How to Stick to Your Budget Using Micro-Actions

3 min read
close up of a calculator

Face it: it’s hard to get motivated to conquer your finances when you know it might mean creating and then sticking to a budget. If this sounds like a lot of work, you’re not alone.

In a survey conducted with The Harris Poll, we found that despite the fact Americans feel consistently busy, 73% reported that time isn’t the issue when it comes to getting and staying financially fit. Instead, the problem is psychological.

The truth is most people simply can’t bring themselves to deal with their money head-on. Their finances make them stressed out, they procrastinate, and they wind up sticking their heads in the sand instead of sticking to a budget.

But one simple change—a micro-action—might be all you need to supercharge your financial motivation and help you make real progress toward your money goals.

What are micro-actions?

Micro-actions are tiny, non-intimidating tasks that are super quick to complete. We’re talking one minute to 20 minutes at the absolute max.

What makes micro-actions so powerful?

First, they are contagious. The simple fact that you’re taking steps—even if they’re tiny ones—toward a goal means you're making steady progress.

Second, you’re building major confidence. Success breeds success. As you conquer one micro-action after another, you begin to see what you’ve achieved, realize your goals are attainable, and create the momentum you need to keep going.

How can micro-actions help you stick to your budget?

So how can the idea of micro-actions benefit you when it comes to your money? Try these three ideas on for size:

1. Add micro-actions to your regular routine

The beauty of a routine is that it requires zero thought to execute. And you don’t need a brand-new, complicated routine to start working toward financial health. Instead, simply incorporate one or two micro-actions into the routine you already have:

  • Listen to an inspiring podcast or educational audio book about money while commuting to work or driving the kids to school.

  • Drop bills directly into a box by the door whenever you grab the day’s mail. (You won’t have to play hide and seek with statements when you’re ready to pay them.)

  • Repeat a money mantra while walking your dog. Use your own or borrow one that works for the wealthy.

2. Make your money micro-actions fun

Many people find money management either mind-numbingly dull or intensely stressful. If that’s you, consider making your money micro-action a fun exercise, a game, or even a contest for your family:

  • Set a 5-minute timer and brainstorm as many free (or nearly free) fun activities as you can. Try this exercise with your kids for an upcoming birthday, the holiday season, or a weekend together.

  • Enlist your kids’ help—and their art supplies—in creating a paper chain. Add a link for every $50 of debt you carry. When you pay off 50 bucks, rip off that link and know you're shrinking your debt.

  • Download a money gamification app that transforms saving into entertainment. Try Qapital 1 for making fun “rules” around stashing cash. Or look into SmartyPig 1 to create a virtual piggy bank.

3. Go with what you know

When people talk about money, it can certainly sound as though they’re speaking a foreign language. Instead of trying to give yourself a crash-course in financial lingo, play to your strengths and customize your money micro-actions to how you already do your life:

  • Have you ever had a professional mentor? Take advantage of your willingness to listen, learn, and support. Seek out a money mentor with wisdom to share. Or check in weekly with a friend who’s tackling similar financial goals.

  • Do you use a chore chart for your kids with gold stars for a job well done? Whip up one of those calendars for yourself! Add a big gold star for every day you complete a money micro-action.

  • Where do you dump your pocket change at the end of the day? Instead of tossing it on a table, start collecting it in a jar. Or up your game and throw all your singles into the jar too. Before you know it, you’ll have a container full of cash to save or spend toward a goal.

With a few of these micro-actions up your sleeve, you can maximize your financial motivation and reach your money goals sooner than you think.

  1. Visit the official company website for more information and details about services and programs offered. LendingClub is not affiliated with, being compensated by or making any representation as to the company and/or products referenced.

