People who are weighed down by debt tend to weight more on the scale as well. Researchers have found a correlation between obesity and debt.
Suze Orman has spoken about the interesting connection between money and weight on her “Suze Orman Show.”
So, how can the same principles of dieting help you get a fat bank account? Here are a few tips for going on a debt diet and switching to a wealthy lifestyle:
No. 1: Keep a “budget” on paper just as you would a food diary. Write down everything you spend and how you felt when you bought the item. Look for spending patterns just as you would eating patterns to find if you are an emotional spender/eater.
No. 2: Wait before buying. When dieting, you should only give in to small treats. When it comes to money, walk away from a major impulse purchase if it’s more than $100. If you still want it the next day or week after planning it as part of your budget; then, make the purchase.
No. 3: Save a little amount every day. Small savings add up. Some people who are dieting think they can “bank” calories for a birthday party or until the end of the week. But that doesn’t work. Shaving off a few hundred calories each day adds up to greater weight loss because your body doesn’t go into starvation mode. In the money world, researchers have found people who make very small goals to save day-to-day save more than people with lofty longer-term goals. Add five dollars here and there instead of waiting until pay day to save a large sum of money.
No. 4: Prioritize your debts and bills. When you are trying to lose weight, you have to pay attention to nutrition and eat the foods with the highest nutrient values first. When getting out of debt, get rid of the debt with the highest interest rate. Dave Ramsey believes in the snowball approach – getting rid of the smallest bill and then the next largest and so on. That’s OK too if it gives you a psychological boost. It’s similar to having that tiny piece of candy first for the mental boost before tackling a spinach salad.
No. 5: Don’t let friends sabotage your efforts to get out of debt. People who are overweight tend to hang out with other overweight people. Don’t be pressured to spend by hanging out with friends or family members who shop as a recreation and expect you to purchase items as well. Suze Orman always recommends being honest – and telling people you are in X amount of debt and want their support to curb excessive spending habits.
No. 6: Re-think treats. When you are on a diet, you learn to like fruit instead of candy. You learn to enjoy 1/3 of a meal and save the rest for another day. When going on a debt diet, learn to enjoy checking magazines and books out from the library. Use the mall as a place to exercise and window shop instead of as a place to use the credit card. In other words, treats can be free.
No. 7: People on a successful diet get over that “I deserve it,” attitude. They know they don’t deserve a piece of pie because they were “good” all week. They don’t deserve a cheeseburger because they ran a mile. Instead, they learn to see food as a source of nutrition and fuel as well as a source of pleasure at times. You eat because you are truly hungry. You don’t buy clothing or a new CD because you “deserve it.” You begin to understand that you buy what you truly “need.”
No. 8: People who stay out of debt, and accumulate wealth are the same kind of people who maintain their weight loss for years. It’s about a lifestyle change.
No. 9: For an easy way to remember what to do with your money, think of how you divide your calories between carbohydrates/proteins and fats with the Zone diet. Just as you eat 30 percent fats – save 30 percent of your money for retirement and long-term savings needs. Just as you eat 30 percent protein, use 30 percent of your money for paying off all debt and, once out of debt, for giving and more frivolous short-term goal spending. Meanwhile, 40 percent of your spending (like carbohydrates) should be spend on day-to-day living bills.
No. 10: Earn more to spend more. People who stay thin understand they need to exercise more if they want to eat more. If you want to purchase an item, make sure you are making enough money to afford the item. You need to live within your means. Thin people don’t starve themselves on an 800 calorie a day diet. They budget more calories by working out. Plan to work to earn the money required for financial purchases, goals and dreams.
Just as you experience that excitement fitting into a smaller size; you’ll feel ecstatic as you look at Roth IRA and savings account balances that are growing instead of credit card balances!