El Paso Zoo, April 2023

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Great zoo! I highly recommend the Lone Star Burger at the Passport Cafe. Check out what animals they have below! *Not Sponsored*

The Power of Weekly Budgets

Many people come to me and have monthly budgets set up already, but can’t stick to them. There are a few tips to help those struggling with keeping within a budget, one of which is dividing that budget into weekly budgets. There are psychological tips as well that we can discuss during your appointment.

What happens when someone has a monthly budget is they may spend a larger percentage at the beginning of their month, and then slow down on spending the second half. However at the end of the month they may run into two things. Either there is a necessity they need to purchase like groceries, or they become tired of not being able to spend (let’s face it, sometimes it makes us feel good to go shopping!) and splurge.

So I find that in times like this it helps to split the budget into weekly budgets. This allows for the person to see the goal as short term rather than longer term, and helps them plan better as they will more likely know what they will spend on in the week rather than the whole 30 days. It makes it more tangible and easier to feel in control.

For more tips, setup a free consultation with me today to see if we can help you further with your spending or other financial needs.

Motivation, Intrinsic vs Extrinsic

By Andrea Knight, Copyright, 2022.

Motivation is something that is on everyone’s mind, from individual contributor to business owner.  “Quietly quitting” isn’t really a new concept, but it puts a spotlight on the demotivated employee.   How do we self motivate and how are we best motivated by others?  This varies on a case by case basis, however to start the conversation we need to take a brief look at intrinsic vs extrinsic motivators.

Here is a short video that I believe explains extrinsic and intrinsic motivation in a thoughtful way:

In Summary:

  • Extrinsic motivators are usually an external motivation, something coming from outside of us.  Some examples include fear, money, sex and food.
  • Intrinsic motivation is internal (honor, to find peace, curiosity, to make self or others’ better, caring)
  • Those with a masters degree or PhD may not be as motivated by fear and money alone, as I noted working alongside about 5 PhD’s in one job.  Instead highly educated individuals usually need a purpose, challenge or responsibility to feel motivated.
  • Sometimes when all else fails obligation will get you through the day or at work.

Some examples of Extrinsic motivators:

  • Earn an external reward
  • Avoid punishment or negative consequences
  • Money
  • Fear
  • Food
  • Praise
  • Competing with another person
  • To be loved by another person
  • Sex

Some examples of Intrinsic motivators:

  • To improve yourself
  • To improve a process or something else
  • Morality
  • Honor
  • It’s fun and enjoy it
  • Passion
  • Mastery
  • Purpose
  • Satisfaction
  • Inner Peace
  • To feel accomplished
  • Success
  • Internal competition with yourself
  • To be happy
  • To feel good
  • To feel euphoric or get a high (mental, not drugs)

In reality most people, including highly educated individuals, need both extrinsic and intrinsic motivators at some point.  Some sources lean on intrinsic motivators, however you won’t always want to do the task, lift the weights, help out your boss, and do an hour of cardio, sometimes you have to just do it. Using a combo of any of the above, extrinsic or intrinsic, may help drive you to your next goal and succeed.

“I don’t feel appreciated”

From now on I want you to create a folder in your email labeled “appreciation”. Every time your manager or someone on your team emails you “thank you”, recognizes you for accomplishing a task, says “great job”, put it in that folder. If something is verbal or done in a meeting, write it down in an email, email it to yourself, and file in that folder. Include paid birthday parties to you or the team, verbal thanks, free Friday morning bagels, holiday bonuses, free tickets, and corporate paid for lunches. I promise you, besides your paycheck which is appreciation as well for your work, you are being appreciated in many ways. Set a calendar event to review that folder weekly or monthly. Let it sink in the 2nd time or third time. You’ll start to see the appreciation more and more around you, because it is there. Negative thinking and a victim mentality may prevent it from sinking in the first time. We have to retrain our mind sometimes to think more positively and notice our blessings.

“Why does it feel like salmon upstream sometimes? Why do I not want to work hard like I see other successful people do?” If you look at our most closely related living relatives, the great apes such as chimps and gorillas, what do they do all day? Sleep, eat, play, relax, climb, forage. Some other activities as well but you get the point. It isn’t “natural” to work a 9 to 5 for someone else, to do cardio on a treadmill without the reason being about food or sex, to drive your daughter to band practice, etc. We are going against what feels natural to us by being so driven to look good, be successful, make a lot of money, and have a ton of friends on instagram.

The Hard Truth

One thing to note, even if you are working your passion, or for yourself, sometimes you won’t be happy.  Throw out the need to be happy all the time to increase your productivity! Sometimes you will be able to motivate yourself to get out of bed with the thought of coffee, to go to work for the money, to do a half hour of lifting weights, but sometimes you will be in a low mood and need to force yourself through it.  Don’t expect every chore, work environment or meeting to be a blast, sometimes we just need to get it done. When all else fails just obligation, such as needing to just show up at work at 9am, works. 

