I’m a big fan of Man Vs Debt and was happy to see his new guide Unautomate Your Finances released yesterday. As you can see from my review of it yesterday, I really think it’s a solid guide for handling your finances. If you haven’t already checked out his site, I think you’ll be amazed at what the Baker family has accomplished in the last year and half.  Adam has been kind enough to spend some time to answer my questions on his new guide.

Unautomate Your Finances Interview

Why write ‘Unautomate your Finances’ now? Who are you writing this for?

Unautomate Your Finances is for anyone whose financial life isn’t yet where they know it could be. It’s for people who need to turn around a seriously destitute situation, but also for those people whom may be living life with “mediocre” finances that they know could be great.

There’s no special reason for the timing. It just fits into our current journey. Courtney and I have used these principles to drastically change the path of our finances. We aren’t done and we certainly don’t have all the answers, but this was the perfect time to pause and reflect on what changed our life… and to share it as best we could with others!

You talk about the core of unautomation being consciousness, sustainability, and focus. Which do you think is the hardest for people to put into practice? Why?

What is going to be the hardest really depends on the personality type. For most, however, consciousness will be the hardest principle to get a grip on. It’s by nature that we all assume we are aware and conscious. After all, no one wants to be “out of touch” or “out of the loop”. It’s been my experience, though, that many of us aren’t really conscious of the state of our finances or on how our daily habits really impact our financial lives.

What area(s) do you think many of us having a hard time peeling away the financial clutter?

It’s so freakin’ easy to accumulate! We live in a consumerism-driven society. We have plenty of space (often times too much) in our homes and it’s just too darn easy to fill it up. It’s too easy to engage in an unsustainable lifestyle. It’s too easy purchase our impulses.

We’ve got to get past what is easy and onto what is empowering in our finances and in our lives!

How did your first ‘no spend day’ go?

It went extremely well because we were dead-set on making it a reality. Really I think the 10th “no spend day” is much harder than the first. Maintaining the motivation and not dismissing these things as silly tricks. We’ve slipped at time, but the more we install these types of spending hacks the more success we have!

What are the advantages of active tracking over passive tacking?

Actively tracking our spending allows to actually make changes at the habitual level. When someone passively looks over their expenses at the end of the month, it’s easy to think “oh gee, I should control my eating out next month.” But there’s a big difference when you actually make that connection halfway through the month! You can make adjustments on the fly and work on changing the habits then and there. Not with extra willpower at the end of the month.

Unautomate Your Finances Giveaway

If you’re excited about the guide, I have some great news to announce. I’m happy to announce Couple Money is giving one reader the entire Unautomate Your Finances guide with bonuses!

Contest Rules

Here’s all you have to do to get a chance to win:

  1. Subscribe to Couple Money, either through email updates or RSS.
  2. Follow me on Twitter
  3. Tweet to all your Twitter followers about the contest by tweeting the following: “I want to Unautomate my finances! (via @manvsdebt and @elle_cm)  #couplemoney”  ==> Please include hashtags so I can count your entry!

In order to  qualify to win, you have to follow all 3 steps. I’ll be drawing the winner on Friday, March 12,2010. I’ll direct message the winner on Twitter and I’ll announce the winner this upcoming weekend on my blog.  The winner has 48 hours from my direct message to contact me so i can get the guide sent to them.

I wish you guys well on the contest!

How About Your Finances?

If you haven’t already, please check out Man Vs Debt and Unautomate Your Finances! Baker is an open and accesible blogger and his new book is a great resource for couple looking at improving their finances. Now I want to ask you a couple of questions and hear your take – What areas in your finances are hard for you to declutter?  How do you track your finances?

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6 comments comments closed

  1. Hi Elle,

    I follow through RSS and twitter and I tweeted your message for the contest.

    I worked hard over the winter to de-clutter our financial papers and files. I track our finances on Quicken and my own spreadsheets. I have it all laid out, but we need to get better at setting aside time to discuss as a couple. When dh and I are on the same page, we have a better chance of achieving our goals.

  2. @Krista: Thanks for participating! Getting everything in order takes take some effort. We had to develop something that worked for both of us. I wish you guys the best!

  3. Good stuff Elle! I have a copy, so I don’t count. Adam, Jun, and others had a great fun video chat on Untemplater the other day. You should come join next time!

  4. @Elle: I wish I could’ve caught the chat! I plan on attending the next one – I love interacting with other bloggers outside of posts and forums.