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Nick and Dave discuss the difference between, “I want to be financially responsible” versus “I’m going to try to keep a budget this year.”
If you’re starting from the standpoint of already being a financially responsible person, then budgeting is just part of that. Or you are becoming that person and you may not be that person yet.
There’s a lot of pressure in the world to spend money. Friends ask you to go out to dinner at an expensive restaurant so you feel like
you have to go there and you have to spend a bunch of money. However, if you’re a financially responsible person or sticking to some goals, your response can be, “That’s not part of my budget right now.”
Good habits require sacrifice now with a payoff in the future right?
This usually comes into play in debt spending, using credit cards, and borrowing. Going out for dinner tonight’s going to mean putting that on a credit. If you are more cash-based, you can only spend what’s in your pocket. This helps change that equation.
Saving for Retirement
We talk about the cash flow but another big thing is saving for retirement. If you start putting money away when you are younger and create a habit, easier it is as you get older.
The more compound interest you have the less percentage wise that you have to save. But asking a 20-year-old to put away money for a future 65-year-old self can be a hard pill to swallow for a lot of young people.
Dave and Nick discuss how the book, Atomic Habits, by James Clear, has helped them create better habits.
The author lays out 4 rules for behavior change to give you a framework.
Rule # 1: Make it Obvious
Whatever habit you’re trying to create make it obvious with cues and context. For example, every time I do this then you know that’s my cue to go for a run or read some pages, or whatever your goal is. Put your running shoes by the front door. Lay your clothes out the night before. Things like that.
Rule #2: Habit Stacking
David shares, “So every morning I get up and the first thing I do is I make a pot of coffee. There’s about a 10-minute stretch then between making the pot of coffee and the coffee being ready. Usually, I would just sit there and stare at the coffee pot. So taking the book’s strategy of what he calls habit stacking, as soon as I finish grinding the beans and putting them in there I sit down with my book and I do the thing that I committed to doing which I actually really enjoy. And so by stacking 1 habit with the other and then when I’m done with it I can get up and have that first cup of coffee, which is pretty important to me.”
Rule #3: Bundling
Bundling something that you enjoy doing but maybe is a waste of time or does not have a good payoff.
“I love to watch football and hockey. That’s usually wasted time but I’m trying to get more steps in. So now my thing is I can watch football or a hockey game but I walk around the living room while I’m doing it. It sounds silly but that’s how I’m crushing my family at our steps competition and I’m still getting to do the thing that I want to do.
Rule #4: Make it Satisfying
Your goal or your habits should have some kind of tangible goal so that you know you’re becoming the person you want to be. As humans, we’re too hard on ourselves and we tend to look outward instead of inward. We fail to recognize even small gains. For example, you’re saving money and following your budget. So budget for a celebration dinner or something else when you successfully make it through three months or six months or whatever your goal is. Celebrating small gains can have a huge long-term impact on sticking to your goals.
We’re always thinking about the financial planning implication of goals, the economy, or philosophy. Goal setting and habit of forming are huge parts of that and the sooner you can do those things the better off you’re going to be in the long term.
About Shotwell Rutter Baer
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