The Money Diet

January 11, 2012

finance

 

Now that the New Year is properly in full swing, I have decided to finally get my finances in order.

Image by Alan Cleaver

I’m pretty skint after Christmas and it is a fairly common New Years resolution, so I know I’m not alone. However, it wasn’t until last night when I was sitting on the sofa, smugly watching ‘The Biggest Loser‘, that I decided to take inspiration from another fairly common New Year resolution: to lose weight.

The more thought about it, the more I realised that saving money has a great deal in common with getting your body in shape. You have a limit that you cannot exceed, be it calories or money, and you have a tangible goal you want to achieve, whether it’s a lower number on the scale, or a higher number in your savings account.

Of course, there are ways to earn yourself extra calories (or money) for that little bit of extra wiggle room. While you can earn extra calories by exercising, you can also earn extra money taking on extra paid work.

There are also ‘light’ options of various everyday foods, just in the same way that there are ‘value’ options of pretty much anything you can buy. Watching your figure? Eat reduced fat biscuits. Saving money? Go for the Value variety. Now if only someone could create a low-fat AND value biscuit – that would make my day.

But, in my opinion, the key similarity between losing weight and saving money is this:  the best way for tracking calories is the best way to track your spending – by noting EVERYTHING down. Just take a small notebook and keep a note of everything you spend in it. Even if you just spend 40p on a packet of gum in the morning, make sure it goes in the notebook.

According to Myfitnesspal.com, you are more likely to lose weight if you consistently track calories (or saturated fat, or carbohydrates, depending on what diet you choose to follow) and I firmly believe the same is true with money – the more carefully you track your spending , the quicker you will see those pennies stack up.

Are you trying to lose weight this year? Or save money? Or both? Tell us about it in the comments section below!

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