Why Saving Money Is Like Being on a Diet

Why Saving Is Like Being On A Diet

We promise you that this post isn't about the latest and greatest food diet.  Been there, done that, moving on!  But did you know that you can use that same determination and self-discipline to find bargains and cut spending to save money?  Like cutting out saturated fats and carbs from your daily intake, staying committed to limiting frivolous spending on unnecessary food costs, outings, and products can lead to a happier, healthier, and even debt-free life. 

There are some "money diet" books on the market and other financial freedom guides designed to kick start debt-free living, but why make yet another purchase that ends up hitting your pocketbook and taking up space?  All the information you need to know about finding bargains and money organisation is readily available online, so we did the hard work for you to come up with these great tips for your own spending diet!

Recognise Your Spending Problems & Take Action

The first step of any diet, regardless of whether it's about food or money, starts with recognising the need to change and take action.  Even if you want to save a little each month, a committed plan can reveal how much you can truly save through sheer willpower, bargains, limiting impulse buys, and logging your spending history.  These methods, and more, all work together to reveal and pinpoint bad spending habits and the toll they're taking on your finances.

And the start of a new year is one of the best times to recognise the need to save and take action.  It's a fantastic way to begin the year with a clean slate and a renewed drive to save money for the things that really matter, like buying a home, repairs, child expenses, or a new family car. 

Say "No!" To Expensive Outings During The Week

If you're off to a late start with your New Year's resolutions, now is the best time to reign in that impulse spending and adapt more frugal habits, like finding bargains and cutting back on going to expensive restaurants.

Equate those nightly £75 restaurant or pub checks to unnecessary, sugary snacks.  We all want instant satisfaction.  Saving a couple minutes to grab an expensive meal or a candy bar might feel worth it in the moment.  But taking the time to make your own food and healthy snacks at home is not only beneficial to your physical health, but helps take the weight of those unnecessary impulse purchases off your shoulders.

This doesn't mean you have to forego those delicious restaurants forever.  You deserve to treat yourself and your family once and a while during Holiday, and it's extra enjoyable when you truly have the money to spare.  But rather than indulging and paying too much when going out, always look for restaurant specials, current bargains, coupons, and promo codes to help cut costs on family outings.  There are always bargains available for restaurants, services, and tourist attractions, so don't settle on paying full price if you don't have to!

Create A Plan With Organisation Tools

Just like food dieting, there are multiple plans and routes available for achieving your financial goals.  Cutting unhealthy impulse spending is one thing, but remaining consistent is a whole other beast to focus on.  Not every diet plan is going to work for everybody, but some type of organised plan will keep you on track toward your ultimate goal. 

For example, if you're more tech savvy, take full advantage of note taking apps like Evernote to stay organised in the cloud.  Here you can create check lists (with their own check boxes!), mini spreadsheets, and individual electronic "notebooks" to log your spending, keep track of redeemed bargains, and set financial milestones.  You can also use Google Docs to make larger spreadsheets and print out calendars if you prefer more traditional organisation methods.  And what's arguably the best part of these organisation tools?  They're FREE!

Set Small Goals You Can Achieve

Cutting spending is not about going big or going home.  Setting large, almost impractical goals can stop any diet dead in its tracks.  So regardless of whether you're starting a food diet or financial fast, it's much more helpful to set manageable goals you can achieve. 

For example, a dieter may set an achievable goal of losing 13 kilos in three months; that's about 4.5 kilos a month.  As part of this year's spending diet, try to set similar small goals to help strengthen the habit of saving.  Reaching smaller financial milestones can eventually open the door to achieving much larger spending challenges.  Taking on smaller goals also helps with one's own self-discipline and improving organisation. 

Your monthly goals don't have to revolve around a number either.  It can focus on gradually eliminating specific spending habits that are keeping you down, like impulse buys on clothes, food, and entertainment.  Or your monthly goal could revolve around a pact to find great bargains on all your necessities. 

Evaluate Your Progress Consistently

Stepping onto that scale is the most confronting aspect of going on a diet, and the same thing goes for spending diets as well.  Rather than using scales to evaluate progress, money diets require crunching numbers to reveal how much was really saved at the end of the month.  Even if you didn't save as much as you wanted to, don't let that discourage you from achieving your monthly goal.  Falling short of a goal is a great opportunity to go back to the drawing board and create a better plan.

Never take your eyes off the prize throughout the course of any diet.  If you have a friend or family member also struggling to save money, going on a joint spending diet together can create a strong support system.  Feel the need to make an impulse purchase?  Call your fellow dieting buddy to help remind you of your financial end goal. 

We all have the ability to save unbelievable amounts of money through simple spending diets and bargains.  How much money do you want to save each month?  ConsumerJungle.org has this page that gives you an example of a spending plan, the process of how to use it and a free download of their template - so take action, come up with a plan, and get started today to save big this year!

Verdict?

MoneySavingPigWhat is missing in this post?  What types of articles would you like to see on our blog? We're always open to new suggestions so let us know using the comment section below. 

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