Bills piling up?
Do you go shopping just for the fun of it?
Is your savings account dwindling or maybe even nonexistent?
Do you frequently buy things you really don’t need?
If you answered “yes” to any of the above, it’s time to think about going on a budget diet.
What is a budget diet? It’s a diet for your wallet, not your waistline…think of it as a no-spending challenge, so you can get back on track. If you’ve ever been on a diet to lose weight, you know the drill.
You’ll set a dollar goal instead of a weight loss goal.
You’ll look for ways to avoid spending just like you would look for diet foods to avoid extra calories.
You’ll make some permanent changes to your lifestyle to maintain your financial freedom just like a dieter adopts healthy eating habits to maintain their weight loss.
How to Go on A Budget Diet
- Set a goal. You may decide to embark on a no-spending challenge to pay off a credit card or save enough money for a weekend getaway or new television.
- Tell your friends and family in hopes that they’ll go on the budget diet with you. Dieting is always easier when you don’t go it alone.
- Spend money only on necessities for 1 month…that means needs, not wants.
- Question every purchase…do you really need it?
- Live this mantra: use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.
- Find activities that you enjoy other than shopping…it’s like when you discover that diet ice cream really does satisfy your sweet tooth.
- Adopt a frugal mindset…by the end of the month, hopefully you’ve discovered some new frugal living habits that you can easily incorporate into your lifestyle. Maybe you decide that your kids can wash your car instead of spending money at the car wash or homemade pizza is so much better and cheaper than delivery. This is the “maintenance” phase of the budget diet.
The most difficult part of your budget diet will be when a friend calls and says, “let’s get together for lunch”, or when your teenage daughter wants to go shopping. The solution? Offer a fun alternative to avoid spending money.
Avoid Spending Money with These 10 Free and Fun Activities
- Go to the library and check out a book or two.
- Call a friend and catch up.
- Make something you would typically buy…how about homemade bread or a birthday cake?
- Find free community events to enjoy…maybe a free concert or outdoor play?
- Host a pot luck dinner.
- Get crafty…look around your house, be creative and re-purpose unwanted items.
- Go to the beach or park.
- Sit on your porch and read a book.
- Instead of going out to lunch, find a friend and go for a walk.
- RELAX and have a spa day at home…enjoy a bubble bath, make homemade spa treatments with common kitchen ingredients, light a candle and relax.
It’s June 1st, and it’s time to get this budget diet started!
Please leave a comment to share your experiences with a no-spending challenge.
image courtesy of Stuart Miles, FreeDigitalPhotos.net