Budgeting, the friendly way

January 17, 2024

Hey, it's that time of the year again – you know, the "new year, new me" season! The moment we all jump on the resolution bandwagon: must diet, must save more, must work out more... you get the drill. It's the time of year we set ourselves up for potential disaster, every. single. time.

We never begin the year by saying, hey, I want to dine out more this year. Wouldn’t that be nice?

Why do we do this? Haven’t we learned??

Well, one of those disaster goals we tend to set is around budgeting. Many of us begin the year withcreating the “new year, new me” budget. However, I bet, even the process of thinking about this makes you want to DoorDash from your favorite place. But what if we shifted how we go about this? Most budgets start off with the goal of doing less. In practice this is great. However, in implementation, many times we fail.

What if instead of doing less, we shift focus to doing different? What if, instead of targeting dining out only once a week as an example. We target dining out “different”? Example: let’s say you enjoy a nice dinner out with your friends in the Mission, SF from time to time. Well, what about a fun “to-go” potluck at Dolores Park instead? Each friend brings one favorite dish from their favorite place.

Another way of thinking about how to “do better”, not do less- What about clothing shopping. Are you in the same boat as me, in search of that perfect sweater this season? Well, instead of hitting the mall or online shopping, what about a fun adventure to the vintage shops or REI recycled clothing. Wait, did we just do better from an impact and wallet side too?, I think so!

So, as folks often ask me about the most effective way to budget, I suggest starting by looking at where you spend your money and asking yourself, "Can I do this better?" Let's make budgeting a fun and creative journey!