🧠 Using psychology to form better habits

Hey there!

It’s finally Friday!!! 

Does anyone else go into the weekend with the best of intentions, ready to meal prep, clean, go for a walk, and do your bills…

…aaaaand suddenly it’s 7:00 p.m. on Sunday and you’re elbow deep in cheese puffs and shouting at the Food Network? 🙋‍♀️

Between decision fatigue and weekends that feel like the blink of an eye, it’s no surprise that we don’t accomplish half of what we wanted to.

However, I, Kim (one of the new writers, more about me below!) am a major science nerd, so I decided to look into the biology behind our decision making processes and share it with you.

This way, we can ditch the guilt surrounding procrastination and utilize proven methods to make new habits.

And then we can zone out to our favorite baking shows without any stress. 🤩

First, we’re going to go through a few definitions.

Procrastination is the act of delaying or postponing something. When you break it down, however, it’s more complicated than that.

According to this article at Real Simple, it’s a battle between our conscious (prefrontal cortex) system and our unconscious (limbic) system.

The limbic system’s job is to put the body on autopilot, and do whatever necessary to achieve homeostasis (equilibrium in our bodies).

If homeostasis was a band, everyone would be harmonizing. 🎶

Your organs are on the drums, your emotions are the lead singer, and your brain is strumming the guitar.

Then, a new task comes along.

Maybe it’s laundry, maybe it’s homework, maybe it’s meal prep.

Either way, this new task is singing loudly and out of tune while your band is rocking out.

You’re then faced with two options: 

  1. Do the new task and allow the new singer to disrupt the group; or 

  2. Put the task off and silence the disruption

Nine times out of ten, our limbic system will kick the singer out of the group before we even consciously think about it. 

How do we break this cycle? 

The answer is mindfulness and intentionality while forming new habits.

Becoming aware of the cue (task), the craving (procrastination), and the reward (not having to do the task), and retraining our brain. 

When it comes to our finances, this means identifying our spending habits, the cue (or trigger) that leads us to spend, the craving and need attached, and the reward.

From there, we can work to interrupt our habits with better responses to our cues that will lead to better rewards in both the short term and long term.

  • 💭 Think: hunger leads to > craving something yummy leads to > referencing your short list of snacks and quick meals you (now) keep on hand in the fridge/freezer/pantry.

  • 💡 Yield: a reward of less impulse spending and less food waste.

What are some of your common spending cues?

How can you retrain your brain to opt for the better reward (i.e. money spent intentionally!)

For all you Catfish lovers out there, we do have an episode for you. Tuesday’s episode was Romance Scams with April Helm, a deep dive into how emotions & personal finance are interconnected.

Today, Jen & Jill talked about the 6 Week Roth IRA Challenge, and I for one can’t wait to implement it. Early retirement, here I come. 🫶

Tune in wherever you get podcasts and let us know what you thought of the episode over on our latest Instagram post!

Kim’s picks for a stellar weekend.

 Watch This: Worst Cooks in America for sheer hilarity, chaos, and to make yourself feel better about your kitchen skills. 

 Listen to This: Atomic Habits by James Clear. This is one amazing book you can get on Libby or Hoopla to really dive into your unconscious habits. 

 Do this: Peep a high-yield savings account (HYSA) at CIT bank. With a 4.65% interest rate, it’s a no brainer! After all, who doesn’t like making money on their extra funds? **

 Meal Prep: This absolutely mouth-watering pot roast!! 🥩 It’s literally five ingredients. Put it all in the slow cooker with some quartered potatoes and carrots and watch it turn to pure deliciousness by the time you get home from work. Minimal effort = maximum results. 

Kim (Your newest Frugal Friend)

💌 P.S. from Jen & Jill. We know you enjoyed this past week of emails (because you told us so!) and we are delighted to share more about the writer behind the words.

We hired 2 phenomenal people to help us get you the best freebies, savings tips, and more. The first being Kim Erickson, who is a self-proclaimed pathology geek who spends her weekdays locked in a lab- and her weekends reading, writing, and hitting the trail with her crazy hound dog. For the past four years, she’s tuned into the Frugal Friends Podcast while walking Lucky (the aforementioned crazy dog) and has even left three Bills of the Week! Through values-based spending, she’s been able to focus on her passions: volunteerism in the community, sharing delicious meals with her loved ones, and getting the next best romantasy novel.

You will meet our other newest Frugal Friend’s writer on Monday. Now there’s something to look forward to. 😉

⭐️⭐️ P.P.S. Want to share all this goodness with your friends AND earn cool Frugal Friends merch?

**Means this is a sponsored or affiliate section. We may earn a small fee or commission when you choose to try one of our sponsor or affiliate partners. But opinions are still 1000% our own.

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