How to avoid a holiday spending hangover

There’s a lot of advice out there about how to spend less money at the holidays. It boils down to:

  • Make a budget and stick to it

  • Shop sales

  • Plan before you shop

  • Consider buying fewer, or less expensive gifts

Don’t get me wrong - I think these are all good advice. I do all of these things myself.

There are a few additional pieces of advice I give to my clients, though, that I’d like to share with you as well.

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How to get back on the (budgeting) wagon

So, you fell off the wagon. You were doing good for a little while - you’d started managing your money differently. Maybe you were keeping track of your expenses, keeping your awareness around your spending high. You had stopped using your credit cards, maybe even started putting money away for emergency savings, you’d made a plan and had been chugging away at it. Things were going well, if slowly.

And then.

So, you fell off the wagon. You were doing good for a little while - you’d started managing your money differently. Maybe you were keeping track of your expenses, keeping your awareness around your spending high. You had stopped using your credit cards, maybe even started putting money away for emergency savings, you’d made a plan and had been chugging away at it. Things were going well, if slowly.

And then.

And then, something happened.

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How to know if it's time to hire a bookkeeper

Today we’re talking about bookkeeping. You know, the day-in, day-out slog to keep your business expenses and income carefully tracked, to the penny, with at least some categorization into what sort of deductible business expense it is related to.

At some point, you’ve surely asked yourself - is it time to hire someone to do this for me?

The answer is...maybe.

There are some people who it absolutely makes sense to hire a bookkeeper for, some people it makes absolutely no sense to hire a bookkeeper for, and some in between. If you’re not sure where you fall - read on.

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Bookkeepers, CPAs, and CFOs, Oh My!

You’re a business owner, freelancer or side-hustler. You take this stuff seriously - you’ve got a website, you’ve got a business name picked out, you’ve got business cards. You’ve got customers and a marketing plan (though “plan” may feel like a fancy word for what you’ve got, but there you go). You’ve got clients, and you’re making money. You might even be established enough to be making good money by now.

Which means, I’m afraid, it’s time to talk about your money. Wait, don’t go screaming for the hills just yet!

If you’re thinking about getting some help with your money, you’re probably wondering where to start. Do you need a bookkeeper? An accountant? Both? Someone else entirely?

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Should you use You Need a Budget (YNAB) in your business?

Do you have a business? A side hustle? A freelance gig?

How are you handling your money in your business? And yes, if you have a side hustle or a freelance gig, you have a business.

Ugh, you know what that means. Taxes! Bookkeeping! Headaches!


What if I told you that there was a simple tool that never gets talked about in business-finance-tool roundups, but which does a lot of the most important things those other tools do, is less expensive, easier to use, and which also helps you with really important things you’re not even thinking about (but really should be)?

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F*ck single ply (AKA stop feeling bad about spending money!)

Do you ever find yourself saying, “Oh, I know I shouldn’t spend that, but…”, or “I know it seems extravagant, but…” in a dismissive way - in a way that indicates that you should feel guilty or ashamed of your spending?

Stop doing that.

I want you to stop feeling bad about your spending.

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Can't afford it? Or it's not in the budget?

I want you to try an exercise with me today. Take a deep breath, get out of your chair, and touch your toes.

Whoops, sorry - not that kind of exercise. Phew! You can stay sitting right where you are for this one. Sit, close your eyes, and take a deep breath (deep breathing is required for all kinds of exercises, it’s a rule).

Think about something that’s out of reach for you, financially.

This could be something grand, like a big international vacation - or something more mundane but also important, like getting a new couch when your old one kicks the bucket, or funding your emergency savings account.

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You need a budget - How to tell if YNAB is right for you

This was going to be a review of You Need A Budget (YNAB). You know, an unbiased look at the pros and cons of a very popular piece of personal finance software. And while I am going to talk about the pros and cons of YNAB, I can’t bury the lead.

You guys, I love YNAB so much.

I’m a YNAB evangelist and I don’t care who knows it. I can’t pretend to be unbiased about this at all. I’ve been using YNAB for a decade and use it with 100% of my clients. I’ve tried other tools and they just...fall short.

That said, YNAB isn’t for everyone (who said that?? Not me!). Here’s how to tell if it’s right for you.

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