Spending your time, money, and energy on purpose with Sarah Von Bargen

In this episode, I chat with Sarah Von Bargen, someone I’ve learned from online for years. Sarah helps people spend their time, money, and energy on purpose, and her work covers everything from personal finances to habit formation to food waste reduction.

I mention to Sarah at the very beginning of the episode that I brought her on the podcast for her easy-to-implement, actionable tips — and she doesn’t disappoint.

As it always does on the podcast, the conversation goes in many directions, but we cover three main topics:

  • Forming new habits that stick: Strategies like bookmark habits and “Indiana Jones”-ing your habits, myths about habit formation, and the common pitfalls when forming a new habit (like being too virtuous).
  • Adopting the no-grocery challenge: Simple, practical ways to cook great meals while reducing your food waste at home, and why it might be of interest to you. (Hint: it saves you money and time, and decreases your environmental impact.)
  • Boosting your bank account: A systematic approach to increasing your income and decreasing your expenses “without feeling deprived, overwhelmed, or coupon-obsessed.”

Sarah and I also riff on one of our shared philosophies: discomfort on purpose. In Sarah’s words, “…In life your success correlates directly to how uncomfortable you’re willing to be. You’ll be amazed at how getting comfortable with discomfort affects every area of your life!” Amen.

Find Sarah over on Yes and Yes and Instagram.


  • “When you fail, you will reinforce the narratives that most of us have — ‘I can’t do this,’ ‘I’m not good at it,’ ‘Nothing ever sticks.’”
  • “The average American spends $1,500 [per year] on food they don’t eat and throws out up to 40% of the food that they buy.”
  • “Stop shopping for the person you wish you were.”
  • “A lot of my work starts with understanding what makes you happy.”

Resources mentioned: