Posts in Habits & Strategies
Resolve to...make better resolutions

You’ve probably heard that most New Year’s resolutions fail. I’m betting you don’t need a scientist to tell you that, if you’ve ever set one yourself. So how do you improve the odds? Here are some research backed tips to making this year one in which you move ever closer to your ideal self.  

  1. Make goals so small that it’s hard to fail

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The 2 biggest money black holes (and how to destroy them)

We’ve all got areas of our spending that just seem like black holes. You know the ones - the parts of our budget that you can never seem to get under control, that start to suck in all the money around them, until whoops, you’re out of money again (or - whoops, the credit card bill this month has its own gravitational pull). What even happened there, anyway?

Let’s talk about the most common ones I see with my clients, and what, exactly, to do with them so they stop ruining the rest of your finances.

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Don't forget! (to put these things in your budget)

One of the first things I ask people to do when they begin working with me is to document all of their expenses - what they spend money on, how much, how often, that sort of thing. What day is the car payment deducted, how much do you really spend on groceries, how much do you spend on the holidays?

Oof. That last one is a doozy, isn’t it? At least with the groceries, you can look back over the last few months and come up with a number, but then there’s things like the holidays that are a little more...vague.

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How to get back on the (budgeting) wagon

So, you fell off the wagon. You were doing good for a little while - you’d started managing your money differently. Maybe you were keeping track of your expenses, keeping your awareness around your spending high. You had stopped using your credit cards, maybe even started putting money away for emergency savings, you’d made a plan and had been chugging away at it. Things were going well, if slowly.

And then.

So, you fell off the wagon. You were doing good for a little while - you’d started managing your money differently. Maybe you were keeping track of your expenses, keeping your awareness around your spending high. You had stopped using your credit cards, maybe even started putting money away for emergency savings, you’d made a plan and had been chugging away at it. Things were going well, if slowly.

And then.

And then, something happened.

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You need a budget - How to tell if YNAB is right for you

This was going to be a review of You Need A Budget (YNAB). You know, an unbiased look at the pros and cons of a very popular piece of personal finance software. And while I am going to talk about the pros and cons of YNAB, I can’t bury the lead.

You guys, I love YNAB so much.

I’m a YNAB evangelist and I don’t care who knows it. I can’t pretend to be unbiased about this at all. I’ve been using YNAB for a decade and use it with 100% of my clients. I’ve tried other tools and they just...fall short.

That said, YNAB isn’t for everyone (who said that?? Not me!). Here’s how to tell if it’s right for you.

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How to feel better about your finances with a money buffer

On this blog, I talk a lot about practical things - saving up an emergency fund, budgeting like a boss, and specific tips and tools for getting ahead financially. That’s all helpful stuff and I’m happy to provide some guidance and resources to help you.

Do you know why I’m really here, though?

I want you to feel less sh*tty about your money.

I want you to feel more freedom and choice around your money.

I want you to feel less panic and more peace.

I want you to sleep better at night.

I want you to stop living beyond your dreams.

One of the best ways to achieve these things, that very few folks talk about, is a one-month money buffer. This is also referred to as living on last month’s income.

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How to save up an emergency fund

You know that you need an emergency fund and why, what to do with it once you’ve got one - how much to have, where to put it, and when to use it - but if you’ve still got one burning question left, you’re not alone.

How on earth am I going to save up that much money?

The good news is that you can do this - even if you don’t have tons left over each month. It will just take a little more time. So without further ado, let’s look at a few ways people have successfully used (myself included) to save up a big chunk of change.

 

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How to handle emergency savings

In my last post, I (hopefully) convinced you that you need an emergency fund (click here to read that post if you missed it!). Especially if you’re in debt or have a variable income. So now you know what an emergency fund is, who needs one, and why they’re so important. If you were already on board, read on.

I bet you’ve still got some questions, though - namely how much you should be saving, where to put it, and how to know when to use it (and when to leave it alone!).

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Would a money emergency wreck your life?

I don’t like motivating people with fear. I prefer to use the carrot rather than the stick when I work with folks. Get them moving towards things they’re excited about - freedom, being their own boss, peace of mind, sleeping well at night - that sort of thing.

But in order to get you to set up an emergency fund (now, not next week and certainly not “someday”), I need to put a little shake in your boots.

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Psst...saving money can be as easy as brushing your teeth

If you’re reading this, you’re not saving enough money.


I know what you’re thinking: “UGH another one of those articles? Aren’t there enough? I’m embarrassed enough already!”  

I’ll spare you the dreadful statistics about American savings rates and net worth and the scary charts about how much you should have saved by now and oh my god that’s just for retirement and you’re also supposed to have some sort of giant emergency fund too, right? And if you have kids...I won’t say the dreaded C word but you know what I’m talking about.

Suffice to say, virtually none of us are saving enough money.

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