Fixing your money mindset is much like a diet. The definition of a diet is the restriction of oneself to special kinds of food in order to lose weight. We have all tried a diet at some point, whether it be something as little as I’m going to stop drinking soda or something like becoming vegan. We tend to try these diets in order to improve some aspect of our lives. Today I will be discussing money and the connection to diet. We can implement some of the same techniques in dieting to personal finance. By restricting some of the things we can consume we can dramatically change aspects of our life for the better. It depends on the person but maybe you can sustain a massive change to your money diet, like completely cutting out expenditure on perishable items or maybe it’s something as little as refraining from purchasing food once a week. We can all improve our money diet.
- Over Consumption
- Gradual changes
In a food diet one of our main problems is over consumption, we eat far more than we need. This overconsumption tends to make us feel regret later. The same thing happens with our money. We feel the need to spend money on materialistic items only to regret our decision. Sometimes this regret sets in as soon as you get home. Whether it is seeing what the people around us are doing, developing a FOMO or just wanting more. We tend to consume far more than we actually need without gaining significant satisfaction from these purchases. We can help eliminate this by shopping with people that don’t make this overconsumption possible. Shop on your own or with people that will give you an honest opinion on what or what not to buy. We can also avoid this overconsumption by shopping with a purpose, many times shopping is just an activity to pass time and we end up purchasing things that we don’t necessarily want or need. By eliminating over consumption we can feel more satisfaction from the items we already have.
When changing our lifestyle it is important to make gradual changes. You might have seen people have a drastic change to their eating habits and then a couple weeks later fall right back into the same trap they were in before. With our money diet it might feel necessary to make massive changes right off the start in order to get going, but it is more important to make small changes and slowly increase the intensity of changes. We can start by changing small parts of our life like eating out one less time a week. You can choose to always put at least one thing back when you go shopping. Depending on where you allocate money you can adjust your spending habits to better suit your long term goals.
As you have probably heard before dieting is not about winning in the short term but making it a consistent part of your life. With our money we don’t want to save money for 30 or 90 days and then go barrelling back into debt. We want to become consistent with our money spending behaviours. This requires us to have a sustainable relationship with money and spending on the spectrum between underconsumption and overconsumption. The amount of money we spend is up to us and we might be closer to spending the majority of our paycheque or we might be able to spend very little of it depending on our expenses and how much money we make. It is important to recognize where you currently are on the spectrum and then identify where you want to be.
Whether or not you stick to your money diet it can be beneficial to give one a try. By trying a money diet it can help you identify aspects of your life that you can get rid of or reduce.
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