Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Yo-Yo Budgeting

My wife is a RD (registered dietitian).  She gets on a soap box every time a new diet fad comes out.  She finds flaws in most of them fairly quickly.  Admittedly I find it sort of cute but that is a different topic all together.  
She talks to people every day about making lifestyle changes.  Many people that she speaks with want a quick fix just like their friend that lost a bunch of weight on the new fad diet.  They don't really listen when she talks about eating right and exercising.  All they hear is that they can only eat salads and berries for the rest of their lives.  Unfortunately many of the people she speaks with end up yo-yo dieting for many years, losing weight on one fad diet then getting off it and gaining the weight back before repeating with the next fad.
My wife is actually a very reasonable person (don't tell her I said that).  When she talks about lifestyle changes she is talking about moderation.  Don't get me wrong, she is all about getting fruits and veggies in each day.  She also loves dessert and is an amazing baker (her cakes are not typically healthy).  She speaks of making small changes that have big impacts like portion control, layering in fruits and veggies, and getting some exercise.  
Like dieting, budgeting is another bad word.  People tend to yo-yo budget just like dieting.  When times are tough people tend to buckle down and stick to a budget.  Unfortunately, debt is too easy to come by and the Jones' have so much nice stuff.  When times get a little better, many of those same budgeters forget all about saving until they are forced to do so again.
Everyone knows that it makes sense to live below your means and spend less than you make.  Many people don't practice it though.  I think it has something to do with the word budget.  It implies a negative connotation, but it shouldn't. Budgeting, like dieting, is about making smart, positive choices.
A budget should be something that helps guide your spending towards what is important to you in the big picture.
Creating a budget shouldn't be a chore and should include some fun stuff in there too.  Change behaviors, change results.  Budgets, and healthy diets, are our friends.  Take good care of them.