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190 The F*ck It Fund

June 30, 202118 min read


What did you buy when you last blew the budget? If you’re looking for the motivation to stick to it, then the F*ck It Fund is your new secret weapon.

In today’s episode you’ll find tools to help you build a budget, as well as stick to it, so that you can have the money that enables you to CHOOSE – IF you want to work, where you work, and when, so that you can follow your dreams.

To create a budget, Enter your name and email address below and I'll send you the free budget and forecasting tracker with a free step-by-step video to take you through it.

Show notes:

  • [01.27] First things first

  • [03.14] The Secret – the F*ck It Fund

  • [09.13] Trade Down

  • [15.32] The Rocket Fuel – Your Why and Why Not

  • [18.12] Spend to zero

  • [19.39] Recap

Get my free “budget” sheet with a video to take you step by step through it



“Remember your income needs to be more than your monthly expenses, and if it isn’t you need a side hustle.” – Lisa Linfield

“No matter how much you have, if you spend more, you will have nothing.” – Lisa Linfield

“If you don’t spend money when it’s not worth it, and doesn’t make a huge difference in your life, then you will have way more money to spend on things that are worth it to you.” – Lisa Linfield

“Question every assumption.” – Lisa Linfield

“Every cent DOES matter, either because, saved over a while it’ll give you the ability to buy something you REALLY want, or because invested over a long time, it can make the difference of financial freedom or not.” – Lisa Linfield

“Sticking to a budget, like sticking to a diet, is short term ‘pain’ for long term gain.” – Lisa Linfield

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Hello everyone and welcome to today’s episode of Working Women’s Wealth.  I’m Lisa Linfield and I’m building a community of Women who are committed to the journey of living Financially Free lives – so that we can have the money that enables us to CHOOSE – IF we want to work, where we work, and when, so that we can follow our dreams.


Last week, one of my listeners, Bronwyn from Australia sent a question in which I thought was a great one – how do I motivate myself to stick to my budget?

Now we ALL struggle to stick to the change we want to make – it’s why I wrote my book, Deep Grooves.  But there are some great techniques we can use to help us stick to a budget.

First things first

… you need a budget!  Pick up the free expense tracking and planning budget spreadsheet as well as my video on how to use it.  The five key elements of a budget are

1.       Income – be clear about your 12 month income.  If you’re a person who has low income in certain months, for example over thanksgiving and Christmas, or the summer holidays, then you need to have a line item to save for those months.

2.       Monthly expenses – those costs that you pay every single month and are easier to budget for

3.       Ad hoc expenses – things that don’t happen each month but you know you need to save for.  Nice things such as vacations, but also It’s important that you plan for the unexpected.  Because, we know that stuff does happen…. Such as unexpected medical expenses, car repairs, house maintenance. 

4.       Investing for the future – this line is one you want to grow faster than your expenses… and you may use it in the beginning to fund your emergency fund.

Remember, a budget is a bit like the guidelines of a diet – if it’s too strict, too tight, you will never be able to stick to it.  It must be realistic to start with – and if need be you either need to cut the expenses or increase your income.

So now you have a budget, how do you stick to it?

The Secret – the F*ck It Fund

This is the secret weapon… and it’s an insight that came from a friend of mine I used to work with in Corporate.  So let me tell you the story…

Andre is truly one of the goodies in life.  He’s really clever, works unbelievably hard, is level headed, a team player, generous to a fault, and is a really nice human.  He’s married to the sweetest lady ever, Camilla, and is a devoted husband and dad.

In addition to trying to many hours trying to work out how to hit our revenue numbers, cut our expenses, and try and figure out of the black box of the actuarial provisions, Andre and I often used to have many chats as to how to live as better humans. 

In the year I dropped to half day at the company before I went full time in my Financial Planning Business, many of those chats turned to discussions on the challenges that face you in trying to become financially free. 

On this particular day, our discussion was on the challenges of sticking to your budget… and the fact that far too often the month had more days than the money was able to last.  As our conversation went on, and we were trying to get to the root cause of blowing the budget, I kept asking probing questions.

“So, is it Camilla that bend’s the budget?”

He paused and thought about it for a while, and then said, “No… Camilla never bend’s the budget.”

We sat in silence, as we thought through the implications of it.  And then it dawned on me…

“If it’s not Camilla, it’s you?” I asked.

“I guess it must be…” and again, we sat in silence, mulling through what that meant.

Eventually, I broke the silence and asked… “when you last blew the budget, what did you buy?”

Andre thought for a while and said, “A new iPad… but F*ck It, I work so hard!!!!!”

And that’s when it dawned on me… he’s so right!  We all work hard for our money, and we want to spend it on stuff we love.

It’s a bit like a diet… if you are restricted to a lettuce leaf and cucumber, it’s guaranteed you’re going to blow the smash out on chocolate.  And I know myself… when I say F*ck it, I go BIG.  I don’t have a bite of chocolate, the entire bar pays a visit to tummy town.  And maybe two.

Ask any teenager about NOT being able to do something, and trust me, they will find any way possible to do it, and then some!  But tell them they can do it, and suddenly it loses its lustre.

