Friday, January 6, 2012

The Spending Diet

A spending diet isn't much different from a regular diet. I tend to always blog about weight loss, but I'm branching out a bit to make a comparison that I recently realized makes a lot of sense.

Having just bought a condo on Dec 30th, I wanted to start the new year with a new diet... on my spending. Being healthier does save me money, particularly by not eating out as much, but I wanted to use 2012 to clean up more than my eating habits.

MFP lets us set a goal for how many calories we should eat. And breaks it up into categories of what we "spend" those on. We can "earn" more calories to eat by exercising. And we can save them up for a treat.

Replace the words calories with money and you have a spending diet! I personally use to keep track of all my finances, and I actually started using it right around the same time as MFP. So both go hand-in-hand for my habits. I set my budget for the month, break it up into categories, decide how much I can spend in each, and save some money for treats like a trip or an elliptical (or in the recent case, a condo down payment). Sometimes we let our eating (spending) get out of control. We give into temptations like meals out too often... or too many sale items in Victoria Secret (guilty as charged...). But coming back to MFP/Mint helps me get back on track.

In 2012, not only do I want to get my eating habits back in line and work on my running stamina, I want to be more financially responsible. It's the same mindset. It's going to require dedication to log everything I eat/spend, but I'll reap the rewards from it. I definitely can get impulsive with spending and food, it's a habit that I'm trying hard to control. If I want to eat something I shouldn't, I make myself wait 10 minutes to see if I really want it or am I just bored. With shopping, I need to consider my purchase for more than a minute to see if it's something I want but don't really need. Taking a second to consider it in the biggest context helps. Little things can really add up.

I'm definitely not a financial expert by any means, but I just wanted to share a comparison that I made. I know many of you on here have the weightloss mentality down, here's a way to apply it to a different part of your life. Let's hope that 2012 leads to skinny jeans and fat wallets! :)

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