your vision board. Think about what each of those values might tangibly look like. You'll find that each one manifests itself in different ways. For example, if you'd like to focus on your relationship with your partner, you might envision the dream vacation you two have always hoped to go on. If you really value caretaking, you might imagine having a mother-in-law house in your backyard for your mom to utilize when she retires. If you value formal education, you might be dreaming of taking some time off from work to attend your dream school.
This is an example vision board of someone who chose financial security, leisure time, and time with family as their main values. This person would like to work remotely in Costa Rica while their family is still young.
Step 2: Explore and experiment.
TAKE YOUR TIME. There are a million things you can rush through in personal finance, but building a financial vision board is all about figuring out what YOU really want your life to look like. Meander.
You can make your vision board either digitally or physically. Either way, here are some sites to check out to find pretty images and organize them effectively.
Pinterest: Pinterest is like Google Images, only 1,000 better. It's search engine has been curated for over a decade by millions of users to present not only the most "relevant" images, but also the most informational and visually appealing ones.
Canva: You can also find images on Canva, but its real power is in organizing them to look appealing. In my examples below, I used Canva to orient the images and text.
Hobby-specific sites: If there's some hobby or interest that you'd like to focus more on, then you'll probably find your best images there. For instance, embroidery is a loose hobby of mine. I might find images I like on Pinterest, but another site I'll browse is https://www.reddit.com/r/Embroidery/ , where I'll find a wider range of images.
This vision board is an example for someone who chose entrepreneurship and adventure as their two biggest values.
Step 3: Use typography for specific goals.
Of course, you want to do whatever you can to really envision your goals. But some things look just fine when they're condensed into typography.
For instance, the word "100k," if your goal is to save 100k by a certain age. Or simply, "FI/RE" if you're hoping to be financially independent or retire early.
The person who made this vision board likely chose professional achievement, personal integrity, and championing justice as their main values. However, they have a clear goal stated as well: NYU LAW SCHOOL, 2022.
Step 4: Unleash the transformation!
Whether it's physical or digital, make sure to keep your vision board somewhere where you can see it every day. The real power of vision boards doesn't come from making them, it comes from seeing them throughout the day.