How to Put Good Money Decisions on Autopilot – EP 346

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Always had a problem landing on your budget goal? Have you taken a detour that has affected your overall savings? All of this will lead us to the pit of our spending decisions. In this episode, we’ll soar high and feel at ease as we put our good money habits on autopilot and become efficient with our next spending. 

Create a habit that makes you grow instead of mindless habits that sucks money out of you.


  • Pilots. Pilot episodes, pilot gas stations, helmsmen, plane pilots – the real leaders of important tasks. And speaking of leaders in the space, shout out to Matt’s Flights who put out a daily newsletter updating you on flight deals. So if you want to be on a plane that’s piloted by a pilot for a reasonable amount of money check out

What do we mean by efficiency?

It is producing desired results without wasting materials, time, or energy, which does not mean you are not entirely utilizing the said resources. It takes plenty of refining for us to recognize the most efficient way of doing things and deciding. With value-based spending, we want to conserve our mental resources so we’re not bogged down by decision fatigue and make better spending decisions.

Efficiency is not productivity

Productivity seeks to add more, to pack in, while efficiency seeks to complete tasks faster and easier. Jen reminds us to identify your values and prioritize them, so you are aware not to pack in what doesn’t need to be there in the first place. The different principles Jen and Jill have covered in previous episodes are not necessarily steps, but to give us an understanding of each one of them. 

How do you develop efficiency?

Automate first. Automate everything as often as you can! This includes saving, investing, and paying bills. Most companies have the opportunity to automate your bill payment. Jill notes that this does not mean you no longer have the sights on your automated payments, it just simply takes out the temptation. Look at ways to get creative with automating! But for the things you can’t automate, you have to have these cognizant routines that hopefully will turn into habits. Routines create habits, but not every routine will become a habit.

How do you know what routines to adopt?

In life, creating routines for anything doesn’t require critical or nuanced thinking. Routines keep your mind on autopilot (hopefully). It does take a little bit of cognizant effort, which is why it’s not a habit—there’s a difference, Jen notes. Focus on the big 3 first (housing, transportation, and food), such as logging your transactions at the end of the day, budgeting or creating a spending plan, meal planning, or doing the 80/20 rule or the Pareto Principle, in which 80% of our output results from 20% of our input.

What habits should you build and how do you build them?

Identifying and understanding your routines and then looking at the habits you can build around them can help. You can stack habits onto established routines you may already have. Jill wants you to look at where you’re prone to impulse spending or spending outside your values and ask how you can break up those triggers or cues so you can make a better routine for yourself.

How do you break habits?

Be mindful of the habits you want to break, and we want to replace them with good ones. Jen loves to follow James Clear’s 4 steps to breaking a bad habit. We can gradually replace a bad habit with a good one. For example, if you want to build a new habit, make it obvious, then make the cue or trigger as hidden and unattractive as you can. It doesn’t have to be everything all at once, as we do not want to start where someone else is when you’re already doing great at the certain area they’re working on.

What's one habit you can't leave out of your daily routine, no matter what?

Jen tried to replace it before but she can never let go of her energy booster, coffee. For Jill, it’s chewing gum, drinking water, and wiping counters to which she wipes approximately 5 to 8 times a day. 

Bill of The Week

Thank you Anon for sharing your bill about attending a gala for a non-profit and bidding on a sports package getaway!

Thanks so Much for Listening!

Thanks so much for listening! We love love love reading your kind reviews and we especially loved this one:

Windfall throwback

Hi Jen and Jill. Before I go into my mini experience with a windfall - I want to start by sharing how incredibly important what you ladies are doing is for your ever growing frugal friends community. I absolutely love listening to both of your soothing voices, but also all the wonderful advice you give in such a variety of ways. You speak to me in a way that makes it feel like I am the third friend you’re talking to. Thank you for your vulnerability, your honest suggestions & the kindness you radiate, leaving space for everyone at the frugal table.

My windfall - when I was 8 years old my very frugal (SAHM) mom was seriously saving to take me on a dance trip to Europe. We did fundraising, I saved my allowance; family members chipped in with $$ for gifts leading up to my trip. One afternoon my grandmother and I were walking downtown and I found a WAD (yes way more than 2 crumpled up fives 😉) and not a cellphone to be found. It was a tough year for my family with the loss of my grandfather and that $$ allowed for some extra fun when we landed. Anyway thanks for everything you do!! Can’t wait to tune in to more episodes!!

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