Financial Diet Plan
By: Howard Brule
Most of the talk on financial blogs is pretty negative these days. Most people are discussing the economic slowdown, the stagnating housing market, the rising number of bankruptcies, and increased risk of having a serious recession.
The truth is, many of us need to go on a personal financial diet. Is it time to shed some of that extra weight? In good times we all tend to extend ourselves a bit more than we should. Then when the inevitable slow down hits we have no choice but to cut out the fat.
Like quitting smoking or dieting, it's a psychological battle when it comes to keeping your finances under control. You will need to prepare a plan stating exactly how much you are going to spend, and how much you will save, by giving up certain things. Then, it is critical that you design techniques that will help you stick to the plan.
Convincing yourself to avoid binge spending is one of the most important commitments you can make to your plan. When we have extra money to spend, buying non essentials is a big part of the fun. But once you've decided on a slimmed down budget, it is important that you not see compulsive spending as an option. If it's not in the budget, don't buy it.
On the other hand, we are all human, and that means we all fall victim to temptation from time to time. Don't get down on yourself when your will power slips and you buy something you swore you weren't going to buy. Just put it behind you and get back to the plan.
In fact, you might consider bringing the fun right into your plan. It can often be beneficial to compensate yourself with small perks or indulgences on occasion, just to take the daily grind out of the "diet". Just try to stay within your budget. That will give you the satisfaction of splurging and the sense of accomplishment that comes with meeting your goals.
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