You know that feeling when, after downloading the album with your newest favorite song of the moment, you feel slightly deflated by the rest of the tracks?
They’re just not as lyrically delicious, or maybe the tune feels tired. Or the rhythm isn’t right. Whatever it is, the rest of the album just isn’t sweeping you off of your feet-in fact, those other songs don’t even come close to making you feel the way that your favorite song does.
It’s a bummer, but you do really love that song, so you play it. Over. And. Over. Until you’re maybe a little sick of it. Just a little …
And, that’s when another winner emerges on the album. This one’s not so bad, eh? It’s the one you know second-best because, of course, it comes on right after your favorite song. Now that you’ve heard it a few times, you realize that it’s actually pretty cool. Just different, but different isn’t bad. Right?
Then, one by one, you start absorbing those other, inferior tracks until, out of the blue, it strikes you like an arrow from Cupid himself. You love the entire album, like love-love. It’s a great album. In fact, it might be your favorite album ever. What were you thinking, not loving this entire album?!
Simple. You weren’t familiar with it.
Familiarity Breeds Liking
When we’re repeatedly exposed to the same stimulus (a song, for example), we grow to like it more and more. It’s the mere-exposure effect at work, a phenomenon first documented by social psychologist, Robert Zajonc.
So, the old saying was wrong. It’s actually presence that makes the heart grow fonder.
And, just like that one album eventually wormed its way into your heart, so, too, can budgeting. You just need more exposure to it-some real, quality time with your cash, which is exactly what happens when you follow The Four Rules.
Imagine saying goodbye, forever, to your student loans or never worrying about when your next payday is, all while enjoying the process of budgeting. I’m not just pumping you up, here, either. There are literally hundreds of thousands of YNABers who are living that dream!
You can be one of them, in just a few minutes a day:
Make a Date with Your Money
Whether you’re single or paired up, set a regular time to review your numbers. Are all of your transactions in YNAB? Do they match your bank? Are your categories still serving you well, or do they need review?
If you’re new to budgeting, you might change your categories a lot as you learn more about how your spending habits line up with your paychecks. Maybe you’d rather make “Coffee Shops” its own category, rather than lumping those purchases in with “Dining Out.”
The most important thing, though, is to make sure that your budget continues to support your big-picture dreams. Reviewing your goals, regularly, will help you reach them faster, and it’s an excellent way to stay motivated.
Steal a Few Moments Every Day to Say Hi
You know you’re in a great relationship when you can’t help but reach out, throughout the day, to swap sweet nothings with your sweet. So, make sure you’ve downloaded YNAB’s mobile app so that you can check your budget before you spend, and record transactions, as you go.
… it’s also quite invigorating to crack open the app just to gaze, affectionately, at your categories and imagine your fully-funded future. It’s funny how, when you take care of your money, it takes care of you back. Just watch.
Celebrate Special Occasions
Relationships can be demanding, and that’s why it’s oh-so-important to cherish the special moments. Pat yourself on the back when you hit a milestone! Do something nice on your budget-versary-within budget, of course.
Your budget is there to help you live your best life, so make sure that you put some dollars towards the fun stuff.
Before You Know It, You’ll Be Hooked
If you’ve never been able to stick with a budget before, you’ll be amazed at how easy (and gratifying) it is when you show up and pay attention. Channeling your hard-won dollars towards the things you want most is what it’s all about. Think big, but make space for daily pleasures, too, and you’ll never quit.