Coffee Break

Dear friend, 


For this final Coffee Break of 2019, I’d like to talk about budgeting. I know clients who find it difficult to budget because they view it as too restrictive, even a punishment. But done right, budgeting can reinforce positive spending habits and gently correct negative ones.


Many people start the New Year with good intentions of creating a household budget. But budgeting is like fitness or eating better: you know it’s good for you, but doing it is, well, not always fun. I get it. So, I recommend that if you do fall off the wagon with your budget, don’t worry about missed transactions, just start again. Don’t beat yourself up. Like a new exercise routine, it may take a few months for budgeting to feel good.


Me, I’m a budget nerd. I set aside time each week to do my household budgeting and my wife, Kiley, and I have some budget hacks that help us keep on track. For example, we got tired of justifying little indulgences, so we get $100 of Fun Money each month to do with whatever we please. We also have bank accounts for different purposes (a bit like the envelope system) to save for vacations and household projects. Automatic money transfers keep us from forgetting.


But what works for us might not work for you, so if you need a budget pep-talk, let me know. I’d be happy to meet with you and keep you accountable. There are also some apps and other tools that I can recommend.


In the meantime, enjoy the holiday season and have fun celebrating the New Year with family and friends.


Happy 2020!



Chris M Graw, CLU®, ChFC®, CFP®

Wealth Management Advisor


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