Work & Career / One-minute behavioral tips to help you achieve your financial goals

Hacking Personal Finance: Behavior, Not Budgeting


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Time commitment

5 minutes a day for 20 days

Binge read

February 08, 2018

If you google “How should I manage my money?”, every single one of the top 10 results suggests making a budget. Perhaps surprisingly, Americans do follow this conventional wisdom.  A recent study conducted by indicates that 82% of Americans make a budget. However, there is not yet a single academic paper published that suggests budgets are the key to successful money management. Now it’s possible the topic hasn’t been studied adequately, but what if the reality is much more straightforward:

What if budgets just aren’t that important?

We at the Common Cents Lab aren’t convinced either way. What we do know is that the field of behavioral economics would make a strong prediction about budgets: knowledge of what is right today does not always lead to behavior change tomorrow. Budgets might be a helpful exercise for thinking about our money, but it is unlikely they are good tools for holding us accountable to our financial goals.

Instead, we propose an alternative outlined in this course. 20 Behaviorally informed money management hacks and the tools to implement them delivered right to your inbox. 

Each lesson addresses one of the 20 most common money management questions our lab members get asked. We then provide a behaviorally informed TL;DR (Too Long; Didn’t Read) answer, a longer more in-depth answer, and a tool specifically designed to help solve that specific problem. 

The result is 20 easy to implement behavioral solutions to the most common financial problems, paired with the tools to solve each of them. 



Sounds interesting?