Managing Money the Lazy Genius Way with Kendra Adachi – EP 272

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What matters to you the most right now? As we enter another year of new beginnings, we reassess once again our values and priorities to align them with our new year’s resolutions. Starting our year with a bang as we had a talk with Kendra Adachi whose philosophy and systems were aligned with the Frugal Friends and offered great insights on the “Lazy Genius Way” to adopt in managing money. 

You cannot have the expectation of what you choose right now is going to be the way things are going to be forever.


  • A values-based spending plan. You may know we just started our free one-week spending makeover and if you haven’t been able to join yet we want to invite you to what we’re calling the main event of the whole challenge. On Wednesday, January 4th, which is tomorrow night if you’re listening to this the day it comes out, we’ll be hosting a live values-based spending plan workshop! We will be walking you through how to make a budget that prioritizes what you value and the financial goals you want to reach this year. So if that sounds like something you need, head to to join us. Everyone who attends live will get a copy of our values-based spending Google Sheet. Again that’s

Kendra Adachi is a two-time New York Times bestselling author of The Lazy Genius Way and The Lazy Genius Kitchen. Her podcast, The Lazy Genius Podcast, has over 18 million downloads and covers everything from cooking chicken to making friends. As a systems expert and professional permission-giver, Kendra helps others stop doing it all for the sake of doing what matters. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and three kids.

The Core Concept of "Lazy Genius Way" and Managing Our Money

A Lazy Genius is someone who is a genius about the things that matter and lazy about the things that don’t. The important thing about being a ‘Lazy Genius’  is you are the only person who can decide what matters to you. It’s easy to get caught up in comparing ourselves to how we should spend or budget our money but we don’t have to do what everyone else does because we each have different priorities! Being a Lazy Genius is great to apply to our money, budgeting, and spending. 

Prioritizing Happiness and Satisfaction to Improve Our Money Mindset

There is the expectation that we have to be happy with every single financial decision we ever make but Kendra thinks this is unrealistic and puts a lot of pressure on all of our life choices. For Kendra, a master is someone who has remained curious and saw every single step as something to learn from. See happiness and satisfaction with curiosity and openness then we can adopt the same mindset with how we see money.

The Magic Question to Uncomplicate Finances

The Magic Question is broadly “What can I do now to make something easier later?” and that ‘something’ could be anything. It begins with the thing that is difficult for you. What is it that you’re trying to make easier? Answer that question and then try to make that smaller.

Kendra's "Lazy Genius Way" of Budgeting and Managing Money

During the time when Kendra and her husband barely had money, they got a financial planner for 10 years. Now, they have an accountant who does their taxes and advises them on their finances every quarter. They thought they are likely going to live a life without a huge income so they had to have someone who is knowledgeable in helping them invest. Kendra also has built separate accounts for her business and has developed her own budgeting system which she describes as, “one living expense bucket”, that works for her overall family’s finances.

What are you “Lazy Genius-ing” today?

  • Kendra: Caring for throat and voice in preparation for singing in 5-days
  • Jill: Meal planning prior to going on vacation
  • Jen: Working out 3-4 times a week to care for the pregnant body

Bill of The Week

Thank you Kendra Adachi for sharing your bill about a $5 bill you put under your son’s pillow because the tooth fairy forgot a few days in a row.

Thanks so Much for Listening!

Thanks so much for listening. Many of you know we have a private community where we do monthly money challenges and offer accountability groups. We want to congratulate one of our members for a big win.

Today we stayed out of debt!

My husband and I bought a new-to-him car yesterday. It was bittersweet at first because we were planning to buy a minivan or a 7-seater but they are at least 30% more $ than when we started shopping for them(with the market and all).

It would have been easy to finance a new car for the next 7-8 years with low payments but we worked so hard lately to cut expenses in our budget that I didn’t want to add additional payments … and knowing myself I would have tried to pay back the loan as fast as possible. I don’t want to trade my lifestyle for a new car!

So I’m proud of us… we actually bought a small sedan WITHIN OUR BUDGET (🥳🥳)and decided we would start saving again for a minivan that will replace the car that I’m driving currently.

Congrats! If you want to check out our monthly challenge community head to to see what challenge we have coming up next.

And keep leaving us reviews on iTunes or Stitcher, and sending the screenshot to And don’t forget to share your favorite quote from the episode by using the hashtag #FrugalFriendsNote. 😉

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