Bruce and I communicate best in one of two places – in the car, or in the bathtub over a glass of wine. (TMI?) I think it has to do with the fact there are no electronic distractions, and we are a captive audience. Either way, a few weeks ago we had a good conversation about our financial goals. I’m a planner, and I truly believe the only way we will get some of the things we (or *I*) want is to write them down and plan for them.
Bruce had been part of a project mapping session where they used Post-It Notes to write down all of their ideas, then moved them around until they were in the right timelines for the project. In the past, we’ve used large rolls of brown paper to map out financial plans, why not combine the two? So that’s what we did.
We taped a huge sheet of brown paper to our living room window, and started using coloured Post-Its to write down everything – debt, assets, wants/goals, and ideas to cover those things. We spent about three hours on the first portion of the project – simply writing down our debt, our assets, and figuring out our immediate priorities. We didn’t get to the full blown budget revisions, and we still haven’t – our budget is mostly working right now, so revising it is not a priority.
The best part about doing it this way? As we brainstormed, we wrote ideas down on the sticky notes. Then, we stuck them on the brown paper. From there, we were able to put them in the order of our priorities – which was not the order we had thought of them. So we moved the sticky notes around to create a nice little list of all our priorities. We used different colours for different things – green was goals, pink was assets, etc. We numbered them to easily remember what ones were more important, and allow us to figure out how much money we needed by when.
In the end, we wound up with a great visual aid for our financial priorities and goals. We left the paper up for a few days until we had everything arranged the way we wanted it, then used tape to “permanently” stick the notes in place, and rolled up the paper for storage. We can bring it out again in a month or two when we assess where we’re at. All of this work contributed to the numbers in our Debt and Goals posts.