When I was an exchange student in Wisconsin, America, we had the four D’s – no drinking, no driving, no dating, no drugs… and a 5th D we added … Don’t Get Caught!!!

As I’d been allowed wine with a meal since I was a teenager, it was easy for me not to drink.  But I’d never done drugs, so that seemed like the rebellious thing I would do.  The problem was, my mum wrote to me in my first month there and told me that any drug I wanted to try, they’d organise for me in the safety of our home.  And all of a sudden, the forbidden fruit felt blah.  And to this day I have never done it.

So the secret to not saying, “fuck it, I work so hard, I deserve a treat” is to have a line item in the budget for you and for your partner, that each month you get a little something to spend on whatever you want – no questions from the other. 

Some of my clients spend it on lunches with friends… some spend it on tech gadgets… some spend it on facials and beauty… some on their children… and some choose to invest it for something they want to buy later on, or redoing the furniture… or saving for a bucket list holiday.

The real secret here is knowing that there’s a little stash of money that you keep that’s just for you.  To do what you want with it, no questions asked.  And, if there’s not enough in your budget to make space for a Fuck it fund, then you need to find a side hustle you can earn some more on – WITH the agreement with your partner that every cent you earn there can go to your Fuck it fund.  That there’s instant reward for the extra work.

And some how it makes being controlled with the rest of your budget much easier to spend.

Trade Down

Here’s one thing though that is fact.  Money is finite.  It always amazes me when you hear of people with hundreds of millions of dollars that go bankrupt.  Like Rihanna did.  No matter how much you have, if you spend more, you will have nothing.

So the key to having the money to do what you want is to work out the ‘Worth It’ question.

Is this Worth It?

So, when it comes to food, triple caramel ice-cream is always worth it.  Gummies like jelly babies are not.

And the same thing applies to money you spend.  When it comes to everyday household groceries, we buy them at the cheapest grocery store.  But when it comes to meat and veggies, it’s worth it to us to spend a little more on that.

I love that about the example my family set when we grew up, and still does today even though they are financially free.  I always share that one of my ah-ha moments on this was listening to my mum and two sisters debating the R11 bread (or dollar bread) vs the R13 bread… yet that night we ate an elephant’s supply of very expensive prawns.  Just last month I listened proudly as John was discussing the price of 18 roll toilet paper with my mum and one of her friends… just following paying the deposit on a holiday for our entire family over Christmas.

We always grew up with the expression, take care of the pennies and the pounds will follow.  It means that being wise with the smallest amount of money will lead to you having more money in the end.  Now I teach that and believe it with all my heart – and show it in the fact that you can turn R200 per month into R8.5m or $20 into $850k.

But it also is important in this context – that if you don’t spend money when it’s not worth it, and doesn’t make a huge difference in your life, then you will have way more money to spend on things that are worth it to you.

When I grew up, we always drank the orange cordial, Oros, never fizzy drinks like coke or lemonade.  My kids drink cordial, not canned drinks now.  And I teach my clients the same.  You still get a sweet drink, but less expense.

If you’re spending a ton of money on take-aways, rethink it and trade down.  The first question is why?  We have a curry take-away that’s a real treat, and our why is that we make it a special, family treat.  So instead of going out for a dinner and spending more on all the add ons, we get the take away and have the treat as a family dinner.  But if it’s convenience or you haven’t cooked – then go to the grocery store and pick up one of their options and heat it up… it’s cheaper than most take aways.  That’s trading down – buying a cheaper option when it’s not seriously adding value to life.

We do that with cars.  A car must be safe and convenient… it’s not important that it’s branded.  It doesn’t mean I wouldn’t love a fancy car with all the bells and whistles.  It’s just not as important as other stuff for us like holidays and education for our children.  So we trade down there.  We’ve just traded down our home from a big, money guzzler in one of the best suburbs in Joburg to a little home which we love.  Could we have afforded a big home in our new village… yes.  But we chose a little one.  Why?  Our why is holidays, time together.  It’s also financial freedom that John and I can spend time doing things we love and not having to work for money.  It’s enabled us to bring forward his financial freedom date by two years.

Always ask yourself WHY do you need this particular thing you’re buying.  As I say in my book, Deep Grooves, question your assumptions… and don’t allow yourself to give the good reasons only.  Dig deeper until you get to your Real Reasons.  Are you doing it because you’ve had a bad day and want a little Short-Term Hit of Happiness, or is it because you truly, deeply have not one piece of energy to cook for the family. 

Do it especially when you ‘blow the budget’.  Spend some time going through your thinking the next day – noticing how you rationalised it to yourself, why you were doing it (good reasons and real reasons) and what assumptions are at the heart of it.  Also, try and identify triggers.  Do you blow the budget when your boss makes you feel small?  Or when you want to celebrate and spoil yourself? Or when you think that ‘everyone else has it, so why can’t I’?  What are those triggers, how do you rationalise it? And what are you assuming?  Underneath that ‘everyone else has it’ are assumptions about their financial position that are terrifying assumptions.  They may be knee high in debt to have it, or have NO retirement savings.  They may not need to support an elderly parent, or have children that need school fees.  Question every assumption.

