The Money Diet
The word “diet” conjures up negative emotions. Our brain starts to list down words like reduce, decrease, lessen and avoid.
The truth of the matter is that diet simply means the sum of food consumed by a person. Complete nutrition is comprised of the ingestion and absorption of vitamins, minerals and food energy. Dietary habits, which are the habitual decisions a person makes in choosing the food he eats, plays a significant role in the quality of life, health and longevity of that person.
Nutritionists say that the blood sugar arising from foods that we eat causes the body to release insulin. Insulin, a hormone, breaks down the sugar but also stores fat. Sometimes the body releases too much insulin and brings blood sugar to low levels that lead to hunger, cravings and even fatigue. To compensate, we eat more and the vicious cycle begins. The effect of low blood sugar is also the reason why diets that starve you simply do not work. Having a controlled but balanced diet is the answer.
In many ways, a budget is like a diet. Physical fitness is to diet as financial fitness is to budget. Sometimes a diet requires outside influence to instill discipline in keeping to it. The same is true with budgets. That is why saving and investing done through automatic debit arrangements work. A controlled and balanced diet plus exercise is ideal. With budgets, savings that are invested are also ideal.
There is an optimal level of fat that diets promote. Anything in excess would lead to poor health and unattractive physical appearance. With budgets, too much money is also bad as it will lead to nothing but greed. There is an optimum level of money given a person’s goals and life situation.
Being a miser with your budget will have the same effect as having low blood sugar. It will create discord in your household and may even lead to members feeling miserable.
But perhaps there is one area where diets and budgets differ. They say that diet is the word die with a “t”. Budget on the other hand, is the word budge with a “t”.
Do remember though that whether you are working on a diet or a budget, both are mere tools to achieve your goals in life. So, focus more on your goals as these will be more than enough to help you stick to them.
For diets, hang a picture of your fit self even if it is one of your young self. That is your target. For budgets, hang a picture of your entire family with wide smiles on your faces. That should be enough.