As we all know, healthy finances and a healthy diet seem to operate on startlingly similar principles. Over my six months of debt reduction, I have learned that all the fundamentals of a diet apply to my budget too. For example:
- You must track your money as diligently as you track your calories.
- Planning ahead is key. Never peruse a menu without a healthy idea in mind and never walk into a store without a list!
- Just as there’s a balance between exercise and reducing calories, there’s a balance between spending money and earning/saving money.
- You need little tricks or rewards to keep yourself motivated, because proper weight- or debt-reduction is a major waiting game.
- One splurge won’t kill you, but get right back on track the next day!
Right now, I’m struggling with that last item. My wedding seemed like Christmas on steroids, both food-wise and spending-wise. The wedding cake was the most amazing cheesecake ever; I thoroughly enjoyed every bite of it on Sunday and more bites on Monday. I had a blast running into Hobby Lobby and swooping up wedding trinkets and satin ribbon with out totaling anything in my head. I just plunked down the credit card and signed with barely a glance at the total.
While one or two pieces of cake and an extra trip to Hobby Lobby won’t ruin me, a month of such activity certainly will. We now have an immense amount of cheesecake in the fridge. And I slipped oh so easily into my charging persona while running errands before the wedding. For the next month, I could easily swipe a bite or two of cheesecake every time I open the fridge or run to the store for more of the little gourmet treats we enjoyed during the wedding.
So, time to get back to healthy mode! What will I do? Well, today, I plan to freeze the rest of the cheesecake and return about $100 worth of Hobby Lobby materials that we didn’t use. I’m also not going to the grocery store before we leave for the honeymoon on Saturday. Finally, I have $20 in cash. That’s all I get to spend until the honeymoon. When we get back, it’ll be time for serious budgeting and paying off my credit cards. Come August, the healthy me will re-emerge!