Every year I go on something I call the “Spending Diet,” And every year my friends wait, snickering, wondering when I’m going to fall off the wagon. But my wallet and I are exhausted. We need to recuperate, and frankly, my credit card always needs the lift that a spend-free season provides.
Like every proper diet, there are rules. Let’s review:
Rule 1 – BILLS: Pay Them.
Bills, groceries, gas, etc. are all excluded from the diet.
Rule 2 - THINGS: Needs Only.
Need is the key term here, and you should be as honest with yourself as possible to restrain yourself in this area. If your running shoe gains a small hole in the toe, do you need a new pair, or can they last another couple months? However, if your car blows a tire, you’ll probably need to replace that.
Rule 3 – EXPERIENCES: Sparingly.
I’ve read about individuals going on similar spending restrictions. In order for these plans to work, they usually allow purchases such as fresh flowers (These ladies buy fresh flowers? They are much more chic than I.); coffee, movie tickets, haircuts, etc.
I say it’s subjective, and should be tailored to your weakness – after all, this is a spending diet. The idea is not to be entirely comfortable, but to cut back. For example: Do I need a girls’ movie date? That can probably wait. However, do I need coffee? If my family expects me to be a lovely person, absolutely. It’s a give-and-take sort of thing. The diet usually falls during ski season, so I make that my big splurge, and try to keep any other skiing expenses (like packing a lunch rather than buying at the grill) to a minimum.
Rule 4 – FAMILY: Don’t Make Them Suffer.
It’s the golden rule of diets: Don’t make everyone else around you miserable, too. In today’s digital age, the likes of Groupon, Goldstar, Seattle Refined and local Facebook pages usually have inexpensive community activities that I can buy for my family. We’re also just coming off the biggest toy haul of the year, so the only thing they should be asking is what else they can do to help around the house.
Rule 5 – CLEAN UP: Everybody, everywhere.
Do one last sweeping look at your life: Where else can you do a quick tweak? I tend to mindlessly scroll through shopping apps like Poshmark. Those apps are deleted during my diet. I also plan to jump on the “Janu-wagon” with my girlfriends, saving on not only bottles of wine, but calories, too. Who knows – when all is said and done, maybe my wallet won’t be the only one looking fantastic.
Are you thinking of going on a spending diet? Maybe instead you’re budgeting for house, car loan or home repair. Find helpful info, articles, free webinars and seminars here.