And then ask yourself – can you trade down?  And if you can, do it, and shift the money in your budget to where you want it most. 

And be careful for the one, common assumption we often make… that it’s just a tiny bit of money that won’t matter.  Every penny or cent counts.  And the assumption that it doesn’t, that it’s such a small thing it won’t dent the size of the problem (paying off debt or investing for retirement) is truly the biggest lie we allow ourselves to believe.  Every cent DOES matter, either because, saved over a while it gives you the ability to buy something you REALLY want, or because invested over a long time, it can make the difference.

The Rocket Fuel – Your Why and Why Not.

Sticking to a budget, like sticking to a diet, is short term ‘pain’ for long term gain.

Knowing your WHY is so important.  And as I mentioned in my book, so many times you need more than one why… because at different times, different temptations, different circumstances you need different why’s.

Why do you want to be financially free?  Is it so you can stop working?  Or choose where you work?  Or stop a higher earning job to pursue something you love doing?  Or to save for your children’s education?

For many, the carrot incentive of a why alone may not be as strong a motivation as the Why Not.  As human beings, we are more inclined to avoid pain than we are to move to pleasure.

I know for me, avoiding pain was THE motivator for my financial freedom.  I NEVER wanted to ever be reliant on anyone else.  I wanted my own money so no one would ever tell me what I could or couldn’t spend my money on.

I had also lived through my family losing everything and starting from scratch when I was at university.  I never wanted to be there again.

I also wanted to determine my own promotions, my own salary, my own work.  And I could only do that if I wasn’t reliant on the corporate paycheck.  So whilst I have ALWAYS been very grateful for my 20 years in corporate, I saved that money so that I could get out of it… and let John get out of it too.

I wanted to never again feel guilty watching my girls play sport or watch their piano recitals or violin performances.  I wanted to be able to fetch them from school, or be there to read to them at book day – and never have to explain myself to anyone.

I wanted to be able to control my time.  And now that I’m financially free, I can.

As a Whole Brain Thinking Coach, we know that we all have preferences for one or two of the four types of thinking.  Like we all have a preference for being right handed or left handed.  But we also know that the best results in life come from using all four thinking styles in our brain.

We need why’s that relate to

·         our creative, adventurous, imaginative, hopeful, expansion side

·         our logical, analytical, side

·         our safety, step-by-step, protective side

·         and our relational, care, people side.

When Angela Duckworth was researching her book, Grit, she found that some of the strongest ‘Whys’ involved other people.  Why’s that involve your kids, your love, your parents are often stronger motivators than why’s that involve you alone… because we are often okay to let ourselves down but not others. 

For many, the other people why not is often associated with proving people wrong, anger, vengeance etc.  I always think that these ‘negative’ emotions are best used to boomerang you to success, if you can use them effectively so that they don’t consume you.

It must feel worth it to make that sacrifice the short term hit of happiness of what you were going to buy for that long term gain of financial freedom.


Spend to zero

The last tool which is one I personally use is Spend to Zero.

If you use the system of managing your money I talked about in Episode 172 where you automate all your money, you then get to spend whatever’s left in your bank account knowing that once you hit zero, there’s nothing left.

To do this safely, with total piece of mind you need to

1.       Know that you have set up your transfers from your bank account to your Cashflow account for the things that don’t happen monthly – such as house maintenance budget, car maintenance budget, medical expenses and holidays.

2.       Know that the direct debits or automatic payments to your investments are in place so your goals and financial freedom are taken care of

3.       Know that you have 3-6 months emergency fund in your money market account – or the automated transfer into that account is in place.

Then, anything left is yours to spend in the month.  And you spend to zero.  And if you don’t need it, at the end of the month you transfer what’s left over to your cashflow savings account to use when unexpected expenses come through.



So friends, go to download the budget and the video that goes with it and shows you step by step how to fill it in.  Make sure you fill in the line item in the WANTS category of the Fuck it fund – it’s politely called the YOLO fund or You Only Live Once as it has to be PG rated! Set up a separate little savings account for it and start each month saving money for something you feel like spending on – no questions asked, no guilt given.

Then, make sure you track your expenses a minimum of once a month – more if it’s your thing.  And each time you enter a spending amount, check your thinking around it

1.       Why did you buy it?  What was your thinking, good reasons and real reasons.

2.       What are the assumptions underlying that thinking?  Are they valid?

3.       Is it worth it?  Or could you trade down so you still have the thing or the convenience or the fun – but at a lower cost?

4.       Is it worth sacrificing your real WHY’s?  Your vision, your dreams, your rocket fuel?

And that my friends is how you keep the motivation to  stick to your budget.

Take care everyone, have a great day, and don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast and share it with someone you think needs to hear this.             

Lisa LinfieldChristian MoneyPodcastBusiness Ownerbudgetdebtorganise
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Lisa Linfield

Lisa Linfield is on a God-given mission to free 1 million women from the weight and stress of money. She's a CFP, founder of a wealth management business, and podcast host of Working Women's Wealth

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