On my budget, I’ve got my mortgage, utility bills, and groceries spelled out each week. I also have:

-Rainy Day Fund

-Holiday/Gift spending

-Dog’s savings (vet bills)

-Annuals (car tags, Costco, Amazon prime)

Why? Because if I’m serious enough about paying my mortgage payment on time, I need to be serious about my paying savings account and other annual expenses that I KNOW are going to occur on time, too. Xmas is always on the same day of the year, and your car registration expires in the same month each year, so when are we going to stop acting surprised about it?

With my rainy day fund, my success came from two things:

1. I setup direct deposit. A percentage of my paycheck is automatically diverted to my savings account, regardless of how I feel about it.

2. This savings account is an account that I DONT have easy access to. It’s with another financial institution, and I don’t have a debit card for it.

Why? I have never encountered an emergency that requires instant access to my money (everything can typically wait 48 hours), and if I want to dip into my nest egg… I’ve got to make the walk of shame down to that branch and physically withdraw it. No easy online transfers for me. When my savings was too accessible, I spent it. Now… I don’t.

Knowing your weakness and being smarter than the worst version of yourself is the secret sauce to changing your behavior.