Expected Time: 10 minutes
What You’ll Need:
🖥 Your categorized spending in the dashboard
📝 Your journal and pen
Why This is Important
You’re at an exciting step in the Bolder program: it’s time to create your Intentional Spending Plan (ISP)!
Your ISP tells your money where to go every month so that you can achieve the goals you set with your coach. We refuse to call it a budget for a reason: budgeting has a vibe of restriction, which doesn’t work effectively for most people in making habit changes that improve their financial health.
With your ISP, you’re in control. No one is telling you what to do with your money. Instead, you and your coach will look at your spending snapshot together to reflect on what is helpful in meeting your goals, what isn’t, and what you want to change.
We want your ISP call to be an empowering experience that results in you feeling like you are capable of making choices with money that align with your values and support your goals. So, read on to understand what intentional spending means, and what to expect.
First, read the 3 Rules of Intentional Spending below, and reflect on how you’ve thought about spending in the past.
Then, move on to start thinking about what you HAVE to keep in your spending plan (as Bolder’s Co-Founder Sid calls it: your “sacred cow”) and what you would be willing to change to achieve your goals.
3 Rules of Intentional Spending
Nobody but you can decide what is a valid need to spend money on in your life. Nobody but you can make the changes necessary to achieve your goals. Start with small changes that promote mindfulness rather than restriction.
The Golden Rule: Restricting yourself from spending money on the things you love will only fix your situation temporarily, and creating an unrealistic spending plan sets you up for failure. Focusing on what you want to change over time, and learning how to make intentional spending choices in the moment, is a long-lasting lifestyle change that will allow you to stay in control of your money for the rest of your life.
Your coach will help you build small but significant habits that lead to big success, like doing a mental checkup whenever you have the urge to shop online, or leaving work on time to have time to cook instead of ordering in.
Identifying Your Sacred Want
Review your Spend by Category snapshot for the most recent full month in your dashboard. Make a note of the purchases that are needs for living, like housing, utilities, and transportation. Make a list of the purchases that are wants, so not necessary for survival, but make a positive impact on your life. Looking at your list of wants, what makes the most positive significant impact on your life? To help you identify this, it’s usually something that wouldn’t be considered a need to someone else, but that you cannot imagine giving up. This is your Sacred Want.
Your coach will help you protect your Sacred Want at all costs (literally), so breathe easy.
Share your Sacred Want with your coach. You’ll discuss changes to your spending with them on your upcoming Intentional Spending Call.
How did this exercise feel for you? Remember that your coach will never judge or shame you for any of your spending choices, so try to give yourself that same grace! Remember that it’s okay to want what you want -AND to use your money for it.