The holiday season is probably one of the worst times to start a diet, but if you think about it, it’s one of the most important times to control your eating because that is when there’s the most temptation and the highest-calorie treats. This is also true of your finances and spending; the holiday season seems like the worst time to try living on a budget but it’s actually the most important time to do so because it’s the time when you’ll probably be tempted to spend the most.
This holiday season, instead of putting on that extra ten pounds and that extra thousand dollars of debt, why not go on a financial diet and control your spending so you aren’t stuck paying for your purchases through 2016? Let’s take a look at some conventional diet wisdom and see how we can apply it to your finances this holiday season.
- Calories in must be less than calories out.
To lose weight you have to consume fewer calories than your body uses in a day. This ensures that your body doesn’t store any unused calories and instead, taps into your existing fat cells for extra energy. To save money, you have to spend less than you earn. This ensures that you have money left over each month to set aside and that you don’t tap into your savings or rely on credit cards, which will increase your debt.
- A successful diet requires a change in lifestyle.
If you lose weight through a diet that you can’t sustain, then you’ll gain the weight back once you go back to normal eating. Likewise, if you make financial changes that are only temporary, once you go back to normal spending you’ll start reducing your savings and increasing your debt. The financial changes you make must be seen as permanent lifestyle changes if you want them to work.
- Eat healthier to make weight loss easier.
When you choose healthy foods, you will generally consume fewer calories and more fiber, which means you’ll feel better and lose weight. When you make healthier spending choices, the same will happen. You will choose paying bills and saving money as your “healthy” choices, which means you’ll spend less, and what you do spend will be on more meaningful items.