Whether it is for your business or your personal life you should always follow a budget. Even if you make significant amounts of money you should still have a budget. But before you begin making a budget you need to have a set of goals.
Do you want to be debt free, live on one income, or save for retirement? Make this into your personal or family financial mission statement. Write it down or type it up nicely and then have it laminated and display it in a prominent place where you can see it often. Many times we just need a reminder to ourselves for why we are doing a particular thing, and that can be just enough incentive when things get tough.
Set small range goals so you can see progress. It can be very difficult to keep up the discipline necessary to stay on budget if you can’t see any measurable progress. Develop some short-term goals that you can celebrate meeting. If your goal has been to reduce your grocery spending by $100 per month, then your weekly goal would be to cut grocery costs by $25. Likewise, if your goal is to pay off debt, make a chart to show how much you’ve paid off. Reward charts just aren’t for children! Use a type of chart where you can color in a bar to show your progress, and then color it in every time you make a payment so you can see the progress you are making. Put it up on your refrigerator or bathroom mirror as a reminder that your hard work is paying off!
Next, Identify your weak spots and develop a plan to battle them. In sticking to your budget, you need a clear idea of where you may be tempted to break the budget. If you are prone to impulse spending, then you must remove that temptation from yourself. If you go window shopping, leave your credit cards at home! Especially in the early days of sticking to your budget, it is important to re-train yourself to curb spending.
A good way to prevent yourself from digging yourself further and further into debt is to form a personal budget that can work for you. Many people spend their hard earned money frivolously without having many regards to how much money they will have left before their next paycheck comes. They will often find themselves having no money left and ending up having to borrow from a lender just to pay essential bills or provide for their family. The problem with this type of spending is that you tend to incur debts that will begin to cause added problems with your finances that you become unable to pay off your debts when needed.
If you would like some help with your mindset surrounding money check out my 10 Minute Money Makeover!
It is the first Saturday in the New Year and I know many people set the resolution of eating better and I am here to help you with that.
Years ago I was trained as a Health Coach at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition which is based on a philosophy of Primary and Secondary Foods. Primary Foods is the food that we physically consume and Secondary Foods are the other things in life like community and our relationships. Both are equally important so you will see secondary foods come into the mix throughout my posts!
For today we are going to talk about the basics of primary foods. The key to the success of any plan for healthy eating is to eat what you like but to exercise moderation when it comes to the less healthy foods. Improving your level of health and fitness does not mean forgoing that piece of chocolate cake, for instance. It does mean, however, limiting yourself to one piece. A healthy diet contains all types of foods, including carbohydrates, proteins, and even fats. The key is choosing foods that provide the best combination of taste and nutrition. After all, if your diet consists of foods you hate, you will not stick with it.
I also teach the concept of gradually adding the better foods while gradually eliminating the not so good foods. This way you have a better chance of success and sets you up for long-term health.
My two basic primary food suggestions are:
1 Purchasing organic as often as possible is always recommended but I realize can be costly and not always available where you live. A good plan is to follow the Dirty Dozen list. The ones with the most chemicals you should always try and eat organic.
The 2017 Dirty Dozen list from EWG (2018 not published yet but typically does not change a lot)
11. Sweet bell peppers
The 2017 Clean Fifteen list from EWG (least amount of pesticides and chemicals). These ones are not as important to buy organic so you can save some money!
1. Sweet Corn
6. Sweet peas (frozen)
11. Honeydew Melon
2. Limit processed food. The more fresh food you can eat the better. I know there are times we need to open a package of food for a quick meal. Next time I will talk about meal planning so you can have healthy meals on hand all the time!
And when someone offers you a piece of chocolate cake, eat it! (this falls under secondary food too!)
If you haven’t got it yet, grab my 5 Key Strategies for Self-Care for Less Stress and More Energy. (ps….2 amazing smoothie recipes inside!)
Happy, healthy eating for 2018!