It Doesn't Need To Be So Hard - Simplifying your financial goals to win!
Have you ever started the New Year just to not stick to your goals by the end of the first month? Maybe you start out strong with great motivation but after the motivation disappears so does your desire to reach the goals. It becomes too hard to stick to the budget, too hard to work on saving money and you just find yourself exactly where you ended last year on December 31st.
What if there was a different way to do things? An easier way that made your goals easier to stick to? Would you try it?
In the book Atomic Habits, author James clear writes “Human behavior follows the Law of Least effort. We will naturally gravitate toward the option that requires the least amount of work.” He gives some ideas of how to make reaching your goals an easier option so you will actually stick to it. He says to “create an environment where doing the right thing is as easy as possible.” Today I want to share how to create an environment where doing the right thing with your finances is as easy as possible and not sticking to your goals is difficult.
Automate as much as possible. Are you looking to grow your savings, but you always end up spending that money on something you definitely could have lived without? Try automating the money you want to put into savings on the day you get paid. Set it up in your bank account that on the ___ day of the month, you will transfer a set amount to your savings account automatically. You don’t have to think about it anymore. It just happens. It is easy. Do the same with your bills. Your rent, utilities, life insurance, etc can almost all be set to auto. You don’t have to think about it. You will never worry if you forgot to pay a bill and it will simplify your life.
Use an app to track your expenses. Many of you know I love using an app to keep track of my budget and to enter in the money I’ve spent. The reason I prefer this method to pen and paper is because I can enter in the data the moment I spend the money. There is no having to keep track of receipts or remembering to enter in the data when I get home. If I’m at the grocery store and spend $150, I can right then enter it into my budgeting app. The more I do it, the easier it becomes for me to build my spending tracking muscles. After a few weeks or months of entering this information consistently, it will become natural for me to do. This is easier in the long run for me and requires less time in order for me to know where my money has gone and how much I have left to spend in a certain category.
Make breaking your goals difficult. If you are trying not to overspend on random shopping, then make it difficult to shop. Delete the Amazon app off your phone, don’t drive past Target on your way home and put your phone across the room when you are watching TV. You want to make it as difficult as possible for you to overspend. Maybe remove your debit and credit cards from your wallet when you are going out with a friend and just bring a certain amount of cash. In this situation, you cannot overspend because you have no other form of money besides your cash. Once it is gone, you are done spending. Making it difficult to break your goals will help your success rates go up!
Financial success is possible! By simplifying the process and making failure difficult will help you to win on your journey.