Budgeting and dieting have a lot in common. Most people struggle with sticking to one let alone having to master one on its own. The secret is, if you can leverage what budgeting and dieting have in common, you can use it to master both at the same time.
From there, you can enjoy all the benefits of having a healthy body and a healthy wallet. Here are 6 key things that budgeting and dieting have in common along with tips to help you get better at both.
Planning is Required
Budgeting nor dieting doesn’t really work if you don’t have a specific plan in place. In order to achieve both, you need to think about your end goal. What do you want to accomplish? How do you want to use your plan to help improve your life overall?
You’ll need to prepare in advance in order to be successful. This may involve tracking your expenses and seeing how you can earn extra or cut certain expenses.
For dieting, it may involve visiting a doctor, researching different meal plans and ideas, or even taking a basic nutrition class.
Both budgeting and dieting lead you to set certain restrictions on what you can have and do. Whether you budget strictly or not, you probably can’t spend all your monthly income on traveling or shopping just because you want to.
Even if you’re not married to a particular diet, you probably can’t dine out at McDonald’s every single day without suffering from the consequences of that.
Both budgeting and dieting allow you to set certain important limits and thresholds in place so that you don’t overindulge in any one thing and can be better off overall. What’s important to realize is the fact that you have the freedom to choose your own restrictions and make it realistic to your preferences.
If you want to have a cheat day once a week and eat relatively clean throughout the other days, that may work for you. If you want to have a cheat day with money and go to the movies every once in a while or buy something nice for yourself, I’m sure that won’t set off track completely when it comes to meeting your financial goals.
Bad Habits Can Ruin Your Life
It’s no secret that bad money habits and a bad diet can ruin your life. I’ve seen people make horrible money decisions and I’ve made some bad ones on my own.
From financing a car I couldn’t afford to seeing other people rack up thousands of credit card debt or cash out their entire retirement savings balance to fund a big purchase, these are all horrible moves to make with your money.
The decisions have negatively affect your life in the long run and even the life of your family and kids.
On the flipside putting unhealthy food into your mouth year after year will only cause you to be unhealthy and even possibly develop some serious medical conditions.
This is why I don’t really believe people who swear up and down that budgets and diets are a waste and people shouldn’t do them. I feel like that’s just lying to yourself and I’d fear the alternative if you didn’t stick to some type of plan to improve your life.
It May Feel Unnatural in the Beginning
The real reason why most people quit budgeting or dieting early on is because it feels unnatural to them. If you’ve spent years eating whatever you want and spending money on whatever pleases you, it can be tough to switch over to actually sticking to a plan that may limit you in some way.
The discomfort can be discouraging which causes most people to quit before they even get started and see some results. The truth is cracking down on yourself and getting your life together may feel unnatural in the beginning, but it’s necessary.
One thing I always hear Dave Ramsey say on his radio show is that ‘Kids do what feels good. Adults form a plan and stick to it.’
Budgeting and sticking to a good diet is just a way of life. It’s a plan that you develop to better yourself and anything worth having can be hard work.
There Are a Million Options
One thing that budgeting and dieting have in common is that there are so many options. With budgeting, there’s the standard traditional budget, cash budget with envelopes, zero-based budget, value-based budget, 50/30/20 budget and so on.
For diets, I’ve heard everything from keto, paleo, and Meditteranean, to high carb-low fat and even an all potato diet that someone swore helps you lose weight.
It’s easy to get confused with all the options and compare yourself to others and their journey. At the end of the day, you need to get properly educated on your options and settle on what works best for you personally.
For budgeting, I do a mix of a basic line-by-line budget via spreadsheet along with cash envelopes for some of my fluctuating spending categories. I tried so many diets in the past and many of them failed so what works best for me now is intermittent fasting.
I try to eat between an 8-hour window only most days, limit carbs, and stick to a generally clean and balanced diet. It’s flexible and works for me at this time.
Create a Lifestyle
If you truly want to master budgeting and stick to the best diet plan for you, it’s important to view both of these things as a lifestyle. You can set your own rules based on your goals and vision for your life.
Think about a budget style or eating plan that you can enjoy and stick to for the rest of your life so that it becomes second nature. Be realistic so you can develop the discipline you need to be successful long-term. Use these things as tools to enhance your life and help you reach your goals. Stop viewing it as a hassle that restricts you from ‘having fun’ or living your life.
Your budget should ultimately provide you with freedom and your diet should allow you get healthy, increase your energy levels and feel amazing throughout the day.