Moving the Needle


Budgeting in and of itself exists to help you move the needle financially. If you don’t pay attention to when or where or how you spend your money you will run out.

Guaranteed.

You get ahead by giving every dollar a job and being intentional about your priorities.

In budgeting, it all starts with Rule One: Give Every Dollar A Job. What should these dollars do before you are paid again? What do you want these dollars to do? What are your priorities? What brings you joy?

It’s a super happy time—because it’s just planning and thinking and allocating and moving money around and you feel good.

And then something happens that you weren’t planning for. Reality happens and you have to roll with the punches. We encourage that. There are no normal months and we know that sometimes you need to adjust and sometimes you just change your mind—all OK.

But sometimes you want to bend reality to your will. You want or need to experiment to find another way. And I highly endorse this strategy.

Sometimes it’s okay to be extreme in your experimentation in order to move the needle.

Maybe you want to try something impossible—like not eating out for an entire month (or whatever would seem outrageously hard for you). It might not be sustainable forever, but what would happen if you really committed for one month? What would you learn? What would you gain? How might you adjust your baseline?

Maybe you experiment with bringing in some side income, or a spending fast, or taking your lunch to work even if no one else is? Maybe you do a massive purge and you sell a bunch of stuff and see how it feels?

The great thing about this kind of experimentation is it doesn’t have to be forever. Sometimes you want to entertain the ludicrous so that you can find something along that path that is more sustainable for you and your life, and ultimately, moves the needle.

What can you learn from a (potentially crazy) idea?

Sometimes you can do things you could never sustain for the long term for a short period of time, and then shift gears to something more sustainable, after learning something new and by adjusting your baseline, changing your reality long-term.

If you can’t wait until next week for more whiteboard wisdom, you can view the entire library here. If you have a question or an idea you’d like us to address in a future Whiteboard Wednesday episode – we’d love to hear from you! Email us at [email protected]

Until next time…