Six Tips to Put Your Spending on a Diet

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I read an interesting post over at Frugal Dad where he writes about having “enough.” He differentiates between “wants” and “needs” and concludes that:

From food, to material items, to money, reminding myself when I’ve reached enough has served me well.”

Later he applied his philosophy to eating and lost five pounds:

The beauty of the Enough Diet is its simplicity. I literally eat anything I want, but only until I’ve had enough. That means no downing an entire bag of M&Ms, or polishing off a 20oz. Coca Cola in one sitting. Now I might just have a small handful of M&Ms, and pour about 6oz. of Coca Cola to enjoy with my dinner. That’s just enough.

Conversely, one could apply diet strategies to saving money. Here are six easy tips to help save you money:

  1. Budget – We all know that when dieting, we have a calorie limit. The same should apply to spending. Using a software program like Quicken can help you set your spending budget as well as track expenses.
  2. Plan ahead – Dieters plan out their meals and factor in calorie splurges. In the same way you can use your budget to plan out your expenditures. Whether it’s a new big screen TV or a Las Vegas vacation getaway, scheduling your expenses can help you avoid overextending yourself and maxing out the credit cards!
  3. Check in – Most people trying to lose or maintain their weight keep a close eye on the scale so they can make adjustments before the pounds really start piling on. With online access to bank accounts and credit card transactions, you can similarly keep a close watch on your balances.
  4. Keep a Diary – Many dieters keep a food diary to track when, what and why they eat. Keeping a record of your purchases–from that daily Starbucks fix to your expensive CD habit–can help you identify trends and areas where you can set limits and cut costs.
  5. Find Ways to Trim the Fat – Savvy eaters know how to cut calories by substituting a low-fat vinaigrette for high-calorie Ranch or low-carbing with fresh green veggies and skipping the stuffed baked potato. Savvy shoppers do much the same thing when they comparison shop, scope out sales, or hunt down great deals and coupons.
  6. Resist the Impulse – Dieters know the quickest way to blow through their calorie count is via a tempting splurge. Those sexy stilettos or nifty gadget may seem like a must-have, but give yourself a 24-hour cooling off period to ensure it’s something you actually NEED and not just WANT.

By employing some simple diet strategies you can not only LOSE weight, but SAVE money at the same time!

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