Personal Budgets More Accurate If Annual, Not Monthly
Budgeting. Nobody enjoys it. But it’s important. So for my clients that do budget, I take great care in making sure the time and pain they invest in doing it gives them a good return. I want to help them do it right.
I typically advise breaking spending down to a monthly basis so that when we compare results during the year, we can readily see whether we’re on track — or where we can get back on. But it looks like my initial emphasis was on the wrong piece. You’ll do better creating an annual budget first.
Are You Sure About That? Most of us are pretty certain about what we’re going to spend this month, and even next month. But for the whole year? We’re not so sure about that. So in addition to thinking about all of the different kinds of expenses we incur, we also build in more cushion for the unexpected. In other words, we’re more realistic about what is likely to happen during the year. As a consequence, annual budgets are far more accurate than monthly budgets according to a study recently completed by professors at USC, Cornell and New York University.
Quote with Quicken photo from NYT article featuring this study (registration may be required). Quicken was not involved in this study and its appearance here does not represent a recommendation.
Are the days of boring commercials over? Will the phenomena of Super Bowl Sunday spread, with Tivo’s and DVR’s across the country speeding through programs to find the commercials?
Just as we integrate discoveries from neuroscience and sociology into our strategy, communication and change recommendations at branes, some companies and advertisers are finally beginning to use neuroscience to determine when and how well their ads provoke response. Imagine: deploying your campaign after understanding how your audience will respond.
Before Orwellian visions begin to dance in your head, remember, this technique doesn’t create the ad or the response. There is no magic. (Remember those old ‘subliminal’ movie ads for “Drink Coke”? Even in that case research revealed there was no increase in purchases.) It merely measures the response. But by measuring advertisers can understand when and how audiences will respond.
We think this change is long overdue, from a business perspective, but also from a personal perspective. If they’re successful in starting a trend, the days of boring and annoying commercials may well be over. At least until you’ve seen it once…
Study: Snapping Fingers 3 Times Prompts Recall Best for Forgetful Actors
Between here and Grey Matter, we cover a lot of neuroscience. All of the research I read, however, is subject to the ‘gut test’. Given my experience, is it possible this could be true? I think in this case you’ll find, almost incontrovertibly, that personal experience supports these findings. Who would have thought you’d find it in The Onion?