“Your diet is a bank account. Good food choices are good investments.” ~Bethenny Frankel
Losing weight and saving money go hand-in-hand.
5 years ago, I remember telling my family that I was worried about my weight, but my primary goal for the year was to get my finances in order. My plan was to tackle one goal at a time. Once the budget was under control, I could take a look at spending more money on healthy foods and a gym membership.
What I didn’t understand at the time, is that these two goals actually work extremely well together. They can ultimately support each other.
The media had me conditioned to believe that I had to spend a ton of money if I ever wanted to lose weight. And I knew that with my income and the bills I needed to pay, there was no way I could afford the gym membership, the Weight Watchers membership and special foods.
Since then, I have come to recognize how extremely important both goals are. Even better, I know it’s not only possible to accomplish both at the same time, it’s easier!
Both Involve Planning Ahead
When it comes to getting healthier and dropping unnecessary weight, it is important to have a meal plan. Similarly, when you are trying to find money in a limited income to set aside for savings and investments, it’s important to have a spending plan.
I’ve said before that it is essential to set aside time every week for exercise and planning your meals. This is a great time to work on your spending plan as well.
Take a look at your income and subtract your necessary expenses (like rent or mortgage payment and electricity). Then, take what remains and determine how you currently spend it and how you wish you would spend it. Remember to include an amount specifically for groceries.
Put together a realistic plan and include the dates that bills are due. Once the initial plan is put together, reviewing it weekly with your meal plan will become easier and easier.
You’ll Feel Tempted at Restaurants Less Frequently
Restaurants always seem to be touchy point when working to lose weight. Eating at home becomes easy after you’ve thrown out the unhealthy foods. Even turning down treats and snacks at work becomes second-nature after a while.
Of course, it helps if you have a tasty lunch to look forward to.
But restaurants are another beast.
Typically, if I find myself in a restaurant, Hubs and I are out with friends who don’t eat the same way that we do. They start pointing out the pastas and ask for bread or chips for the table.
There are always so many menu choices that scream “cheat day” and so many yummy drinks that are just full of sugar. If you manage to make it past all that, the waitress always comes back at the end of the meal with a dessert menu.
All that changes when you put together a spending plan with no room for eating regularly at restaurants.
Make it Fun for Everyone
Maybe you put together a “restaurant fund” as a part of your spending plan and that fund only has enough money in it for one meal a month. This doesn’t mean you can never see your friends again, it just means the venue changes.
When your friends want to enjoy a meal together, invite them over instead of going to a restaurant. Make a fun meal that is within your meal plan, but something everyone else can still enjoy too. And when you do decide to go to a restaurant once a month, enjoy it! Eat what you want to, whether it’s in your plan or not.
So, during your next weekly meal-planning session, add an extra thirty minutes to work on a spending plan. It may not be finalized in that first thirty minutes, but it’s a step in the right direction.
When your plan is in motion, send me an email and tell me how your spending plan has transformed your healthy lifestyle.
Thanks for the Link-Up, Paula!