As we wrap up another year, I want to offer you a huge THANK YOU for being here, on my blog.
You’re here because you have a vested interest in your financial well-being. You’re seeking ways to have money for the things you want in life. You need simplicity… because you’re busy. You don’t have time for financial jargon and want quick, simple, DOABLE solutions to make sure you’re in control of your money.
The Pretty Money Clubbers are a community of women who know that if they don’t stay on top of their money, they could end up crushed underneath the weight of their debt… or they’ll realize too late that they’ve overspent and have to wait another year to reach that goal they’ve been saving for.
They’re just like you, except they have me and their fellow club members to hold them accountable on a monthly group coaching call, and weekly live check-ins. They have a private place to ask those hard money questions. They’re provided with resources and continued training for all the different facets of their finances at different stages in life.
I just finished up this month’s one-on-one coaching calls with my Pretty Money Club members, and I want to share with you a common theme that they’re struggling with this month:
“Budgeting is annoying.”
I find that most people are actually excited about creating a budget for the first time. Getting numbers on paper and a plan in place lights that fire of motivation…but the ongoing maintenance required to be well-organized with your finances causes that flame to flicker out.
I get it! We have a zillion things on the go… it’s the end of another difficult pandemic year… and we are all tired. The last thing we want to do is spend our “spare” time inside our bank accounts… where we’ll have to fess up to our spending habits these last few weeks… (or months, depending on when the last time you actually looked at your numbers was.)
I hope that you get a chance to relax this holiday season… BUT I do NOT want you to relax your budget!
In the Pretty Money Club, I teach a budgeting system that uses bank accounts to organize your spending categories. Basically, after you create and revise your budget plan, you then open a bank account that corresponds with each important category in your budget. Some of the most common budget accounts are:
- Groceries & Gas
- Household expenses (mortgage, utilities, internet etc)
- Future maintenance savings (home, car)
- Future sports savings (anyone have hockey kids here??)
- Future goals savings (vacation, new car, down payment)
- Insurance (life, disability, car, house, medical/dental)
- Spending allowance (the money you let yourself spend on whatever the heck you want. Hair? Nails? Coffee? Lego sets? Whatever.)
- You also have an income account, where all your money coming in goes into. Then, you set up automatic transfers to your various accounts based on the amount that you budget for each month. If you do it this way, you can see how much money you have set aside for each category at a glance… AND you are ensuring the money needed for your mortgage payment is sitting in that mortgage account.
You do NOT have a debit card attached to any of these accounts, EXCEPT your spending allowance, making it impossible to “accidentally” spend the mortgage money. In order to use this money, you would actually have to log in and transfer it out of that account.
This system minimizes the need for you to track your spending, because you have already told your money where you want to spend it… BUT, it still requires maintenance.
For one, every time you want to go to the grocery store, you have to transfer the money you’ll need out of your grocery account and into your spending account. Then, when you have finished at the grocery store, you will likely want to put any left over money back into the grocery account.
If you use a credit card for your purchase, you will need to pay off the credit card using the correct account for that transaction.
Occasionally, you may need to tweak your accounts. Maybe you forgot to plan for something and have to borrow money from one of your savings accounts to cover the cost, or maybe you’ve accumulated so much savings in your maintenance account that you’d rather take some money from there and upgrade your vacation.
Doing these transfers is easy.
Doing these transfers will take up more time if you aren’t in a regular habit… and have to play catch up at the end of the month.
The key here is making your budget routine a habit.
In the Pretty Money Club, I often host expert speakers to teach on topics that relate to money in some way. One of my FAVOURITE guests talked to us about how to implement positive changes in our lives through HABIT STACKING.
Habit Stacking is a simple strategy where you stack the behavior you WANT to implement on top of another habit you’re ALREADY doing.
- If you want to drink more water… have a glass before you allow yourself to drink your morning coffee.
- If you want to stretch more often… do it while you’re watching Netflix.
- If you want to floss your teeth more often… put the floss in the shower and do it before you scrub down.
So! As we head into Christmas and New Years… relax. Enjoy yourselves. But please don’t relax your budget. I leave you with ONE question that I want you to answer for yourself before you start this new year…
How are you going to habit stack your budget?
Share your answers with me! I’d love to hear from you. post your answer on my page.