Check Your Rate

You May Also Like

Related Resource Center
Soft inquiries won’t impact your credit scores, and hard inquiries can hurt your scores slightly. Here's what you need to know.
Oct 9, 2023
6 min read
woman on mobile phone image
Having a money plan in place before you turn in your resignation can make the transition smoother. Learn ways to prepare your finances before you go.
Sep 4, 2023
5 min read
Young man relaxing in an orange hammock by a misty lake holding a cup of coffee, looking at laptop on his lap.
Take control of your money and personal wellbeing with tips to recognize burnout and restore your physical, financial, and emotional health.
Aug 7, 2023
6 min read
Woman in pink blazer sitting on ground with laptop in lap next to young girl looking at documents
With six in 10 U.S. consumers living paycheck to paycheck, could budgeting, saving, debt management, or side income be the antidote?
Jul 25, 2023
5 min read
Paycheck to Paycheck
Your credit score plays a role in nearly every financial move you make. Having a great credit score can save you hundreds (or thousands) of dollars a year through lower interest rates on your credit card accounts, personal loans, moving loans, car loans, or mortgage.
Jul 9, 2023
4 min read
Man in denim button up holding a phone, sitting at table smiling
Related Impact
From groceries and diapers to Halloween costumes for pets, nearly 60% of American consumers prefer to shop online for everyday items that make life more convenient, comfortable, and enjoyable. And with rising prices showing no signs of stopping anytime soon, we’re pleased to introduce StackitTM from LendingClub Bank—a new browser extension that automatically finds and rewards eligible members with coupons and cash back for extra savings at more than 15,000 favorite online retailers.
Nov 13, 2022
2 min read
blog header stackit 765x430 v1-1
Even in today’s low-yield, high-inflation environment, it’s essential to keep a certain amount of money in an easy-to-access checking or savings account for things like daily household and emergency expenses, or to meet short-term financial goals.
Oct 2, 2022
5 min read
LendingClub Rewards Checking Nationally Certified as Trusted, Afforda
Since 2007, LendingClub has been on a mission to deliver a world-class experience to all our members. This month we took a moment to reflect on the more than four million members who have chosen LendingClub as their partner to help them reach their financial goals.
Apr 19, 2022
2 min read
Illustration of large number 4 and letter M made up of colorful, tiny illustrations of ethnically diverse people
In March 2022, we hosted our first quarterly webinar where we celebrated our one-year anniversary as a digital marketplace bank. 
Mar 6, 2022
less than a minute read
LendingClub completed the acquisition of Radius Bank in February 2021. At that time, in addition to the direct-to-consumer deposit business, we inherited a fintech partner program, and several lending businesses. As we reach the one-year anniversary of the acquisition, and in conjunction with the conclusion of a strategic review of our business operations, we have made the decision to discontinue certain businesses that don’t fit our mission.  
Jan 2, 2022
2 min read
Man in blue button up shirt and glasses smiling
Related FAQ's
We offer several ways for you to make your monthly auto loan payment, so you can choose the method that works best for you. A statement will be mailed to you every month that shows the payment amount and due date.
Nov 29, 2023
less than a minute read
LendingClub provides a year-end statement that summarizes your account activity, including how much interest you’ve earned and information regarding Notes tied to loans that have been charged off.
Jun 7, 2023
less than a minute read
After you submit your application, you'll get an email with instructions for confirming your email address.
Jun 7, 2023
less than a minute read
In some cases, we may need to confirm your employment before your application can be finalized. The fastest way to confirm your employment is to provide your work email address.
Jun 7, 2023
less than a minute read
To process your application, we may need to confirm your income matches what was on your application.
Jun 7, 2023
less than a minute read
Related Glossary
{noun} A type of credit that allows the borrower to make charges and payments against a set borrowing limit, paying interest only on outstanding balances.
Sep 6, 2023
4 min read
{noun} The amount of unpaid interest that has accumulated as of a specific date, either on a loan or an interest-bearing account or investment. 
Mar 21, 2023
4 min read
{noun} The total annual cost to borrow money, including fees, expressed as a percentage.
Mar 21, 2023
3 min read
A debt that is written off as a loss because the financial institution or creditor believes it is no longer collectible due to a substantial period of nonpayment.
Feb 7, 2023
3 min read
{noun} An interest rate that remains the same for a set time, usually for the life of the loan.
Feb 4, 2023
3 min read
Change Your Money, Change Your Life
Join our monthly newsletter for tools, tips, and insights to improve your financial health.

LendingClub Bank and its affiliates (collectively, "LendingClub") do not offer legal, financial, or other professional advice. The content on this page is for informational or advertising purposes only and is not a substitute for individualized professional advice. LendingClub is not affiliated with or making any representation as to the company(ies), services, and/or products referenced. LendingClub is not responsible for the content of third-party website(s), and links to those sites should not be viewed as an endorsement. By clicking links to third-party website(s), users are leaving LendingClub’s website. LendingClub does not represent any third party, including any website user, who enters into a transaction as a result of visiting a third-party website. Privacy and security policies of third-party websites may differ from those of the LendingClub website.

Savings are not guaranteed and depend upon various factors, including but not limited to interest rates, fees, and loan term length.

A representative example of payment terms for a Personal Loan is as follows: a borrower receives a loan of $19,854 for a term of 36 months, with an interest rate of 10.29% and a 6.00% origination fee of $1,191, for an APR of 14.60%. In this example, the borrower will receive $18,663 and will make 36 monthly payments of $643. Loan amounts range from $1,000 to $40,000 and loan term lengths range from 24 months to 60 months. Some amounts, rates, and term lengths may be unavailable in certain states. 

For Personal Loans, APR ranges from 9.57% to 35.99% and origination fee ranges from 3.00% to 8.00% of the loan amount. APRs and origination fees are determined at the time of application. Lowest APR is available to borrowers with excellent credit. Advertised rates and fees are valid as of July 11, 2023 and are subject to change without notice. 

Checking a rate through us generates a soft credit inquiry on a person’s credit report, which is visible only to that person. A hard credit inquiry, which is visible to that person and others, and which may affect that person’s credit score, only appears on the person’s credit report if and when a loan is issued to the person. Credit eligibility is not guaranteed. APR and other credit terms depend upon credit score and other key financing characteristics, including but not limited to the amount financed, loan term length, and credit usage and history.  

Unless otherwise specified, all credit and deposit products are provided by LendingClub Bank, N.A., Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender (“LendingClub Bank”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of LendingClub Corporation, NMLS ID 167439. Credit products are subject to credit approval and may be subject to sufficient investor commitment. ​Deposit accounts are subject to approval. Only deposit products are FDIC insured.

“LendingClub” and the “LC” symbol are trademarks of LendingClub Bank.

© 2023 LendingClub Bank. All rights reserved.