Having your expectations in the right place will help you feel less lost (why am I not happy at work?), and less disappointed.  Remember, those advertising on social media about their great lives still work or worked hard, and they are just showing you the flashy bits.  You’re not seeing the boring aspects of their lives in pictures, such as years in an office at a desk, you’re just seeing the best parts.  You didn’t see the hours and hours of sweat and weight lifting to get those perfect glutes and abs. You didn’t see the years of late nights in an office to build someone’s business so they could afford that vacation or lakeside home.  You’re seeing the end happy result of hard work.  Think of that when all the usual motivators aren’t driving you that day, and you feel like you are not “living your best life”. For moments where I know something needs to get done but I don’t feel like it, I have a phrase etched in wood I look to that says “Suck it up Buttercup!” It makes me laugh and away I go to task. Go get it done!

For more tips, setup a free consultation with me today to see if we can help you further with your spending or other financial needs.

Parkinson’s Law and Money

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Parkinson’s Law

Have you noticed that when someone makes more money, they end up spending more rather than saving the difference? Or have you noticed that if your business day is shorter you can do the same amount of work in 4 hours versus the full 8?

These patterns have been noted in different ways to illustrate Parkinson’s Law which literally says “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”, however it applies to other areas as well. When applied well it can boost your productivity while working less hours a day but also can make you aware of potential danger zones, such as when you make more money you may spend more. Awareness is the first step to help you to avoid such pitfalls (think of those who earn millions in professional basketball and end up losing all or most of it in a matter of years).

Google a number of articles on this using keywords “Parkinson’s law” and “money” to start reversing the negative aspects of the trend and using the positive to your advantage. (One article is here)

Check out a fun illustrative clip below. Article continues after short clip.

Money Personalities

Investopedia explains there are different money personalities. It helps to identify your own to know what you are dealing with and then proceed with possible adjustments to invest more money into your future.

Big Spenders

Think about a basketball player or football player making millions per year. He always talks about the next big thing to buy, the next party, always trying to stay “on top” and living the enviable life. Sometimes big spenders may lose control and lose millions in what we consider a short period of time. Google “basketball [football, celebrity] player and bankruptcy” and you’ll see some examples.

From Investepedia: “Big spenders love nice cars, new gadgets, and brand-name clothing. People with a “spending” personality type aren’t typically bargain shoppers; they are fashionable and always looking to make a statement. This often means a desire to have the latest and greatest mobile phone, the biggest 4K television, and a beautiful home.

When it comes to keeping up with the Joneses, big spenders are the Joneses. They are comfortable spending money, don’t fear debt, and often take big risks when investing.”


From Investepedia: “Savers are the exact opposite of big spenders. They turn off the lights when leaving the room, close the refrigerator door quickly to keep in the cold, shop only when necessary, and rarely make purchases with credit cards. They generally have no debts and may be viewed as cheapskates. ” They are not the fun one at the party and generally not someone looks up to as far as living out concepts such as “you only live once”, “carpe diem”, and are never the poster guy for theme parks. Boring as sin.

From Investepedia: “Savers are not concerned about following the latest trends, and they derive more satisfaction from reading the interest on a bank statement than from acquiring something new. Savers are conservative by nature and don’t take big risks with their investments.”

While they may definitely NOT have the most exciting Instagram page, big spenders and shoppers would do well learning something from them without losing all the fun in their life. There can be a balance of being happy with your money without falling victim to Parkinson’s Law in the fullest negative sense so you can save for your future. Extreme savers would also do well living a little.


From Investepedia: “Shoppers often develop great emotional satisfaction from spending money. They can’t resist spending, even if it’s to buy items they don’t need. They are usually aware of their addiction and are even concerned about the debt that it creates. They look for bargains and are happy when they find them.

Shoppers are varied in terms of investing. Some invest regularly through 401(k) plans and may even invest a portion of any sudden windfalls, while others see investing as something they will get to eventually.”


From Investepedia: “Debtors aren’t trying to make a statement with their expenditures, and they don’t shop to entertain or cheer themselves up. They simply don’t spend much time thinking about their money and therefore don’t keep tabs on what they spend and where they spend it.

Debtors generally spend more than they earn and are deeply in debt while not putting much thought into investing. Similarly, they often miss taking advantage of the company match in their 401(k) plans.”


From Investepedia: “Investors are consciously aware of money. They understand their financial situations and try to put their money to work.

Regardless of their current financial standing, investors tend to seek a day when passive investments will provide sufficient income to cover all of their bills. Their actions are driven by careful decision-making, and their investments reflect the need to take a certain amount of risk in pursuit of their goals.”

Investopedia may say Investors are doing the best out of the 5 personalities but consider the source. Even Investors can be like Savers in that their friends and family may not think well of them because they are a cheapskate. Again, I would recommend balance here, spend a little on those you love, something meaningful to them, not you, and maybe spruce up your wardrobe to look and feel your best. Not everything is saving and investing, there is a beautiful world out there to explore and experience!

Looking for more tailored advice to your situation? Why do you think the way you do and how to reverse trends that may be addictive, fun or scary? Contact me today and we’ll discuss where you are and where you want to go with your money so you can feel more empowered.

For more tips, setup a free consultation with me today to see if we can help you further with your spending or other financial needs.