Learning how to make a vision board can be incredibly impactful when it comes to achieving your financial goals. That’s because when it comes to goals, the old adage rings true: out of sight, out of mind. But, it's more than just writing down your goals.
Statistically, we are 1.4 times more likely to accomplish our goals when we can picture them. So if you want to have a better chance of reaching your financial goals, you’ll want to learn how to create a vision board.
What is a vision board?
A vision board is a collage of pictures and phrases that depict things you want to accomplish in your future. It's basically a visual representation of your hopes and dreams. Its purpose is to serve as inspiration and motivation for working toward your goals.
Being able to see exactly what you want to accomplish gives you something to work toward as opposed to just letters on a page. Though there’s still value in writing your financial goals down, seeing is believing.
How is a money vision board different?
If you think about it, most goals are connected to your finances in some way. Your dream house, car, and vacation will require money. Having a money vision board can help you attain those things.
Unlike a traditional vision board, a money vision board is specifically designed to visualize your financial goals. Whether it's saving money, getting out of debt, or increasing your income, your financial goals can be put into visual form.
Financial vision boards are also different because they often utilize charts—such as a savings goal thermometer—that track progress. So if your vision is to become debt-free, you may include a debt payoff tracker as a part of your financial vision board.
Using a vision board to achieve your financial goals
Using a vision board for your financial goals is no different from any other goal. The whole point is to create a physical representation of what you want to accomplish. If you’ve had a hard time reaching your financial goals in the past, perhaps this fun exercise will help keep you motivated.
How to make a vision board for your finances
Creating a vision board is more than just gluing pictures to a poster board. It really requires you to be clear on your goals and aspirations. That’s why writing down your financial goals is the first step for making a vision board for your finances.
1. Write down your financial goals
Your financial goals will be the foundation for your vision board. These goals should be very clear so that you know exactly what you’re trying to accomplish and how you’ll accomplish it. One way to do this is by using the SMART goals method.
This method for goal development teaches you to create goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. When you have SMART goals, you can easily see what you’re working toward.
For example, your financial goal may be to “save $10,000 for emergencies by Dec 31, 202X.” This goal is very specific, its success can be measured, it should be realistic for you, and it has a time frame.
This very clear description of your goal will make it easier to find a visual representation of what you’re working to achieve. So, you’ll want to have all of your goals written down before you start working on your vision board.
2. Gather your vision board making supplies
The next step in creating your vision board is to gather supplies. The great thing about vision boards is that they aren’t expensive to create. You’ll soon realize that you may have some of the supplies that you need laying around your home.
Here are a few things that you’ll need:
Physical vision board
- Poster board or cork board: Though most vision boards are pictures glued to a poster board, you can also use a cork board and tack images instead.
- Old magazines: You’ll use magazines to find pictures, phrases, and other visual inspiration that represent your goals. They’ll need to be old because you’ll be cutting things out. You may be able to grab old editions of magazines from your local library or convenience store for free or at a reduced price.
- Your affirmations or inspiring quotes: These are words phrases and sentences that inspire, motivate you and help you focus on what you can achieve.
- Images from online: If you aren’t able to find old magazines, you can always find inspiration online. You can print out images that you find suitable for your vision board.
- Glue or tacks: You’ll need to glue or tack your pictures to your poster or corkboard. If you’re going with glue, I recommend using a glue stick.
- Scissors - You will be cutting out images to add to your board, so have a pair of scissors handy.
You also have the option to create a digital vision board using an online graphic design tool. With this approach, you can find images online and add them to a digital collage. So if you have trouble finding magazines or just want to save on costs, create a digital vision board instead.
Digital vision board
For a digital vision board you'll need
- Powerpoint, Keynote, your notes app or a graphics app
- Digital images
- Your affirmations or inspiring quotes
3. Find and organize the images that represent your financial goals
This will be the fun part of the process. In this step, you’ll go through the magazines that you’ve collected to find pictures that represent your goals. It’s my favorite part because, in a way, you get to see your future life.
Look for bright, vibrant images of your dream house, car, clothes, whatever you want! It’s your vision board. The important thing is to have your goals with you so that you know exactly what you’re looking for.
