The Money Diet

Posted on August 26, 2009 @ 6:32 am

You get on a diet when you wish to shed extra weight.  Similarly, when you have to shed extra fat from your budget, you get on a money diet.

The key to making your money go further is to trim the “fat” out of your budget.  Free grocery coupons is an easy way to save money each month.  We will not be able to get out of debt until we make major changes in our buying habits, since the average American household’s debt is over $7,000, according to recent surveys.

The first step is to prioritize your expenses and determine which of them are essential.  You must budget for necessities such as groceries, home payments, utility expenses, and payments used to reduce credit cards debt.  Try to pay a little more on your credit cards with the highest interest rates, however, if you can only pay the minimum to the cards with lower rates, then do that.

You must select which items are the excess “fat” in your budget.  If paying off what you owe each month is not possible, then you should consider as “fat” anything that is not a necessity.  An example of “fat” would be gas-consuming vehicles like low mileage cars, boats, and RVs. Search out expenses to cut out or reduce anywhere you can.

Game consoles and online gaming can be very entertaining, but they can also be very expensive; consider spending more time in the real world instead. If you typically spend a lot of money at a fancy salon, then go to a less expensive hairdresser until you pay off your expenses.

When dieting, you substitute unhealthy foods like fried chicken for healthier alternatives like grilled chicken. Once you are on a money diet, you must search out less costly options for all of the luxuries of life. Buy store brand groceries instead of the name brand; look for designer clothing at consignment stores where they will cost a lot less.  And is it really necessary to have all of your clothes dry cleaned?

Reduce your expensive gourmet coffee habit.  Purchase generic products at the supermarket. Instead of an evening at the movie theater, go to a matinee; they are usually less expensive.  Also ask yourself if you must have cable TV and pay-per-view. Visit museums when they offer free hours.

Don’t forget, that creating a better consumer lifestyle takes work.  Habits stick with you long after the original reason for starting them has gone, and healthy money habits are no exception; even when you are out of debt, your good habits will remain.







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