Yo! We hope all of you had a fierce weekend. I’m not even sure what that means. In case you missed it last week, Johnny and I have started contributing on AOL’s DailyFinance, and here’s our first article. You would think with writing about personal finance all week, Johnny and I would be rather obsessed with the topic. And while it’s certainly something we’re passionate about, it’s not something that’s constantly swimming through our heads, day in and day out. We both have other hobbies, believe it or not. Oh, and we also have a few teeny responsibilities that consume us, such as working full time, keeping ourselves and our baby bathed and clothed, teaching our baby not to eat our cat’s food, and trying to relax every once in a while. Sound familiar to any of you?
And so because of the craziness that is life, our financial goals and motivations get bounced to the nether regions of our brains. That’s when we’re just coasting financially. But coasting ain’t gonna cut it if we’re going to keep a budget, buy a house, and save for our little munchkin’s future. So to get those financial-savvy juices pumping through our veins each day, we need a little extra motivation. Financial motivation comes in many forms — here are a few of our favorites:
Watch/Listen To Financial Shows
During different periods of our marriage, we’ve had different financial guilty pleasures. At one point, Johnny and I both listened to Dave Ramsey’s show daily at our respective places of employment. Our current show of choice is the Suze Orman Show. We record it on our DVR and keep it on in the background while we work on our computers.
Read/Subscribe to Financial Literature
In the same vein as watching or listening to financial shows, we also enjoy puttingour nerd specs on and reading financial stuffs. Our financial written word drug-of-choice for the past couple of years has been Money magazine, which we receive monthly (and which we only subscribe to when a deal comes up, of course!). Also, the Internets are full of online financial content via blogs or news sites, which typically have their own money section.
Try New Financial Apps
For me, there’s something about seeing my money in a different way that gets me excited. Although Johnny and I keep up our budget through the HomeBudget app (and occasionally Mint) each month, I do like to try out other apps as well. In November I’m going to give the free app Level Money a try just for kicks.
Give Ourselves Weekly Challenges
Sometimes in order to keep our finances ever-present in our minds during the daily grind of the week, we come up with little financial challenges. How many days can we go without spending a cent? How many creative meals can we create before going grocery shopping? How long can we drive on Empty before we run out of gas? Just kidding about that last one. These challenges are especially effective during weeks when we feel like we’ve gotten into the habit of spending.
Focus on One Motivating Factor
Each person’s financial “clincher” will be different. But for us, all we have to do is think about our girl and the future we want for her, and suddenly we’re 100% focused on having all of our financial ducks in a row. For a while, our motivating factor was reaching our goal of being debt free. While you may have many goals, it’s important to focus on the one that motivates you the most.
our little motivator
All of these motivators, though small, keep that financial ball rolling in our house. One night last week while we worked on our laptops, Johnny and I turned on The Suze Orman Show (we’re straight up thrill seekers) in the background. Soon we were discussing 529’s and maxing out our Roth IRAs. And I can pretty much guarantee that conversation wouldn’t have come up organically otherwise — we’re not that nerdy.
So ye be warned (pirate talk is okay if Hallowen’s near, right, matey?). If you stop by our house in the evening, you’ll likely end up watching a little Suze with us. And we’ll probably drag you into a detailed conversation about how we’re calculating a 529 plan for our daughter. What about you? How do you keep your financial senses up and running at full speed?