Now, when you’re putting together a financial vision board, you may also include money savings charts. For instance, if you’re paying off debt you may want to include a debt payoff coloring chart that tracks your progress.
Anything that inspires you to reach your goals is worth putting on your vision board. So grab your scissors and start cutting out those images to add to your board.
4. Create your collage
Take a moment to reminisce about your childhood when you made collages in art class. You’ll want to channel that inner child and have fun gluing your images to your poster board. Creating your collage is almost like putting together a puzzle.
You have to find where each image fits so that nothing is hidden from view. If some images don’t make it, that’s ok just as long as your overall vision is represented.
You can also make putting your board together an event. Invite your friends over and have a vision board party! Not only will it make creating your board more fun, but you’ll also have people there to hold you accountable for your goals.
5. Review your vision board daily
Now that you’ve created your vision board, take a moment to review it. Is there anything that you want to add? Do you feel motivated? If you haven’t already, add phrases and affirmations that align with your goals.
Once you’ve settled on your final imagery, review it daily. The idea is to imagine yourself having already accomplished or acquired the things on your board. If you can see yourself successful, you will do the work necessary to actually achieve it. Make this a daily practice so that it's constantly at the top of your mind.
Vision board ideas
If you still find yourself stumped on what to include in your vision board, you can always find inspiration on sites like Pinterest. Doing a quick Google search for vision boards will also lend some examples as well. Remember that your vision board is unique to you, so only use them as inspiration.
Travel vision board example
Here is an example of a financial vision board that I created several years ago. At the time I was on my debt-free journey. I also wanted to save money and stick to a budget so that I could travel the world.
As you can see, I included phrases like “saving money,” “debt-free”, and “budget” on my board as a reminder of what I was working toward. I also included flags and cutouts of different countries that I wanted to visit once debt-free.
If you have a keen eye, then you’ll notice that debt-free is actually crossed out and that there’s a checkmark beside the word budget. There’s also a year under the flag for the United Kingdom. That is because I was able to actually accomplish these things!
After getting on a budget, I was able to pay off debt, save money, and travel abroad. There are still several flags and countries that don’t have a year below them, which means it’s still something that I’m working toward.
Though this board is several years old, I still keep it nearby as a reminder of the things that I still want to accomplish financially.
Debt-free & savings vision board example
If your goal is to become debt-free, here is a debt-free vision board example. As you can see, this board includes images of someone cutting up a credit card. It also includes a savings goal of 26%. This is a very vivid representation of their financial goals.
First home vision board example
Need some inspiration for buying your first home or even your dream house? Here’s my latest board that includes images of home elements that I plan to have. This board also includes images and a phrase related to money. That’s because I’ll definitely need to have money saved and a plan of action to achieve this new financial goal.
Investing & early retirement vision board example
Are you interested in retiring early? Check out this simple vision board. Investing and retiring early often go hand in hand. That’s because if you are able to invest strategically, you can withdraw from your investments to retire early. You can learn more about this concept here.
As a reminder, these examples are all meant for inspiration. Find what motivates and inspires you when creating your board.
Where to put your vision board
The point of creating a vision board is to have visual inspiration for the goals that you’re trying to accomplish. With that being said, your board actually needs to be in your vision—somewhere that you can see it.
What place do you most frequent in your home? That’s exactly where your vision board should be. Put your board in a place where you can see it every day. That way it’ll serve as a daily reminder to continue working toward your vision.
Consider places like your bedroom, office, or even your refrigerator door. You can even take a photo and make it the screensaver on your mobile phone or computer desktop.
Closing thoughts on creating a vision board
Vision boards are an extremely valuable tool for helping you reach your financial goals. As you can see, they’re also a fun exercise to do. You can get as creative as you want to when making your own.
The truth is that merely writing your goals down and creating a vision board won’t automatically help you achieve them. You have to do the work necessary and also have accountability. The best way to do that is to surround yourself with other people working toward similar goals.
If a community is what you’re missing on your financial journey, then check out the Clever Finance courses and community. Here, you’ll find the resources and accountability that you need to be successful with your financial goals.